Highlights of U.S. Arms Control Initiatives and Commitments

(Arms Control and Disarmament)

April 29, 1997
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) enters into force.

September 24, 1996
The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) is opened for signature. U.S. President Bill Clinton is the first head of state to sign, followed by the other four declared nuclear powers and a host of non-nuclear states.

June 28, 1996
The United States and other nations attending the United Nations Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Switzerland, complete a draft Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

October 23, 1994
The United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) sign an "Agreed Framework" to freeze the North Korean nuclear program and halt the DPRK's withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

January 14, 1994
The United States, Russia, and Ukraine sign the Trilateral Statement, providing for the transfer of strategic nuclear warheads on Ukrainian territory back to Russia. The transfer is completed by June 1996.

January 13, 1993
The United States signs the Chemical Weapons Convention. The convention requires ratification by 65 nations before it enters into force. As of early November 1997, 165 nations had signed the CWC and 104 had ratified it.

January 3, 1993
The United States and Russia sign the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (the START II Treaty). The treaty has been ratified by the U.S. Senate and, as of November 1997, awaits Russian ratification.

November 27, 1991
The U.S. Congress passes the Nunn-Lugar legislation to help the Soviet Union destroy nuclear, chemical, and other weapons.

September 27, 1991
The United States announces the unilateral withdrawal from overseas bases and operational deployment of all land- and sea-based tactical nuclear weapons.

July 31, 1991
The United States and the Soviet Union sign the START I Treaty. The treaty enters into force on December 5, 1994.

November 19, 1990
The United States and 21 other North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Warsaw Pact nations sign the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, reducing five categories of conventional weapons to equal levels for each alliance grouping. The treaty enters into force on July 17, 1992, and its reductions are completed November 17, 1995.

December 8, 1987
The United States and the Soviet Union sign the Intermediate- Range Nuclear Forces Treaty to eliminate all ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. The treaty enters into force June 1, 1988, and is fully implemented June 1, 1991.

June 18, 1979
The United States and the Soviet Union sign the Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty (the SALT II Treaty) in Vienna. The treaty is never ratified.

August 1, 1975
The United States, the Soviet Union, and 33 other nations in the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe sign the Helsinki Final Act. The document initiates a series of agreements on confidence- and security-building measures in Europe.

May 26, 1972
The United States and the Soviet Union sign the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, limiting strategic anti-ballistic missile defenses, and the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT I) Interim Agreement, providing an interim ceiling on strategic offensive nuclear weapons.

April 10, 1972
The United States signs the Biological Weapons Convention.

November 25, 1969
The United States renounces the first use of chemical weapons and all methods of biological warfare.

July 1, 1968
The United States and 61 other nations sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It enters into force on March 5, 1970, and is extended indefinitely and unconditionally on May 11, 1995.

August 5, 1963
The United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union sign the Limited Test Ban Treaty.

December 1, 1959
The United States, the Soviet Union, and other countries sign the Antarctic Treaty to internationalize and demilitarize the Antarctic continent. It is the first nuclear-weapon-free-zone agreement.

July 21, 1955
The United States presents an "Open Skies" proposal that leads to a formal treaty in 1992.

December 8, 1952
The United States presents an "Atoms for Peace" plan that leads to the creation of the International Atomic Energy Agency in 1957.

June 14, 1946
The United States presents the Baruch Plan for the international control of atomic weapons.