WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, along with Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tina Smith (D-MN), Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), today introduced a Senate resolution in support of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) on the occasion of its “Golden Birthday.”
In the 50 years that have passed since the NPT opened for signature — July 1, 1968 — the Treaty has made an enormous difference worldwide in reducing nuclear proliferation. Without the treaty, far more countries would possess nuclear stockpiles in 2018. Instead, today, far more countries have access to the peaceful applications of the atom, and the U.S. and Russian nuclear stocks represent a fraction of what they were during their Cold War heights.
“The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty remains a pillar of U.S. and international security. Only nuclear weapons have the capacity to wipe out humanity in the blink of an eye,” said Merkley. “It is imperative that that the United States recommit to all of its obligations under the NPT, particularly by reducing the role and number of nuclear weapons, as a long line of Presidents and Congresses have done before, irrespective of political party. I urge President Trump to continue to use the United States’ significant diplomatic power to make progress on this critical issue—including by entering into the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty; locking in the extension of the New START Treaty with Russia; and pushing for a concrete and verifiable plan to end North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons.”
Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee also adopted a Merkley amendment to the FY19 defense spending bill that prohibits the use of funding to deploy a new destabilizing and unnecessary low-yield warhead for a Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile.
Negotiations on the NPT Treaty sped along in the aftermath of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, when the United States and former Soviet Union were brought to the brink of a catastrophic nuclear war.
On its 50th anniversary, the NPT is celebrated in this Merkley-led resolution that takes stock of the historic success of the NPT over the past five decades, and recommends several courses of action to ensure a nuclear weapon is never used by any nation again. The full resolution can be found here.