|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Putting End to Nuclear Explosions One of Longest Standing Goals of United Nations,
Says Secretary-General, at Exhibition on Test-Ban Treaty
Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks on opening the exhibition “Putting an End to Nuclear Explosions”, in New York, 4 May:
As the Depository of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, as a former Chair of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO (Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization), and as Secretary-General of the United Nations, I am pleased to take part in this opening.
“Putting an End to Nuclear Explosions”is more than the name of this exhibition -- it is one of the longest standing goals of the United Nations.
This exhibition comes at a critical time. The international community has just begun its five-year review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty -- the NPT.
The NPT is the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime. And the CTBT is a fundamental pillar. They are mutually reinforcing and inseparable.
Visitors to this exhibition will learn more about the significant accomplishments of the CTBT Organization and the depth of support the treaty has earned worldwide.
They will also gain a greater understanding of the tremendous technical means used by the CTBTO to verify compliance with the treaty.
Many will be surprised by the global scope of monitoring facilities -- now numbering well over 300 -- which are supported by its International Data Centre in Vienna. The Organization also has the authority to conduct on-site inspections.
Just one month ago, I was in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan. I stood at Ground Zero, the site of 450 nuclear explosions during the cold war years.
Kazakhstan not only ended nuclear testing, it banished nuclear weapons altogether.
For decades, the country Kazakhstan bore the devastating brunt of nuclear weapons.
Today, it stands as a symbol of disarmament -- and a safer, more secure future.
In August, I will visit Hiroshima, Japan, and join with so many others in a global call for a world free of nuclear weapons.
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is part of the foundation to building that world.
This is why I included the entry into force of the CTBT as part of my five-point nuclear disarmament proposal.
Over 180 countries have become signatories. Over 150 countries have ratified it.
Today, we have more good news. Foreign Minister [Marty M.] Natalegawa, I want to salute your Government’s announcement that Indonesia will ratify the CTBT. What a wonderful way to open this exhibition. Thank you for your leadership.
With Indonesia’s action, only eight more ratifications are needed.
As I said yesterday at the opening of the NPT Review Conference, I believe that the time has come to think very seriously about setting a timeframe for ratification. We need to consider an alternate mechanism that might get us there.
I encourage you to join me in pressing for entry into force without further delay.
Once again, my thanks to all those who put this exhibition together.
Thank you for sharing so vividly the hard work of so many around the world to put an end to nuclear explosions.
Let us pledge to join together -- someday soon -- for another exhibition, an exhibition to celebrate the entry into force of this historic treaty, and our entry into a safer, more secure world for all.
Thank you very much.
* *** *For information media • not an official record