The U.S. Department of State will be hosting their Fourth Annual Generation Prague Conference on June 10-11, 2013, in Washington, DC. This year’s conference focus is “Building a Strategy for Peace,” and will also commemorate the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s speech at American University. In this commencement address, the President asked the graduates to re-examine their attitudes towards peace, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War, famously remarking, “If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can make the world safe for diversity.” The President also announced that he, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan had agreed to hold discussions concerning a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty. Finally, he explained that the United States would not conduct atmospheric nuclear tests on the condition that other countries uphold this same promise.
On August 5, 1963, the US, USSR, and UK negotiators signed the Limited Test Ban Treaty. This treaty:
- prohibited nuclear weapons tests or other nuclear explosions under water, in the atmosphere, or in outer space
- allowed underground nuclear tests as long as no radioactive debris falls outside the boundaries of the nation conducting the test
- pledged signatories to work towards complete disarmament, an end to the armaments race, and an end to the contamination of the environment by radioactive substances.
This treaty was ratified by the Senate on September 23, 1963, and signed by the President into law on October 7, 1963.
Achievement of the final objective — a comprehensive ban — remains unaccomplished. Thirty-three years after the entry into force of the Limited Test Ban Treaty, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty — but it was not ratified by the U.S. Senate and has not entered into force. For more info on the Comprehensive Test Ban, visit the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test -Ban Treaty Organization.
The Generation Prague Conference welcomes students and young professionals to attend.