|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Conference on Comprehensive
1st & 2nd Meetings (AM & PM)
Secretary-General Urges States to Seize Historic Political Momentum to Rid World
of Nuclear Weapons by Pledging to End Testing, as Treaty Conference Opens
Calls Intensify to Join Test-Ban Treaty, Led by United States: ‘Those Who
Haven’t Signed Should Sign. Those, Like Us, Who Haven’t Ratified Should Ratify’
As the sixth Conference to promote the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) got under way at Headquarters today, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called on the high-level delegations, which included some 100 foreign ministers, to seize the current historic political momentum to rid the world of nuclear weapons by pledging to end nuclear weapons testing.
Last May’s nuclear testing by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had made a summit in the Security Council today on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, the first of its kind, all the more urgent, Mr. Ban told the Conference. And the time had come to make the CTBT legally binding and universal.
“I direct my call in particular to those nine States whose ratifications are required to complete the [Treaty’s] entry into force requirements,” he said.
The Treaty had been signed by 181 States and ratified by 150, but only 35 of the 44 nuclear technology holder countries had made the necessary deposit of ratification with the Secretary-General for it to take effect. Pending that milestone, Mr. Ban called on States to honour a nuclear weapons test moratorium and to refrain from acts contrary to the Treaty’s objectives. States should show leadership, rather than wait for others.
The Secretary-General said the Treaty was a major pillar of his five-point “stop the bomb” proposal on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and its entry into force the first of 13 practical nuclear disarmament steps called for and agreed to at the 2000 conference to review the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
“Long before I became Secretary-General, these issues were of driving concern. I served as Chair of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission (Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization). I follow this closely. I care about it deeply. It is my priority,” he said.
The present Conference should be the last, he said, urging participants to “make history by making the need for the conference history”.
Before the general debate got under way this morning, participants adopted by consensus a final declaration, in part, as a signal of their support for the summit-level meeting taking place in the Security Council, presided by United States President Barack Obama, whose delegation holds the Council presidency for September. The two-hour meeting was shared via video with Conference participants.
In the final declaration text, the Conference called upon all States that had not yet done so to sign and ratify the 1996 test-ban Treaty, particularly those so-called “Annex II” States whose ratification was required for its entry into force, and reaffirmed the need to continue to build all elements of an unprecedented global system to verify States’ compliance with the Treaty once it took effect.
The Conference also renewed its strong conviction that the instrument ‑‑ a major tool for preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and promoting nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation ‑‑ would enhance international peace and security. It outlined 10 measures to promote the Treaty’s universal ratification, such as the sharing of scientific knowledge of verification technologies and giving legal assistance to help States ratify and implement it.
When the test-ban Treaty conference ‑‑ formally known as the Conference to Facilitate the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty ‑‑ resumed, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said her country had come with an optimistic spirit that all parties could help rid the planet of nuclear weapons. “After a 10-year absence from this Conference, America stands ready to renew its leadership role in the non-proliferation regime,” she said.
Ms. Clinton said the test-ban Treaty was integral to the United States non-proliferation and arms control agenda, which would focus in the coming months on securing its ratification in the United States Senate and in other States so it could enter force. It contributed to President Obama’s long-range vision, without jeopardizing the safety, security or credibility of the United States nuclear arsenal. By supporting it, the Obama Administration was working in the interests of all nations committed to non-proliferation and reducing the threat of nuclear attack.
While the path to ratification would not be quick or easy, the Treaty’s entry into force would permit her country and others to challenge States engaged in suspicious testing activities, including by calling for on-site inspections to verify that no testing had occurred on land, underground, underwater or in space. The Treaty’s ratification would also encourage the international community to move forward with other essential non-proliferation steps.
“To put it plainly, we support this Treaty because it strengthens the prospect of a peaceful, stable and secure world and would enhance the security of the American people,” she said. “Those who haven’t signed should sign. Those, like us, who haven’t ratified should ratify.”
Cheng Jingye, Director-General of the Department of Arms Control and Disarmament of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, also an Annex II country, which had signed but not ratified the CTBT, said China had consistently supported it, as well as adhered to a moratorium on nuclear tests. As a nuclear-weapon State, China had faithfully abided by its commitment to not be the first to use nuclear weapons and to unconditionally not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States or nuclear-weapon-free zones. It had never taken part in the nuclear arms race, and would not do so in the future.
Sergey Riabkov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, whose country had ratified the CTBT in 2000, called the Treaty an important link in the chain of non-proliferation and disarmament instruments, but worried that its prospects for entering into force remained unclear and were cause for concern. The future of the Treaty, in many respects, would be an indicator of the global community’s readiness to rid the world of nuclear weapons. The remaining nine States of the “list of 44” bore special responsibility for the CTBT’s future and they should act accordingly, without delay and without preconditions.
He stressed the need for all States to adhere to the letter and spirit of the Treaty before its entry into force. The Russian Federation intended to strictly observe the nuclear test moratoriums if other nuclear-weapon States did the same. But such voluntary moratoriums could not substitute the primary goal of bringing the CTBT into force as early as possible, in strict accordance with the provisions of its Article XIV. Member States’ unilateral political commitment did not compare with international legal obligations under the CTBT.
Addressing States that to date had not ratified the Treaty, and which still doubted its relevance or importance, France’s Foreign Minister and Co-Chair of the Conference, Bernard Kouchner, said the decisions made today would impact tomorrow’s global security. Thirteen years after the Treaty was first signed, its entry into force was indispensable, even more so than yesterday. He said that the nuclear testing conducted on 25 May by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had been a reminder of the urgency to adopt a legally binding standard.
France had delivered on its commitment to the Treaty and in favour of nuclear disarmament, he said. It had dismantled its nuclear testing site in the Pacific. It had also proposed an immediate moratorium on the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons, while awaiting negotiations on a Treaty that would ban their production. Four nuclear-holding States had already agreed to that type of moratorium. It was essential for the other nuclear Powers to follow suit, without ambiguity.
Indonesia was continuing consultations with all national stakeholders on the Treaty’s ratification process, its Ambassador, Marty Natalegawa said. The country was convinced of the Treaty’s value in nuclear disarmament and had no difficulty with its provisions. It had long advocated for a strict ban on all nuclear tests and held the firm view that the qualitative development of all nuclear weapons should stop, which was why it sought universal adherence to the CTBT by all nuclear-weapon States.
Also during the meeting, the Conference adopted its agenda and confirmed by acclamation the election of France and Morocco to the Conference presidency. The Foreign Ministers of those two countries ‑‑ Mr. Kouchner (France) and Taieb Fassi-Fihri (Morocco) ‑‑ took the floor to present progress reports on the work of the coordinators of the Article XIV process from September 2007 to September 2009.
Jaap Ramaker (Netherlands), speaking in his capacity as Special Representative to promote the CTBT ratification process, briefed the Conference on his activities.
Also making introductory remarks today were Sergio Duarte, the United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs; Tibor Toth, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization; and Michael Douglas, United Nations Messenger of Peace.
Statements during the exchange of views were also made by foreign ministers and senior Government officials from Sweden (on behalf of the European Union), Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Kazakhstan, Romania, Liechtenstein, Belgium, Czech Republic, Japan, Philippines, Bulgaria, Croatia, Canada, New Zealand, Hungary, Belarus, Australia, Netherlands, Slovakia, Republic of Korea, Bangladesh, Turkey, Slovenia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Peru, Italy, Switzerland, Israel and South Africa.
In addition, the representatives of Austria, Costa Rica, Norway, Uzbekistan, spoke.
The Secretary of State for Relations with States for the Holy See also made a statement.
The Conference will meet again at 10 a.m. on Friday, 25 September, to conclude its session.
The sixth Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) opened this morning, to consider progress reports on cooperation to facilitate the Treaty’s entry into force, and to hear a general exchange of views by ratifying States and State signatories, as well as by the United Nations Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Treaty, among others.
The Treaty, which was adopted in New York on 10 September 1996, constrains the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons. It also provides for the establishment of a global verification system to monitor compliance with the Treaty’s provisions. Article XIV specifies the conditions of the Treaty’s entry into force. It becomes operational 180 days after the 44 States, whose ratification is required under Annex II of the text, have ratified it. To date, 181 States have signed it and 150, including 35 of the Annex II States, have ratified it. The nine Annex II States that have not ratified the Treaty include China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States.
SERGIO DUARTE, United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, opened the Conference by saying that Austria and Costa Rica were elected to the Presidency of the 2007 Conference in Vienna and as coordinating countries of State signatories of the Treaty between the 2007 and 2009 Conferences. The concept of two countries –- one from the North and one from the South –- coordinating activities of signatory States between two consecutive Article XIV conferences had proven successful.
MICHAEL SPINDELEGGER, Foreign Minster of Austria, then took the floor to say that it was clear that the future global security system needed the CTBT as a pillar. In the past two years, Austria and Costa Rica had worked hard to gain support for the Treaty.
