In an announcement that will trigger further criticism of Barack Obama's alleged lack of enthusiasm for reining in rogue states --
The President has asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to lead the U.S. delegation and deliver the U.S. national statement at the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), to be held on September 24 and 25 in New York City. Since 1999, this conference has been held every other year to provide a forum for discussions on how best to encourage states to sign and ratify this important nonproliferation treaty, especially those states listed in Annex II that are required to ratify the Treaty before it can enter into force.
While the United States sent a delegation to the initial conference in 1999, it has not attended the subsequent four conferences.
Those naughty Annex II states are China, North Korea (DPRK), Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the USA. While 6 have signed but not ratified, North Korea, India and Pakistan still have to sign the Treaty.
It's worth recallling that while George Bush was in a de facto boycott of the ratification efforts, he was cutting a side deal -- mangos for nukes -- with India in which they got access to American nuclear technology without having to regularize their nuclear program. So they need nukes because Pakistan has nukes and then we worry about Islamo-nukes so one would have thought a test ban treaty might actually be a good thing but that's the crazy world of "serious" foreign policy thinkers in which it's much better to yell and scream about Iran and North Korea having nukes than actually trying to push forward processes that would encourage them to see that it's in their best interest to get rid of them. Not to mention Israel's nukes which of course we can't mention.
So anyway, Obama is trying to cut the knot both with this and his closely related UN Security Council summit. Let the neocon rage begin.