Embassy Row

Article excerpt


Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright is due to testify tomorrow before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where Chairman Jesse Helms is growing impatient with President Clinton's failure to submit controversial treaties for Senate approval.

The North Carolina Republican recently complained about the global warming treaty signed in Kyoto, Japan, and a treaty to establish an international criminal court.

"Madame Secretary, the U.S. constitution sets out a cooperative process for treaty making," Mr. Helms wrote. "The executive cannot demand quick action on certain treaties, and at the same time hold hostage other treaties fearing their certain rejection by the Senate."

Mr. Helms predicted both the global-warming treaty and the court treaty will fail.

He declared the court treaty "irreparably flawed."

"The [treaty] purports to give this international court jurisdiction over American citizens - even if the United States refuses to sign or ratify the treaty," he wrote.

"It empowers the court to sit in judgment of United States foreign policy. It creates an independent prosecutor accountable to no state or institution for his action. And it represents a massive dilution of the U.N. Security Council's powers - and of the United States' veto power within the Security Council.

"In short, this treaty represents a very real threat to our soldiers, our citizens and our national security interests."

Concerning the Kyoto treaty, Mr. Helms called its environmental goals "unachievable" because it exempts Third World nations.

The Senate last year expressed opposition to such an exemption before the treaty was negotiated.

Mr. Helms pledged to work with the administration on a number of other treaties, including protocols on the protection of children, the preservation of sea turtles and the banning of land mines.

Mrs. Albright is due to testify at 10 a.m. in Room 419 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.


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