BRUNO STAGNO UGARTE, Foreign Minister of Costa Rica, said the CTBT must be brought into force as part of efforts to achieve a safer world. The time for equivocation and hesitation was over. The situations in Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea still comprised clear and present dangers. Some Member States had steadfastly refused to ratify the CTBT and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The CTBT must become a cornerstone of the non-proliferation regime. Without the CTBT, the NPT was incomplete. He was encouraged by United States President Barack Obama’s announcement in April that the United States was committed to working with its Congress to ratify the CTBT.
The Foreign Ministers of Austria and Costa Rica then symbolically handed over the co-presidency of the Conference to their successors, the Foreign Minsters of France and Morocco, who took a seat at the podium.
BAN KI-MOON, United Nations Secretary-General, said that today, there was a new momentum for a world free of nuclear weapons. There was a new drive for peace. Yet, that momentum was rare and needed to be seized. Noting that later today, President Obama would chair the first ever Security Council summit on nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament, he said that there was no better way to begin this historic day than by pledging to end nuclear testing. The CTBT was a fundamental building block for a world free of nuclear weapons.
Mr. Ban said that by establishing a global norm against testing, the CTBT had made a significant contribution to the world community’s efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and to promote nuclear disarmament. The time had come to strengthen that commitment by making it legally binding and universal. The Treaty’s significance had been reiterated time and time again. Of the 13 practical nuclear disarmament steps agreed at the 2000 NPT Review, the urgency of achieving the CTBT entry into force headed that list. Its operation was also a major pillar of his own five-point proposal on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
The nuclear test by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea last May had highlighted the urgency of the situation, which necessitated today’s meeting, he went on. “With all this in mind, I call on all States to sign and ratify this Treaty. I direct my call in particular to those nine States whose ratifications are required to complete the entry into force requirements.”
Pending the entry into force of the Treaty, Mr. Ban called on States to honour a nuclear-weapon test moratorium and to refrain from acts contrary to the object and purpose of the Treaty. States should not wait for the leadership of others, but should show their own leadership.
He said that the presence of United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the meeting demonstrated the United States’ commitment to work towards the Treaty’s ratification. He pledged that the United Nations would continue to work in partnership with the international community to build a nuclear‑weapon‑free world.
“Long before I became Secretary-General, these issues were of driving concern. I served as Chair of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission (Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization). I follow this closely. I care about it deeply. It is my priority,” stated Mr. Ban.
Noting that the present Conference was the sixth held to facilitate the Treaty’s entry into force, he urged the international community to work to make it the last one that would be needed. Participants must “make history by making the need for the Conference history”.
BERNARD KOUCHNER, Foreign Minister of France and Co-Chair of the Conference, said that the Treaty had been signed by 180 States and ratified by 150. The Treaty, which completely prohibited nuclear testing, had strong political support, but its entry into force did not seem imminent. Nations must have the conviction to ratify the Treaty so that it could enter force in a decisive fashion, as part of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. Addressing States that to date had not ratified the Treaty, and which still doubted its relevance or importance, he said the decisions made today would impact tomorrow’s global security. Thirteen years after the Treaty was first signed, its entry into force was indispensable, even more so than yesterday.
He said that the nuclear testing conducted on 25 May by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had been a reminder of the urgency to adopt a legally binding standard. He lauded the work of Tibor Toth, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO, for the organization’s surveillance of nuclear testing. He underscored the effectiveness of the International Monitoring System, which had detected the 25 May testing with great precision. Tomorrow, thanks to adherence to the CTBT, no State would be able to carry out nuclear testing against the wishes of the international community.
France had delivered on its commitment to the Treaty and in favour of nuclear disarmament, he said. It had dismantled its nuclear testing site in the Pacific. It had also proposed an immediate moratorium on the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons, while awaiting negotiations on a Treaty that would ban their production. Four nuclear-holding States had already agreed to that type of moratorium. It was essential for the other nuclear Powers to follow suit, without ambiguity. Advancement towards nuclear disarmament must be universal. A multilateral effort and pattern was at the heart of non-proliferation efforts. The NPT underscored that all States must make commitments to disarmament and collective security. He called on all States that had not ratified the Treaty to do so and to move forward on disarmament.
He said he was encouraged by the statement made by President Obama that he would work with the United States Congress to ratify the Treaty. He hoped that China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea would also act in favour of disarmament, in keeping with that momentum. He also lauded the commitment by the United States and the Russian Federation to reduce their strategic stockpiles, the launching of the negotiations during the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on the treaty to ban fissile material production, and preparations for the NPT Review Conference. The CTBT would reinforce the NPT; both would complement and strengthen the global security architecture. He appealed to the nine States, whose ratification was still needed for the Treaty to enter force, to take that action without delay. That would send a message of hope for a strengthened non-proliferation regime.
TAÏB FASSI FIHRI, Foreign Minister of Morocco and Co-Chair of the Conference, said that it was impossible for the international community to ignore the numerous and persistent calls for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons. In that regard, the primary responsibility to free the world from the scourge of nuclear weapons, stop nuclear proliferation, and to cease the development of nuclear programmes, lay with the nuclear-weapon Powers, without prejudice to the legitimate right of all countries to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
He said that, while the announcement by some powerful nuclear countries to renew their commitments to a world free from nuclear weapons had raised some hope, the international community expected those countries to take additional and concrete measurers to reinforce the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. Such measures would have a positive impact on the positions of those countries listed in Annex II from regions in the midst of difficult political situations. While welcoming the commitment of some countries to a voluntary moratorium on nuclear tests, the international community was convinced that those moratoriums were no substitute for the entry into force of the test-ban Treaty.
Morocco had adhered constructively to regional and international efforts aimed at the consolidation of the non-proliferation and disarmament regime, he continued. It had ratified the CTBT in 2000 and, since then, had spared no effort to expedite its entry into force and implement its important provisions, with a view to achieving international peace and security. Morocco valued highly the activities undertaken by the CTBTO and its efficient contributions to the realization of the Treaty’s objectives. Those activities were paving the way for the implementation of the Treaty once it entered force. Morocco also welcomed the work of the Preparatory Commission to consolidate the verification regime by activating the international surveillance system as a fundamental pillar. That international body had scientific and technical capacities, as well as the necessary tools to exert efficient and effective verification for the CTBT.
MICHAEL DOUGLAS, United Nations Messenger of Peace, said that as a citizen of the world he recognized with pride, the Secretary-General’s leadership in disarmament. As a citizen of the United States, he was proud and grateful to President Obama for his leadership on the CTBT. When brought into force, the CTBT would be a pillar in a safer world. He lauded Mr. Ban’s recent efforts, pointing to his statements outlining his five-point plan to achieve global nuclear disarmament and the peace bell ceremony last week during International Peace Day. Mr. Ban had reminded the world that nuclear weapons were unworthy of civilization.
In April, the United States and the Russian Federation had affirmed their commitments to work for a nuclear-weapon-free world, he said, adding that he looked forward to today’s Security Council meeting on the subject. The compass point of disarmament had been set. Bringing the CTBT into force would help move closer towards a nuclear-weapon-free world and international security. The commitment of Conference participants, in that regard, could invigorate the leadership needed now. The citizens of the world most feared the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons. Now that leaders had made clear their understanding of the risks involved and had stated forcefully the value of eliminating them, it was necessary to rally together to make those aspirations a reality.
Domestic partisan politics sometimes presented enormous challenges and preceded self-interest if countries did the same, he said. Such distortions would cause future generations to suffer. Putting the welfare of future generations first would lead to greater clarity. The CTBT was a twenty-first century tool. It was global in scope, irrespective of cold war alliances and national borders. “Hold-out States are not just refraining from the Treaty, they’re actually holding to an antiquated concept of the world,” he said, adding, “Like it or not, we are in this together.” The CTBT International Monitoring System represented the kind of architecture required to achieve a sustainable future. It was global. Like the space station, its symbolic value enhanced its physical capacity. He implored leaders to “Please put the test ban high on our agendas.” And he added, “It is a step to the future that we all know is best.”
Adoption of Declaration
After Mr. Douglas’ statement, the Conference adopted by consensus, document CTBT-Art.XIV/2009/WP.1, dated 24 August 2009, which contains its draft “Final Declaration and Measures to Promote the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty”.
Mr. Duarte noted that the text would be edited by the Secretariat to reflect the fact that on Wednesday, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines had deposited its instrument of ratification of the Treaty with the Secretary-General. The Final Declaration would be annexed to the report of the Conference, and the Conference Presidency would request the Secretary-General, as depositary of the Treaty, to forward the Declaration to all States as soon as possible.
Following adoption of the Declaration, the meeting suspended for two hours in order to observe the summit-level Security Council meeting in progress, chaired by the Presidency for the month, the United States, on the issue of nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament.
General Exchange of Views
HILLARY CLINTON, Secretary of State of the United States, said her country, which had not been represented at the Conference for a long time, was “glad to be back”. Earlier, President Obama chaired a session of the Security Council held to adopt a resolution outlining comprehensive steps to strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime. That was part of his Administration’s deliberative, ongoing effort to enhance common security, while moving closer to the vision of a world without nuclear weapons.
