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Public Papers - 1992 - May

Message to the Congress Reporting on the National Emergency With Respect to Chemical and Biological Weapons Proliferation


To the Congress of the United States:

On November 16, 1990, in light of the dangers of the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons, I issued Executive Order No. 12735 and declared a national emergency under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701, et seq.).

The proliferation of chemical and biological weapons continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.

Section 204 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and section 401(c) of the National Emergencies Act contain periodic reporting requirements regarding activities taken and money spent pursuant to an emergency declaration. The following report is made pursuant to these provisions.

The three export control regulations issued under the Enhanced Proliferation Control Initiative are fully in force and have been used to control the export of items with potential use in chemical or biological weapons or their delivery systems.

Over the last 6 months, the United States has continued to address actively the problem of the proliferation and use of chemical and biological weapons in its international diplomatic efforts.

The membership of the Australia Group of countries cooperating against chemical and biological weapons proliferation grew from 20 to 22 members when Finland and Sweden were welcomed into the Group in December 1991.

At the same December 1991 Australia Group meeting, all member countries confirmed that they had implemented or were implementing export controls on all 50 identified chemical weapons precursors. Almost all Australia Group members agreed at the meeting to impose controls on a common list of dual-use chemical equipment. In the first major Australia Group involvement in biological weapons nonproliferation, the December meeting also produced a draft list of biological organisms, toxins, and equipment to consider for export controls. This list was further refined by an Australia Group experts' meeting in March 1992, the first intersessional meeting held by the Australia Group, and will be considered for adoption by the June 1992 Australia Group plenary.

Encouraging progress can also be reported in the steps taken by countries outside the Australia Group, including several Eastern European countries and Argentina, to establish effective chemical and biological export controls comparable to those observed by Australia Group members.

Finally, the March 31, 1992, report regarding expenditures under the declaration of a national emergency to deal with the lapse of the Export Administration Act in Executive Order No. 12730 also includes measures related to the Enhanced Proliferation Control Initiative. Pursuant to section 401(c) of the National Emergencies Act, there were no additional expenses directly attributable to the exercise of authorities conferred by the declaration of the national emergency.

George Bush

The White House,

May 20, 1992.

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
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