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US Senators Warn Obama Against Bypassing Congress on UN Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

© AP Photo / Susan WalshUS President Barack Obama
US President Barack Obama - Sputnik International
The US Senate will withhold funding for a key international program if the Obama administration bypasses Congress seeking UN Security Council’s support of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), 33 US senators said in a letter to President Barack Obama on Friday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The letter, signed by member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Dan Coats and Senator Marco Rubio, argued that seeking a UN Security Council resolution on nuclear weapons testing ban would be "abuse of the separation of powers."

"If you decide to pursue a Security Council resolution that accepts the imposition of international obligations that the Senate has explicitly rejected, we would make every effort to prevent the authorization or appropriation of the approximately $32 million per year," the letter stated.

The money comprises about 25 percent of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) Preparatory Commission budget, according to the senators.

"The United States has no need for the CTBT international monitoring system given our own national capabilities," the senators concluded.

President Barack Obama speaks at the Treasury Department in Washington, Tuesday, June 14, 2016, following a meeting with his National Security Council to get updates on the investigation into the attack in Orlando, Florida and review efforts to degrade and destroy ISIL. - Sputnik International
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The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty is a multilateral treaty that mandates signatories to ban all nuclear explosions for military or civilian purposes. The CTBT was adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 10, 1996, and opened for signature on September 24 of that year.

The CTBT has been signed by 183 countries. To enter into force, the CTBT requires ratification by all 44 states listed in the annex. At present, the treaty is ratified by 36 countries, including the three nuclear weapons possessor states — Russia, France and the United Kingdom.

In April, ahead of the fourth Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC, Obama wrote an opinion article urging ratification of the CTBT to improve security of the world.

In October 1999, the US Senate rejected ratification of the treaty in a 51-48 vote.

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