She said the test-ban Treaty was an integral part of the non-proliferation and arms control agenda of the United States, which would work to seek the advice and consent of its Senate to ratify the Treaty in the months ahead. It would also work to secure ratification by others, so the Treaty could enter into force. The United States believed the Treaty contributed to its global non-proliferation and disarmament strategy, as well as to President Obama’s long-range vision, without jeopardizing the safety, security or credibility of its nuclear arsenal. By supporting the Treaty, it was working in the interests of all nations committed to non-proliferation and reducing the threat of nuclear attack.
While the Obama Administration had already begun work to support United States ratification of the Treaty, that task would be neither quick nor easy, she said. But a Treaty that entered into force would permit the United States and others to challenge States engaged in suspicious testing activities, including by calling for on-site inspections, to verify that no testing had occurred on land, underground, underwater or in space. The Treaty’s ratification would also encourage the international community to move forward with other essential non-proliferation steps.
“To put it plainly, we support this Treaty because it strengthens the prospect of a peaceful, stable and secure world, and would enhance the security of the American people,” she said.
The Obama Administration, as it worked with the Senate to ratify the Treaty, would encourage other countries to play their part, including the eight remaining Annex II countries. “Those who haven’t signed should sign. Those, like us, who haven’t ratified should ratify,” she urged, adding that the 150 countries that had already ratified should continue preparations for the Treaty’s implementation.
She went on to say the United States was prepared to pay its share of the Preparatory Commission’s budget so that the global verification regime would be fully operational when the Treaty entered force. More than 80 per cent of the International Monitoring System’s stations had been installed. All host countries should ensure that the data from those installations were reported to the International Data Centre. The United States would also seek new ways to support that system, including through system upgrades. Her Government applauded the pledge of Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda that his country would ratify once the United States did so. It looked forward to similar statements from the remaining Annex II countries.
“After a 10-year absence from this conference, America stands ready to renew its leadership role in the non-proliferation regime,” she said, in closing. “We come to this Conference with an optimistic spirit that all parties can make a contribution towards a world without nuclear weapons. That is the promise of the CTBT, and it is why we are rededicating ourselves to this effort”.
CARL BILDT, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that the high profile accorded to the meeting was testament to the universally recognized importance of the CTBT as a pillar of the international security architecture. Today’s Security Council summit further highlighted the renewed sense of shared vision in the international nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament policy. The European Union Member States had demonstrated their commitment to the CTBT by signing and ratifying it. The participation, of many at the ministerial level, in this Conference was an expression of the Union’s conviction that the time had come for the world to end all nuclear explosions for good and for the Treaty ‑‑ once and for all ‑‑ to enter into force. Pending that, the Union welcomed the moratorium on nuclear test explosions, voluntarily observed by several Member States, which had not yet ratified the Treaty.
He said that the nuclear-weapon test by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in May was a grave violation of the international non-proliferation regime. The European Union strongly condemned recent actions by that country and urged it to renounce nuclear weapons and abide by its obligations under relevant Security Council resolutions. It should also return to the six-party talks without preconditions.
The European Union welcomed the announcement by the United States President that his country would pursue ratification of the Treaty and a final ban on nuclear weapons testing, he continued. The Union also commended Indonesia for its promise to follow suit and welcomed the recent commitment of China to the Treaty’s ratification. The Union recognized the role of the CTBT as one of the essential pillars in the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation framework. Its entry into force would significantly strengthen the international security architecture built upon the foundation of the NPT. The Union was confident that the cooperative atmosphere of the third NPT Preparatory Committee meeting in May, during which most States indicated support for the CTBT, would continue at the 2010 NPT Review Conference. The Union was committed to working bilaterally and multilaterally with all “ratifiers” to persuade those States that had not yet signed or ratified the Treaty of the instrument’s essential role in the field of nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation.
JEAN ASSELBORN, Vice Prime Minister of Luxembourg, noting that the CTBT had opened for signature 13 years ago, said it had come closer to ratification. He commended Liberia for recently depositing its instrument of ratification. The Conference was taking place at a pivotal moment, as there was now a real chance for the Treaty’s entry into force. A common vision was finally starting to take shape. The CTBT had become a keystone for nuclear non-proliferation. He appealed to all countries that had not yet signed or ratified the Treaty to do so as soon as possible. He pointed to United States President Obama’s speech in Prague regarding his commitment to the CTBT. The commitment of the United States and the Russian Federation to succeed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) II was a step in the right direction. He lauded the adoption in May of the Conference on Disarmament’s work programme. He hoped that work would start as soon as possible on a universal and non-discriminatory fissile material cut-off treaty.
He said that the developments towards nuclear disarmament were positive, particularly considering the upcoming NPT Review Conference in 2010. The third preparatory committee had already been imbued by a cooperative atmosphere. Recent developments in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, however, illustrated the need to implement the CTBT. Verification was essential and it depended on the success of the CTBT to end the proliferation and limit the development of new nuclear weapons. He appealed to signatory States to make all the necessary efforts to ensure that verification systems were in place.
JOHN SILK, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Marshall Islands, said that his country’s Cabinet had approved the introduction of a resolution during the current session of the national parliament seeking approval for the final ratification of the CTBT. The country anticipated the deposit of the instrument of a final ratification in the immediate future. Marshall Islands had signed the Treaty on 24 September 1996. For the people of his country, nuclear testing was not an abstract issue or a theoretical threat, but a personal experience.
Mr. Silk said that his country, as a Trust Territory under the United Nations mandate, and under the actions of its Administrator, bore witness to 67 large-scale atmospheric nuclear-weapon tests, following the Second World War. Those tests had been conducted “with the affirmation of the United Nations”, as expressed in the United Nations Trusteeship Resolution 1082 of 1954 and United Nations Trusteeship Resolution 1493 of 1956. Those resolutions promised that urgent steps would be taken to provide adequate compensation for any losses and that the Marshallese would be able to return to their homeland in one year.
He acknowledged the important steps taken since then, but stressed that the use and testing of nuclear weapons had created a burden and legacy of impacts, which had lasted generations. Those legacies on the land and health of his country had been handed down from mother to daughter and from father to son. The assurance that the Marshallese people would be fully compensated had still not been fully addressed. “As we informed the International Court of Justice in 1995, our land is our security. Yet, our communities are still in exile. No other nation carries so heavy a burden,” he said.
KANAT SAUDABAYEV, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, said 60 years ago, the former Soviet Union conducted the first test of a nuclear device at the Semipalatinsk testing ground in eastern Kazakhstan. In the course of the next 40 years, some 450 tests of more than 600 nuclear devices were conducted there, their cumulative capacity equalling that 2,500 of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima. About 1.5 million citizens of Kazakhstan had suffered from the effects of radiation, and vast territories had been exposed to radiation. On 29 august 1991, President Nursultan Nazarbayev shut down the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, which had been the world’s second largest. Also, by voluntarily renouncing the world’s fourth largest nuclear missile arsenal, his country had reaffirmed that it had opted for a nuclear-weapon-free world. And, through the years, Kazakhstan remained strongly committed to the principles of non-proliferation.
He said that an early entry into force of the CTBT would serve as a catalyst for non-proliferation and the effective implementation of the NPT. Kazakhstan welcomed the progress made by the CTBTO since 1996 and the increasing global support for the concepts of disarmament and non-proliferation. The international community needed to join efforts and convince the nine States that were yet to sign or ratify the Treaty to do so. His country was encouraged by Mr. Obama’s intention to give new impetus to that process.
Kazakhstan participated actively in the CTBTO, promoting the development of the International Monitoring System and on-site inspection techniques. The country had been able to put in place a cutting-edge national monitoring system. Five stations were functioning and had been integrated into the national monitoring system and were being used to provide a 24-hour monitoring of natural and man-made seismic events in the region. They had demonstrated high effectiveness and quality performance through their timely detection and location of the nuclear explosion carried out by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Kazakhstan meanwhile called on all States not to delay the drafting of a fissile material cut-off treaty, which would become an important step toward nuclear disarmament and prevention of proliferation of nuclear weapons. But even more decisive steps needed to be taken in the area of non-proliferation. Kazakhstan had proposed the proclamation of 29 August as the International Day for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons. On that date in 1949, the first nuclear-weapon test had been conducted in Semipalatinsk, and on that day in 1991, that site had been shut down.
CRISTIAN DIACONESCU, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Romania, said the open manner in which Heads of State and Government approached the issue of disarmament and non-proliferation in the Security Council today could have a significant, positive impact on the dynamics of related debates in other international forums. Sight should not be lost that in the operative portion of resolution 1887 (2009), the Council had called on all States to refrain from conducting nuclear test explosions and to join the CTBT, which Romania had ratified in 1999. He hoped that today’s meetings would send a strong message to all States that had not signed and ratified the Treaty to do so, thus helping to consolidate nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regimes. Universal ratification of the CTBT and completion of its verification system were paramount to achieving the NPT’s objectives and nuclear disarmament in general. It was important to send a strong message on the need to sooner, and not later, complete that already overdue procedure.
