September 24, 1996, 12:00 noon

Kathy CrandalI (202) 898-0150 ext 232
Patricia Savage (202) 898-0150 ext 247


Washington, DC (September 24, 1996) - Today, as President Clinton and other world leaders garher in New York at the United Narions to sign the nucler Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), citizen activists from Washington D.C. join wirh orhers across the country to remember the devastating toll of 51 years of nuclear testing and to pledge to continue their effort to eliminate nuc!ear weapons.

"We are marking the long-awaited conclusion of 51 years of nuclear testing by tolling, 51 times, the bells of the famous National Cathedral and the Foundry United Methodist Church'' said Robert K. Musil, Ph.D., Executive Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility, one of 12 organizations sponsoring the local commemoration.

"After 2,046 nuclear tests, the equivaient of one test every nine days for 51 years, public pressure has finally dnven world leaders to agree to end testing. The CTBT is a zero-yield Treaty permanently prohibiting all nuclear explosions. It marks an essential step toward the unfinished goal of nuclear disarmament, " said Barbara Dudley of Greenpeace.

In addirion to marking the occasion of the CTBT signing with a bell tolling ceremony. persons attending the nationwide commemorative events signed a "people's pledge" to work for the abolition of nuc!ear weapons.

"As we mark the important role of citizen activists in ending nuclear weapon test explosions, we are also recommitting ourselves to the goaI of a nucIear weapons free 21st century. The overwhelming support of the CTBT in the U.S. and around the world reflects the desire of the citizens around the globe to move quickly from a nuclear test ban to nuclear abolition," said Gordon Clark, Executive Director of Peace Action, "Now is the time for President Clinton and other world leaders to capitalize on the worldwide momentum that helped secure the CTBT with new initiatives to reduce nucler weapons arsenals. "

Today's signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty marks the most significant single accomplishment of citizens across the U.S. and around the world, who have labored for over four decades to end the nuclear arms race and eliminate nuclear weapons," said Musil. We've made the difference on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, we can make the difference on nuclear disarmament. "

All five nuclear weapons states are on record as supporting the Treaty, which was negotiated at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, and then overwhelmingly approved by the United Nations on September 10. Concerned citizens, politicians and non-governmental organizations have been calling for a nuclear test ban since the 1950s.

Today's event was sponsored by the following organizations:
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Disarmament Clearinghouse
Peace Action
American Friends Service Committee ofWashington, DC
NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Unitarian Universalist Association
Women's Action for New Directions
Plutonium Challenge
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Jesuit Social Ministries
the Shundahai Network
Women Strike for Peace

A Project of: Greenpeace * Peace Action * Physicians for Social Responsibility
Plutonium Challenge * Women's Action for New Directions

1101 14th Street, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005
tel: 202-898-0150 ext. 232 - fax: 202-898-0172
email: disarmament@igc.apc.org

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