[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1993, Book I)]
[June 29, 1993]
[Page 958]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]



Message to the Senate Transmitting the Convention on the Marking of 
Plastic Explosives for Detection
June 29, 1993

To the Senate of the United States:
    I transmit herewith, for the advice and consent of the Senate to 
ratification, the Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for 
the Purpose of Detection with Technical Annex, done at Montreal on March 
1, 1991. The report of the Department of State is also enclosed for the 
information of the Senate.
    The terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103 in December 1988 with the 
resultant deaths of 270 (including 189 Americans), and the terrorist 
bombing of UTA flight 772 in September 1989 with the resultant deaths of 
171 (including 7 Americans), dramatically demonstrate the threat posed 
by virtually undetectable plastic explosives in the hands of those 
nations and groups that engage in terrorist savagery.
    This Convention is aimed at precluding such incidents from 
recurring, as well as others where plastic explosives are utilized, by 
requiring States that produce plastic explosives to mark them at the 
time of manufacture with a substance to enhance their detectability by 
commercially available mechanical or canine detectors. States are also 
required to ensure that controls are implemented over the sale, use, and 
disposition of marked and unmarked plastic explosives.
    Work on the Convention began in January 1990 under the auspices of 
the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on the basis of an 
initial draft prepared by a special subcommittee of the ICAO Legal 
Committee. That work was completed, and the Convention was adopted by 
consensus, at an international conference in Montreal in March 1991. The 
United States and 50 other States signed the Convention. Early 
ratification by the United States should encourage other nations to 
become party to the Convention.
    I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration 
to the Convention and give its advice and consent to ratification, 
subject to the declaration described in the accompanying report of the 
Secretary of State.

                                                      William J. Clinton

The White House,
June 29, 1993.