He said Romania contributed to the efforts of the CTBTO in Vienna to implement the Treaty’s verification mechanism. In that regard, the Romanian National Data Centre actively cooperated with the Vienna Secretariat in order to keep the seismic station located in Muntele Rosu up to technical and operational standards. The Romanian Centre provided the International Data Centre in Vienna with supplementary information related to locate nuclear activity in Romanian territory. The Romanian Centre also participated in verification tests of the international monitoring system network. The Romanian Centre was the only one that provided the Vienna Centre with monthly seismic bulletins, which were useful in evaluating the international monitoring system network’s detection capacity and in improving the Vienna Centre’s precision for locating nuclear activity.
The results of experiments and tests conducted at Muntele Rosu were regularly presented at the Working Group B meetings and at different international events, among them the June 2009 International Scientific Studies Conference in Vienna, he said. Strengthening the Provisional Technical Secretariat of the Preparatory Commission should be a priority for everyone. He encouraged the Conference to conclude the meeting with clear commitments towards further ratifications that would enable the Treaty’s entry into force, bringing thus a new impetus for negotiations during the 2010 NPT Review Conference.
He added that, during the summer, with the support of the Russian Federation and the United States and under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) auspices, Romania had completed the repatriation of highly enriched uranium to the Russian Federation. That had helped to increase nuclear security worldwide and had made Romania the fourteenth country from which the highly enriched spent fuel had been removed and repatriated.
AURELIA FRICK, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Liechtenstein, said that the high-level participation in today’s meeting was an expression of the positive momentum in the area of nuclear non-proliferation. It also underlined the importance given to the CTBT as a cornerstone of the international nuclear non-proliferation nuclear weapons and as the foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament. Her country believed firmly that a total ban on nuclear weapon tests would constrain the development and improvement of new nuclear weapons, thereby significantly contributing to the maintenance of international peace and security.
Noting the great strides in participation in the CTBT since its opening for signature in 1996, she called on States that had not done so to sign and ratify the Treaty, in particular those States whose ratification was necessary for the Treaty’s entry into force. Liechtenstein welcomed the renewed commitment expressed by China to ratify the Treaty, and commended the United States President for pursuing its ratification, including his pledge to work with others to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.
DIRK ACHTEN, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, said today’s meeting was very politically relevant. There was special momentum as the Security Council was addressing the same issue at the highest political level. Many leaders, including those in the current meeting, had been working patiently and arduously to promote the CTBT. Now was the time to invest in real change and to expect real progress. Next year should be the year of results. He welcomed the renewed commitment of the United States to take the CTBT ratification process further towards a final ban on nuclear-weapon testing. The United States’ participation in the Conference was very significant. China should also be lauded on its renewed expression of interest in the Treaty. That momentum should be actively encouraged, as should the belief that the Treaty’s ratification would tangibly contribute to building a safer, more secure world.
He said that such acts of political courage would inspire others, whose ratification was equally needed to bring the Treaty into force. He called for universal ratification of the CTBT and completion of its verification regime, as well as the dismantling all nuclear testing facilities in a transparent manner as soon as possible, thus making the present test moratorium of some States truly irreversible. The appeal to those States that had not yet signed and ratified the Treaty should focus on the Treaty’s benefits to the international community and on the operational capabilities of the International Monitoring System installed and managed by the CTBTO. The completion and full operational readiness of the CTBT’s unique verification system would convince everyone that the Treaty’s entry into force could and would make a real difference in security and cooperation.
The information and analysis of the CTBT verification system and its experts had provided a valuable contribution concerning the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea nuclear test earlier this year. He encouraged the Provisional Technical Secretariat to continue efforts to develop its verification tools, including by introducing and confirming new techniques. It was also necessary to move towards a robust on-site inspection regime. He expressed interest in further exploring the full potential of joint investments in the Treaty’s verification technologies and its wide international network, which offered a platform for scientific cooperation in several civilian applications. To ensure the Treaty’s viability, all must honour their financial commitments. Belgium invested more than €800,000 annually and it was resolved to maintain that level during times of great financial strain and budgetary restrictions. Belgium also took part in the Treaty’s promotional activities. All States should believe in the Treaty and contribute to its effective functioning.
SERGEY RIABKOV, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, said that his country had ratified the CTBT in 2000. That Treaty was an important link in the chain of non-proliferation and disarmament instruments. The President of Russian Federation at the Security Council meeting today had emphasized the importance of the Treaty’s entry into force. Russia looked with optimism at the positive developments in connection with the Treaty and welcomed the intention of the United States Administration to ratify it, as stated in London on 1 April in the Joint Statement of the Presidents of the two countries.
He said that the prospects for the entry into force of the Treaty, however, remained unclear and was cause for concern. The future of the Treaty, in many respects, would be an indicator of the readiness of the international community to move towards the noble goal of ridding the world of nuclear weapons. Russia believed that the remaining nine States of the so-called “list of 44” whose signature and ratification was essential for its entry into force bore special responsibility for the future of the CTBT. Those States should act accordingly, without delay and without preconditions.
His country continued to advocate for the CTBT in the United Nations, and to repeatedly stress the role and significance of the Treaty in the course of the preparatory work for the 2010 NPT Review Conference, as well in other relevant multilateral forums, he said. In April, Russia supported a non-proliferation resolution at the Inter-Parliamentary Union, with a special emphasis on the CTBT. Also, along with other participants in the 2009 Group of 8 L’Aquila Summit, it had initiated the inclusion in the statement on non-proliferation of a section on support by the G-8 of the CTBT’s early entry into force and its universalization.
He drew attention to the need for all States to adhere to the letter and spirit of the Treaty before its entry into force and, pending that, for the nuclear test moratoriums to be strictly observed. Russia intended to further comply with that commitment if other nuclear-weapon States did likewise. Those voluntary moratoriums, no matter how important however, could not substitute the primary goal, which was the earliest entry into force of the CTBT, in strict accordance with the provisions of the Treaty’s Article XIV. The unilateral political commitment of Member States did not compare to international legal obligations under the CTBT.
Russia supported the efforts of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission to establish a Treaty Verification Mechanism and it participated actively in that work, he went on. The progress in that mechanism was obvious, as more than two thirds of the international monitoring system facilities had been certified and most were already fully operational. The high-level of alert of the CTBT verification mechanism had been confirmed by its use of technical means and timely notification of States parties of the event in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on 25 May.
HELENA BAMBASOVA, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, said that her country strongly supported the CTBT, as an essential part of the international security architecture. Indeed, the urgency of its entry into force was “evermore important”. In the current security environment, the challenges were growing, but so were the opportunities. She praised the Prague speech by United States President Obama on nuclear non-proliferation, adding her hope that the new momentum would persuade even the sceptics that the CTBT was “not here to preserve the nuclear status quo”.
She strongly condemned the nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in May and deeply regretted the “downturn” of negotiations in the Korean peninsula. But the tests themselves served as a preparedness test of the Czech National Data Center (NDC) and showed a need to enhance the screening methodology used to distinguish between a small-scale nuclear explosion and an earthquake. She concluded with a call to the nine remaining Annex II countries to quickly sign and/or ratify the Treaty. “We will work on with our partners to persuade the others that the Treaty’s entry into force is in the interest of all countries,” she said.
TIBOR TOTH, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, said the attendance of so many Ministers at the meeting -– the sixth, since the Treaty’s adoption 13 years ago, aimed at accelerating its entry into force -- was a vote of confidence in the Treaty and the work of the organization. Their conviction in the value of the Treaty was the “ultimate expression of faith” in the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. It was also an expression of faith in multilateralism: “challenges which affect us all must be resolved by all of us”.
He said that, despite many direct challenges and politically difficult times, the Treaty had endured over the last decade through the momentum of support. The prospects for the Treaty’s entry into force appeared much more positive today than they had for years. The Security Council’s summit on nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament this morning sought to create a world without nuclear weapons. The draft resolution before it marked the international community’s resolve to breathe new life into the multilateral nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime by calling on all States to refrain from conducting nuclear test explosions and to join the CTBT. It brought the Treaty back to the top of the global agenda at the highest level. It was up to the Member States to translate that new momentum into concrete action.
Meanwhile, the CTBTO had built a $1 billion verification regime, he said. It translated groundbreaking science into the world’s most comprehensive verification system. Already, almost 80 per cent of the International Monitoring System’s stations were sending operational-standard data to Vienna, and the volume of data being sent had tripled during the past five years. A new global communications infrastructure, to relay that data, had been installed. Important advances in processing methods and software had also been made in all verification technologies. The test explosions by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 2006 and 2009 had challenged the system and proved its reliability and value. Coupled with on-site inspections, the Treaty’s verifiability had been enhanced. It was now a “moment for action” to reach the final destination: the entry into force of the Treaty.
THOMAS MAYR-HARTING (Austria), presenting a progress report as co‑coordinator of the team selected to promote cooperation to facilitate the Treaty’s entry into force, expressed pride that further progress had been made towards achieving global support for the CTBT. There were now a total of 181 signatures and 150 ratifications. Those were truly impressive figures. Austria and Costa Rica, as the co-coordinators, had contributed to that success. The two had stressed the Treaty’s importance in innumerable bilateral meetings conducted at all levels and they had promoted the issue in regional and international forums.
He said that it was crucial to ensure that sufficient resources were devoted to the CTBTO to complete the installation and certification of remaining monitoring stations. That required the full and generous cooperation of all States committed to the Treaty. Thirteen years after the CTBT’s adoption, it remained an integral part of the global non-proliferation and disarmament architecture. Together with the NPT, it was the foundation of the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation machinery. The 2010 NPT Review Conference would be a defining moment for sustainable global peace and he hoped that, as part of a successful “package” resulting from that Conference, a process would be launched to enable the CTBT to enter into force soon. Nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament were universally shared concerns in which each Member State was a stakeholder.
JAIRO HERNÁNDEZ-MILIÁN (Costa Rica) said discussion of the issues concerning disarmament should not be divided between North and South or East and West, but along the lines of cooperation and advancement towards achieving global security. The CTBT would complement the NPT and the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, which banned the development, production, stockpiling and use of those weapons. The CTBT required urgent ratification. Costa Rica had made every effort possible to disseminate and promote ratification of the Treaty. It had convened interviews with specialized media and officials throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, urging all States in the region to ratify it as soon as possible. Costa Rica and Austria, during meetings in the Bahamas, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, had made bold joint statements in that regard.
He said that in the past two years, there had been significant changes in the region in disarmament. In January 2008, Colombia had ratified the Treaty, bringing the total number of signatory States to 189. United States President Obama’s commitment to immediately ratify the Treaty was a good sign, as was the fact that a few days ago, the Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs had said Mr. Obama had been very clear in his intentions and that had been echoed by Senators of the United States’ two main political parties, including Senators John McCain and Richard Lugar. He reiterated Costa Rica’s readiness to provide in its foreign policy comprehensive support for the CTBT. As a State with seismic occurrences, Costa Rica had benefited greatly from the scientific activity undertaken by the seismic stations of the Treaty’s verification mechanism.
Speaking for the last time in his capacity as Special Representative to promote the ratification process of the CTBT, JAAP RAMAKER (Netherlands) recalled that presiding over the final round of the Treaty’s negotiations in 1996 had been the most rewarding experience of his career. Admittedly, there had been setbacks since then, including the shock of nuclear weapon test explosions by India and Pakistan in 1998, as well as those recently conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The rejection of the Treaty by the United States Senate in 1999 had sent shock waves around the world as well. But the international community had never given up hope, making progress in the last 10 years. The fact that the Treaty had been signed by 181 countries and ratified by 150 illustrated the undiminished importance of the Treaty to the world community.
He said that, as Special Representative, he had met with officials from Governments that had yet to sign or ratify the Treaty and seen how the international norm against nuclear weapons testing had taken root around the world. The resolution adopted in the Security Council earlier today was the most recent evidence of that. The CTBT clearly had continued viability. As powerful forces once again threw their full political weight behind the Treaty, there was no doubt: the time had come for Governments to bring their full influence to bear and bring the Treaty into reality.
Expressing gratitude to several Member States in their role as coordinating countries, as well as to various officers in the CTBTO for their support, he underlined the prospects for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, which looked brighter today than they had for many years. The growing acceptance of what had been called the “logic of zero” was encouraging. It was true that the complete elimination of nuclear weapons remained a distant dream, but the entry into force of the CTBT would be an essential step towards that.
KATSUYA OKADA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, said that since the CTBT adoption, his country had consistently appealed for its early entry into force through General Assembly resolutions on the elimination of nuclear weapons, and it had resolutely encouraged States that had not signed or ratified it to do so at the earliest possible date. Japan regretted that that the Treaty had not yet entered force. However, this year’s Conference, which was being held in the middle of a positive momentum that was stronger than ever in nuclear disarmament, had particular significance. Japan highly welcomed the return of the United States after a 10-year absence. Through the present Conference, a strong message could be sent for the Treaty’s operation.
He said that the nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in May had defied public opinion, calling for a “world without nuclear weapons”. Japan considered that nuclear weapon test a grave threat to international peace and security and strongly condemned the country for that act. Security Council resolution 1874 (2009) had called upon the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to join the CTBT at the earliest date. Japan strongly urged it to comply with Security Council resolutions and to fully implement the agreements reached in the six-party talks.
At the same time, the prohibition of nuclear tests had become a universal value. A nuclear test ban could impede the development of nuclear weapons and thereby prevent those weapons’ proliferation. Moreover, the CTBT was an essential pillar that supported the NPT regime and was a realistic and practical approach to realize a world without nuclear weapons.
Outlining Japan’s initiative to promote the CTBT entry into force, he said that his country would intensify its efforts to engage with the Annex II States. Japan planned to send special high-level envoys to the 2010 NPT Review Conference, to persuade those States to ratify the test-ban Treaty at the earliest possible date. Japan proposed that the French and Moroccan Foreign Ministers, acting as co-Chairs of the present Conference, actively engage with non-signatories and non-ratifiers, to ensure clear communication of the Conference’s joint message. Japan would continue to cooperate with the Provisional Technical Secretariat from both the financial and technical points of view. The verification system was a lifeline, and efforts should be accelerated to advance the establishment of the International Monitoring System. Japan would cooperate with States concerned by enhancing its current invitation programme for training seismological experts to monitor nuclear tests. Japan would also encourage States that had not yet installed monitoring stations under the Treaty to do so as soon as possible.
ALBERTO ROMULO, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, expressed steadfast support for the entry into force of the Treaty, which was an essential instrument for nuclear weapons control and disarmament. The high turnout of States for this historic Conference was an encouraging sign of the importance the international community was giving the Treaty. The Treaty was a potent instrument for disarmament that could stop the qualitative development of nuclear weapons. Its effectiveness lay in the universal adherence by States to its letter and intent, and he called on those States that had yet to sign it to do so without further delay. He urged signatory States to ratify it. He awaited positive action from the remaining nine “Annex II” States whose ratification would bring the Treaty into force.
Some States had pledged voluntary testing moratoriums, but they were not enough, he said. Pledges must be translated into permanent and legally binding commitments in order to send a clear message that the international community did not condone nuclear weapons’ acquisition or development. He reiterated the call for nuclear-weapon States to take meaningful strides towards disarmament. The world was at a pivotal crossroads in history, which called for a renewed sense of urgency and concrete action. The moment had come to aim for the Treaty’s early entry into force. For the CTBT objectives to be fully achieved, all countries with nuclear-weapon capability must adhere to the Treaty. Substantive progress to bring the CTBT closer to entry into force would be a welcome prelude to next May’s NPT Review Conference.
States signatories to the CTBT had made significant investments in creating a verification system mandated by the Treaty to prepare for its entry into force, he said. The Philippines had contributed in that regard by hosting three stations that were part of the International Monitoring System verification regime. In June 2007, the Philippines had hosted a regional workshop to promote signature and ratification of the Treaty among countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
MILEN LYUTSKANOV, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, said that the CTBT was one of the key elements to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and to encourage international disarmament. It represented a milestone in the efforts to prohibit nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosion in any environment, and thus contributed effectively to the prevention of nuclear proliferation. Combating terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction were among Bulgaria’s foreign policy priorities. The country strongly believed that world peace and security would be further strengthened by a more effective and efficient international regime. The CTBT entry into force at the earliest possible date was, therefore, of particular importance to Bulgaria.
He said that his country, being among the 44 countries whose signature and ratification were required for the Treaty’s entry into force, had been among the first to meet that obligation in 1999. He regretted that there were still some Annex II States which had neither signed nor ratified the Treaty, and appealed to those countries to do so without delay.
GORDAN JANDROKOVIĆ, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Croatia, said the Conference was taking place in a symbolic context. Thirteen years ago today, the CTBT was opened for signature. It has since been ratified by 150 countries. He welcomed the recent announcements by China and Indonesia concerning their commitment to the CTBT. The Security Council meeting taking place today was further testament to the importance attached to a world free of nuclear weapons. Croatia had participated in conferences facilitating the Treaty’s entry into force. As a non-permanent member of the Council, Croatia had worked on to prevent illegal nuclear weapon testing and on verification.
He said that the NPT process occurring in parallel was already showing signs of strengthening. Hopefully, that momentum would be maintained. The CTBT had been seriously challenged in the past year, but its verification regime had been effective in preventing a nuclear explosion, and he welcomed the strengthening of the verification regime’s infrastructure. Croatia would contribute towards achieving that goal.
LAWRENCE CANNON, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada, regretted that the renewed interest in achieving the entry into force of the CTBT was not the only reason that the international community had been devoting attention to the issue of nuclear testing. In May, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had conducted its second nuclear test explosion in defiance of Security Council resolutions and the norm espoused by all CTBT signatories against further nuclear‑weapon tests. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper had condemned that country’s nuclear-weapons programme as “a grave threat to international security”. Despite the tension and concern that that test had caused, comfort could be taken in that the CTBT’s robust verification system again showed its effective detection capability. Furthermore, the CTBTO again displayed its expertise and maturity in providing State signatories with data products and timely briefings. Canada believed that once the Treaty entered force, those detection capabilities would be further improved with the capacity to conduct on-site inspections.
He said his country was host to 16 stations and laboratories, which were part of the International Monitoring System, including at least one station from each of the four main detection technologies. The radionuclide monitoring station located in Sidney, British Columbia, was scheduled to be certified by the CTBTO at the end of this month, completing the construction and certification of the monitoring stations hosted by Canada. It was vital that all the stations that were part of that system be completed to ensure that no part of the world was left uncovered by it.
MURRAY MCCULLY, Minister for Foreign Affairs of New Zealand, said his country had a proud record of working to eliminate nuclear weapons and end testing and was firmly committed to the CTBT. Only nine ratifications were needed for the CTBT entry into force. He welcomed United States President Obama’s statement of intent. A nuclear-weapon-free world remained the ultimate goal. It was not unattainable, and the CTBT was a fundamental part of that process, as it made clear that the development of new nuclear weapons was unacceptable. The nuclear non-proliferation regime was confronted by many challenges. The nuclear testing of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea earlier this year was all the more reason to redouble efforts and to ratify the Treaty without delay.
He added that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea test also served to highlight the important role of the International Monitoring System regime. The build-up of that system had been a key priority for New Zealand. The CTBT already contributed to global security. Its early entry into force would contribute even more. He called for its immediate entry into force.
PETER BALAZS, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Hungary, said that the underground nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on 25 May underlined not only the urgency of entry into force of the CTBT, but also the need for the rapid completion of the International Monitoring System of the CTBTO. Note should be taken of the progress achieved by the Preparatory Commission, whose development offered a realistic perspective for an effective verification regime in place by the time the Treaty entered force. He hoped that the monitoring system would continue to provide scientific and civilian benefits, including the early detection of tsunamis and other natural disasters.
He said his country believed that the Preparatory Commission, in order to fulfil its mandate, needed both the political and financial support of the international community. Member States should maintain and, where possible, increase their assistance to the Commission. Hungary was committed to continue rendering personal and financial assistance to the CTBT. It urged the States that had not yet done so to ratify the CTBT without delay and without preconditions. The existing moratorium on nuclear test explosions was an important measure which should be maintained, but in view of recent actions by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, that moratorium could not be a long-term alternative to the ratification and entry into force of the CTBT.
SERGEI MARTYNOV, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Belarus, fully endorsed the draft final declaration. From the beginning, a trustworthy system for verification had been established, which provided objective and accurate information to Member States. Indeed, the Provisional Technical Secretariat had acquired profound scientific and technical expertise. Although the Treaty was approaching universal status, it had been unable to achieve its principal goal of completely prohibiting the explosion of all nuclear devices. He expressed regret at the nuclear test carried out in May by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in breach of United Nations Security Council resolution 1718 (2006). That seriously damaged international initiatives on securing the nuclear arms non-proliferation regime. He hoped that that country would abide by Council decisions and refrain from actions that threatened peace and security in the region.
He further hoped that those regrettable events would foster concrete measures from the international community aimed at strengthening the NPT, based on global security systems that ensured the interests of both nuclear- and non-nuclear-weapon States. He particularly stressed the responsibility of nuclear‑weapon States. He remained convinced that the signing and ratification of the CTBT, along with other steps towards nuclear disarmament, would promote mutual confidence among States and strengthen the non-proliferation regime.
As a party to the Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START), which would expire in December, he welcomed the intentions of the Russian Federation and the United States to negotiate further cuts in those arms and conclude a new, legally binding agreement. Belarus’ membership in START and its decision to accede to the NPT as a non-nuclear-weapon State were interrelated. The decisions of the last decade of the twentieth century, both preceding the indefinite extension of the NPT and inspired by that event, should be fulfilled unconditionally. The CTBT would undoubtedly hold a central place among such agreements.
STEPHEN SMITH, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia, said Australia had a long and proud association with the CTBT. It had played an active role in negotiating it in the Conference on Disarmament and taking it to the General Assembly after negotiations had faltered. It had also been one of first States to sign it. Nuclear non-proliferation remained a priority for Australia, as did strongly supporting the Treaty. But nine of the 44 Annex II States had yet to ratify it. He welcomed United States President Obama’s commitment that that country would move forward with ratification, as that would be a profound step towards its entry into force.
He said that leaders must not lose sight, however, of the fact that the United States was only one of nine remaining Annex II States whose ratification was still needed for the Treaty’s entry into force. It was imperative that States yet to sign and ratify the Treaty do so, and he called upon all States to join the growing consensus to enshrine voluntary bans on nuclear testing. He welcomed yesterday’s decision by Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to ratify the Treaty. With more than 80 per cent of the International Monitoring System stations up and running, much had been achieved. Even before the system was complete, it had demonstrated the ability to operate effectively. But success to date should not lead to complacency. More stations must be created, as should the capability to conduct on-site inspections. Australia had a leading role in on-site inspections.
MAXIME VERHAGEN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, associating himself with the statement made on behalf of the European Union, said he recognized the growing momentum for disarmament and non-proliferation since President Obama’s call for a nuclear-weapon-free world and his pledge that the United States would take concrete steps towards that goal. Mr. Obama’s chairing of the Security Council meeting this morning was another indication that serious work was being done in that regard, and he urged the international community not to let that opportunity go to waste. Indeed, acting now was in the interests of all of the world’s people. The danger posed by nuclear weapons had become more complex, as more countries had those weapons or were trying to develop them than when the NPT was signed in 1968.
He singled out Iran’s refusal to comply with international requirements, including those of the IAEA, as well as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s recent nuclear test, as actions which threatened international peace. The response was to make the legally binding system of international agreements and their compliance and enforcement mechanisms more effective. Noting that the NPT was at the heart of non-proliferation and disarmament efforts, he said that next year’s Review Conference must lead to concrete proposals for international action. He also stressed the need to negotiate a fissile material cut-off treaty in the Conference on Disarmament. The NPT, the CTBT and the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty were mutually reinforcing. “If you view the NPT as a house”, he proffered, “the FMCT (Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty) is bound to strengthen its foundations, and the CTBT serves as its roof”.
He said he was more optimistic now about the possibility of the CTBT entering into force. Since the last Article XIV Conference, five additional States had ratified the Treaty, including Colombia, an Annex II State, and eight more States had signed. Nine States were still needed for the Treaty to enter force, and he urged all concerned to “live up to their moral responsibility and take that crucial step”. He was convinced that ratification by the United States would persuade others to follow suit, as China and Indonesia indicated they would. Expanding the verification network would also persuade States to comply.
MIROSLAV Lajčak, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Slovakia, said that his country recognized the CTBT as a crucial instrument of the non-proliferation regime, essential for maintaining and strengthening global security. He called on all States, especially those remaining Annex II countries to ratify the Treaty, without delay. Slovakia welcomed the renewed commitment of the United States’ Administration to pursue ratification. That development created an important momentum. His country also recognized the encouraging signs that some Annex II countries might soon follow and he invited the others to do so as well.
He condemned the nuclear test announced by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in May. That was a grave violation of the non-proliferation regime and threatened international peace and security. On the other hand, it demonstrated the urgent need for putting the CTBTO and its full verification regime in place. Slovakia recognized the central role of that regime and its various components for securing the attainment of the Treaty’s objectives. His country continued to contribute to building that verification regime, particularly by hosting various CTBTO exercises in its territory. In that regard, an on-site Inspection Noble Gas Field Operations Test (NG09) would take place in Slovakia in October. That exercise would provide a valuable opportunity to re-evaluate, under field conditions, the suitability of several mobile noble gas measurement systems and corresponding auxiliary and support equipment and provide input towards further development of related standard operating procedures.
YU MYUNG-HWAN, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea, said that, having taken the decision in 1996 to strengthen international peace and security through a nuclear-weapon test ban, his country urged many States to ratify the Treaty. Ratification by the nine Annex II States was prerequisite to the Treaty’s enforcement. While the last decade had seen deadlocks in the dialogue on international disarmament and non-proliferation, there were now constructive initiatives being advanced, such as the Secretary‑General’s five-point proposal for nuclear disarmament, and the vision of the United States President for a world free of nuclear weapons.
He noted the momentum created by a series of disarmament and non‑proliferation events: the meeting today of leaders of Security Council member States to discuss the issue; next year’s NPT Review Conference in New York, for which there were heightened expectations for a breakthrough; and the proposal by the United States for a nuclear security summit. And, he called on the States that had not signed or ratified the CTBT, particularly the nine Annex II nations, to seize the moment to do so without further delay.
As an original signatory to the CTBT, the Republic of Korea had been actively involved in promoting the Treaty’s early entry into force, he said. Welcoming progress in the verification system, he noted that almost 83 per cent of the International Monitoring System (IMS) stations envisaged by the Treaty had been installed and, in line with that effort, the Korean Seismic Research Station was now fully operational, thereby making a meaningful contribution to the system’s proper functioning.
He expressed deep concern over the recent nuclear tests by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Those were not only a blatant violation of relevant Security Council resolutions, but were also a defiant challenge to the international non-proliferation regime. Furthermore, that country was refusing to participate in the six-party talks and had announced, in a recent letter to the Security Council, that it had reached the final phase of reprocessing spent fuel rods and planned to make the plutonium extracted from them usable for weapons. He called on that country to promptly return to the six-party talks, abandon any further attempt to pursue nuclear weapons and join the CTBT as soon as possible.
DOMINIQUE MANBERTI, Secretary of State for Relations with States, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, said the implementation of general and complete disarmament was an integral step towards creating a real culture of life and peace. The CTBT could provide a stronger foundation towards that culture. The world was no longer convinced that nuclear testing would create intelligent nuclear weapons, given the risks that such tests caused the non-proliferation regime. Pope Benedict XVI had said that without trust, there could be no social responsibility. That lack of trust led to social degradation, especially in times of difficulty, as was the case now.
He said it was the international community’s responsibility to ban nuclear tests, and to effectively and firmly promote nuclear disarmament. Indeed, the CTBT entry into force would help prevent future disasters, which was vital for true comprehensive human development. He urged its earliest possible entry into force. The 2010 NPT Review Conference and the process of universal ratification of the CTBT were important indicators in the creation of a climate of confidence.
DIPU MONI, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Bangladesh, noted that it had been more than 12 years since her country had signed the CTBT. She called on all Member States, particularly those listed in Annex II of the Treaty, to take immediate measures for its entry into force. When the right political conditions prevailed, it was important to seize the opportunity to make progress. The Conference was taking place at an opportune time, given the statements of commitment that had been made by several important countries. However, those needed to be translated into practical actions.
She said that the CTBT, by banning all nuclear tests and explosions, limited the further sophistication of existing weapons and the development of new ones. That Treaty, together with the NPT, formed two important pillars of the non-proliferation and disarmament regime. Bangladesh was constitutionally committed to disarmament and had consciously and unconditionally opted to be nuclear-weapon free. However, it believed in the peaceful use of nuclear energy under the safeguard of IAEA protocols. Its actions in that regard were a tangible expression of its commitment to nuclear non-proliferation. Bangladesh also believed that nuclear testing of any kind undermined international efforts aimed at nuclear disarmament and constituted a threat to international peace and security. She called for the ratification of the CTBT by the remaining Annex II States.
Bangladesh welcomed the establishment of the nuclear-weapon-free zone in its region, she continued. It also supported the establishment of such regimes in other parts of the world in the belief that those contributed to regional peace. The absolute guarantee against the use of nuclear weapons, however, could be ensured only through their total elimination. Banning nuclear explosions would save the earth from catastrophic health hazards, while having nuclear weapons was a recipe for self-destruction.
UNAL CEVIKOZ, Deputy Undersecretary Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey, said the global political momentum focusing on nuclear disarmament was having positive repercussions for the Treaty’s entry into force. He lauded the United States Government’s presence in the Conference and its intention to seek ratification of the Treaty in the United States Congress. That positive step encouraged everyone to secure the Treaty’s early entry into force. He also lauded China’s recent renewed commitment to that goal. The adoption of a work programme in the Conference on Disarmament also created hope that the CTBT would be ratified and that a fissile material cut-off treaty would be negotiated. The improved atmosphere during the Preparatory Committee of the 2010 NPT Review Conference was a sign of the willingness to achieve a meaningful outcome during that review.
He said that the commitment by the two major nuclear Powers to negotiate a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty by year’s end was remarkable. There was profound reason to bolster efforts to achieve the CTBT’s early entry into force. He called for promoting the CTBT’s essential role in curbing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and advancing nuclear disarmament, thus contributing significantly to international peace and security. Its entry into force would strengthen the international security architecture built upon the foundation of the NPT. He stressed the need to strive for a credible, operational verification system, pointing to the successful technical work of the Provisional Technical Secretariat during the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009. Those events showed the value of the verification system and its detection capabilities. It was important for State signatories to continue to work with the Secretariat to maintain progress in building up that system.
SAMUEL ZBOGAR, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia, said that the CTBT was a fundamental legal instrument in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Slovenia believed that a legally binding prohibition of nuclear weapons test explosions and any other nuclear explosions, as well as a credible verification regime were of vital importance. All States, therefore, should dismantle their nuclear testing sites, in a transparent and open manner.
He said his country attached the greatest importance to the CTBT’s early entry into force and completion of its verification regime. It, therefore, reiterated the call on all States, particularly, the “Annex II” countries, to sign and ratify the Treaty, without delay and preconditions. All countries should abide by the moratorium on nuclear testing and refrain from any action contrary to the obligations and provisions of the CTBT, regardless of its current status.
The announcement by United States President Obama that his country was moving forward with the test-ban Treaty’s ratification was extremely encouraging, he said. There had also been other positive signals that spoke of renewed momentum in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, which gave hope for a positive outcome of the conference.
VOLODYMYR KHANDOGIY, Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, said that in the 13 years after the CTBT was opened for signature, it still had not entered into force, and he thus called upon the remaining Annex II States to sign and ratify the Treaty. The nuclear-weapon States held special responsibilities, and with the recent participation of the new United States Administration, an important step had been taken towards operationalizing the Treaty. Pending that, however, he urged all States to maintain the moratorium on nuclear test explosions and to refrain from any action contrary to the Treaty.
He said that international security and stability depended on the prevention of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the development of new nuclear weapons and technologies. Ukraine was convinced that an effective multilateral approach towards security ensured global safety. The recent nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea illuminated the need for the CTBT to become operational. Towards that goal, the International Monitoring System and the development of the on-site inspection regime needed full support. He also encouraged the exploration of ways the CTBT verification system could contribute to the tsunami warning systems and other disaster alert systems.
Support for the Treaty’s operation would expand by implementing regional seminars, initiating bilateral and joint outreach efforts and dissemination relevant information to increase understanding of the Treaty, while demonstrating the benefits of the civil and scientific applications of the verification technologies. Those steps, along with legal assistance to States to accomplish national implementation, would promote the instrument’s entry into force.
IVAN LEWIS, Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, said that his country was determined to work towards a world without nuclear weapons. That was one of the reasons that it remained a staunch supporter of the CTBT, to which the Prime Minister had attested most recently in “The Road to 2020” plan in July. The United Kingdom also strongly supported the continued development of the Treaty’s global verification regime. The international community had recently seen the current -- and ever improving -– capability of that monitoring System with the detection of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s underground nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.
He added that the international monitoring system provided not only a vital technical backbone to the Treaty’s verification regime in conjunction with on-site inspections, but also a wider deterrence against States believing that they could clandestinely and qualitatively improve their nuclear weapons through nuclear explosive testing. He called on other States that shared the vision of a world without nuclear weapons and the commitment to the goals of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament to support the CTBT. The few remaining Annex II countries should also recognize the Treaty as a tangible opportunity to advance the cause, and sign and ratify it without delay.
LUZMILA ZANABRA, Under-Secretary-General for Multilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru, said her country had been an early promoter of the first nuclear-weapon-free zone because it was convinced that peace and peaceful coexistence was the basis for respect for international law, the peaceful resolution of conflicts and mutual trust between States. Peru had been the first Latin American country to have ratified the CTBT and the second Annex II country to have done so. It had also adhered to all relevant international instruments on non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament and it had installed auxiliary seismic stations as part of the CTBT International Monitoring System. For Peru, the Treaty was a key instrument to reduce nuclear weapons and prevent nuclear proliferation. The path towards making that Treaty universal was showing progress. But more efforts were needed, as was a willingness to promote the necessary measures for its entry into force.
She said that strengthening multilateralism should improve conditions for launching a new period in disarmament. Achieving some progress in the medium-term would avoid the need to use financial resources that should, instead, be used to fight poverty and the impact of the international economic and financial crisis. Many States were committed to work for the Treaty’s prompt entry into force and, in the meantime, to maintain unilateral moratoriums on nuclear testing. She welcomed the recent announcement by one of the nuclear Powers to conclude the process of ratifying the Treaty, and hoped that the move would encourage other States, particularly Annex II countries, to do the same. The Treaty established a complex verification system. Many States required technical assistance to identify the concrete benefits of the Treaty, and she asked that such cooperation and assistance be provided to them.
VINCENZO SCOTTI, Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Italy, said his Government was determined to help universalize the nuclear test ban through overcoming the current stalemate. Under Italy’s chairmanship of the G-8 this year, a statement on non-proliferation had been adopted by leaders at the L’Aquila summit. He hoped that G-8 leaders would intensify their efforts towards the CTBT’s entry into force, as the Treaty was a pillar of non-proliferation and would make it more difficult for States and terrorists alike to reach the threshold of military nuclear capability. It would also make it more difficult to develop more advanced nuclear weapons.
He said that the voluntary moratorium on test explosions had to become permanent, legally binding and effectively verifiable. Towards that goal, his country actively participated at the national level in the International Monitoring System and had expanded its national structure to support the CTBT’s implementation. It had also organized international events to promote the Treaty’s operation. He strongly condemned the nuclear test announced by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in May and said that required a firm reaction. Countries that posed particular difficulties in regard to the CTBT required special efforts, in order to overcome obstacles through patient dialogue and balanced initiatives. The ratification of the Treaty by the United States and other key countries was also important to the success of the whole process. Finally, he lent support to the final declaration, which had been proposed.
CHENG JINGYE, Director-General of the Department of Arms Control and Disarmament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, delivered a statement on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the China. He said that the conclusion of the CTBT had been a milestone in the history of international security, arms control and disarmament and a positive step towards the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. In the past 13 years, the purposes and objectives of the Treaty had received broad international recognition. Under the new circumstances, facilitating its early entry into force was of high practical significance to the advancement of nuclear disarmament, prevention of the proliferation of nuclear weapons and maintenance of world peace and security.
He said that China was a constant supporter of the Treaty and abided by its commitment to a moratorium on nuclear tests. As one of the first signatories to the Treaty, China had voted in favour of all relevant General Assembly resolutions on the Treaty and had participated in the work of the Preparatory Commission in an active and constructive way. As a nuclear-weapon State, China faithfully abided by its commitment that it would not be the first to use nuclear weapons and that it would unconditionally not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States or nuclear-weapon-free zones. It had also never taken part in any form of nuclear arms race, and would not do so in the future. China would continue to make its own relentless efforts to achieve the noble goal of the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons.
MONA JUUL (Norway) said that the goals of the CTBT were longstanding objectives of Norway’s foreign policy. The need to find a common approach to the nuclear threat and to conclude a legally binding and comprehensive ban on nuclear testing was crucial to preventing a new generation of nuclear weapons. Since the last Article XIV conference in 2007, eight more States had signed the CTBT and five more had ratified it, including an Annex II State. She encouraged the remaining Annex II States to also ratify the Treaty.
She heralded the leadership role of the United States towards achieving the Treaty’s entry into force, as well as the positive signals from China and Indonesia towards ratification. However, in the interim, she called upon Member States to uphold the existing norm of non-testing. The recent May testing by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had been a serious violation of that norm, and she urged that country to return to the six-party talks as soon as possible. In that regard, she commended the work by Provisional Technical Secretariat Ambassador Tibor Toth, and noted that the International Monitoring System had proved its metal with its response to the recent nuclear test. That had clearly illustrated the need for political and financial support of the CTBTO, so that the system could be completed.
She concluded by discussing the additional steps needed to ensure a world free of nuclear weapons, including deeper cuts in nuclear arsenals, a legally binding ban on the production of fissile material for weapons purposes and an effective approach to existing stocks of fissile material, as well as establishing regional nuclear-weapon-free zones and reducing the operational status of deployed nuclear weapons. With all that in mind, she reaffirmed Norway’s commitment to do its best towards creating a world where the use of nuclear power was solely for peaceful purposes and the benefit of mankind.
MURAD ASKAROV (Uzbekistan) expressed hope that today’s Security Council resolution and United States President Obama’s leadership would give new impetus to effective international engagement on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. Giving an example of effective action in that context, he described the nascence of the nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia, established by States in the region, supported by international organizations and first announced by the Uzbek President in 1993. The resulting treaty entered force on 21 March.
He supported the establishment of new nuclear-weapon-free zones in other regions, believing that such a “noble act of international cooperation” would further regional and global security. It was important that the expansion of such zones proceeded under United Nations auspices, and that the Organization actively encouraged the inclusion of non-nuclear-weapon States in the process. The zones had become one of the most effective ways to limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons and to deal with past and potential nuclear disasters.
ALEXANDRE FASEL, Chief of the Multilateral Division of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, expressed hope that the Treaty would soon have the necessary ratifications needed for its entry into force. Switzerland had acceded to the Treaty and it hoped other countries would follow suit. He encouraged States that had not yet done so to sign and ratify it as soon as possible. The rapid engagement in disarmament and the commitment to the CTBT of the Obama Administration could lead to ratification by other States, including Annex II countries. He called on all countries to maintain a moratorium on nuclear testing. The new hope must not be followed by disappointment. Countries that had ratified the CTBT should convince others to follow suit.
MARTY NATALEGAWA (Indonesia) said that nuclear disarmament was one of the top international challenges, and his Government shared the deep concern over the profusion of weapons of mass destruction and the proliferation of missiles. It attached high priority to international efforts to strengthen the disarmament and non-proliferation regime and the early entry into force of the CTBT as an important step in that direction.
He said Indonesia had long been an advocate of a strict ban on all nuclear tests. The country firmly believed that the qualitative development of all nuclear weapons should stop, and it, therefore, sought universal adherence to the CTBT, first and foremost, by all nuclear-weapon States. Such action would be an excellent first step towards a world of “zero” nuclear weapons. In Indonesia, the ratification process of the CTBT was continuing, with consultations with all national stakeholders. The country had no difficulty with the provisions of the Treaty. On the contrary, it was convinced of its value in promoting nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Indonesia had supported the indefinite extension of the NPT in 1995 on the understanding that States parties would work to strengthen the review process towards ending nuclear tests and reducing their nuclear stockpiles, and that they would support the implementation of nuclear-weapon-free zones. The CTBT had been a direct result of those agreements.
Also at that 1995 Conference, the nuclear-weapon States had agreed not to conduct nuclear testing, which had been reflected in the conclusion of the CTBT the following year, he recalled. The crucial support of the non-nuclear-weapon States for the NPT’s indefinite extension was given on the basis of other decisions and resolutions reached at the review, including the commitments of the nuclear-weapon States. Given their particular status and responsibilities, their positive and concrete decisions would accelerate progress towards the entry into force of the CTBT, helping build momentum for the remaining countries in Annex II of the CTBT to follow suit. Indonesia was encouraged by the United States’ pledge to immediately pursue ratification of the CTBT. That had brightened the prospects for the CTBT.
Meanwhile, he said his country had enjoyed excellent cooperation with the CTBTO and had worked with the Provisional Technical Secretariat to carry out necessary technical work and to subsequently certify stations. The seismic network and installations had been completed and six auxiliary seismological stations had been placed in different locations in Indonesia, with the help of the CTBTO’s technical expertise.
DAVID DANIELI, Deputy Director General of Policy of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, reiterated Israel’s unequivocal support for the CTBT and its active participation in many activities of the Preparatory Commission. Since the last Conference, it had registered an improved capacity of International Monitoring System stations, International Data Centre capabilities and on-site inspections. But several gaps had to be bridged as the Treaty strove to move expeditiously towards entry into force. There was a need for a universal commitment not to carry out a nuclear test explosion or other nuclear explosion. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s 25 May nuclear explosion was an ominous reminder that the concerted will of many was not enough to enforce that norm and to respond collectively in an unambiguous manner. Israel was encouraged by the firm position of the Obama Administration to ban nuclear weapons testing.
He said that efforts should be redoubled to complete the CTBT verification regime to the level needed for its entry into force. That included efforts related to technologies and techniques, procurement of on-site testing equipment, training of on-site inspectors, completion of a draft of the On-site Inspection Operational Manual and the build-up of on-site inspection infrastructure. There was an urgent need to complete all International Monitoring System stations in accordance with the CTBT, their operation and maintenance and transmission of their data to the International Data Centre. The focus should now be on major gaps in the system, especially in the Middle East, which currently lacked an adequate level of coverage. Until the system was in place, measures to strengthen its capability, including the temporary operation of auxiliary seismic stations as primary ones, must be installed. He also stressed the importance of completing and testing the Data Centre’s capabilities and of preparing the structure and procedures of the Technical Secretariat so that it could function efficiently and fulfil its duties upon the Treaty’s entry into force.
Israel had supported the CTBT in many meaningful ways, he said. It had actively supported creation of the Treaty’s verification regime, as it was a main requirement for the Treaty’s entry into force and also out of genuine concern over the poor coverage of the system in the Middle East. Israel had built and certified two auxiliary seismic stations in Meron and Eilat, as required by the Treaty. Nuclear and other security issues could only be realistically addressed within a regional context. In recent years, the international community had witnessed growing threats and challenges to the non-proliferation regime from within the Middle East region, including alarming calls by some in the region against Israel’s existence. Notwithstanding the region’s current political realities, Israel had continued to contribute to global non-proliferation through its policy of responsible behaviour and restraint in the nuclear domain.
XOLISA MABHONGO, Chief Director, Political Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, said that the common objective of a world free of nuclear weapons was being impeded by the non-entry into force of the CTBT. South Africa was encouraged by recent developments and by the statement by United States President Obama that his Administration would move towards ratification. Immediate action was required to bring about the Treaty’s entry into force. The international community could not allow the important investment that had been made in that Treaty to be wasted. In that regard, the remaining Annex II countries, whose signature and ratification were required for the Treaty to come into effect, should sign and ratify the instrument without delay.
Mr. Mabhongo called on all States to continue the moratorium that had been placed on nuclear testing. His country, however, held the view that, although that moratorium was a positive step, its implementation did not have the same binding authority that the CTBT would have when it came into force.
He added that, with entry into force of the Africa Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty, Africa had achieved the goal of making the continent nuclear-weapon-free. That Treaty prohibited testing of any nuclear device on the continent. He pledged that his country would continue to work with States in the region and internationally to bring about the CTBT’s entry into force.
* *** *For information media • not an official record