Nuclear Testing on Korean Peninsula in May Demonstrated Success of Test-Ban Treaty’s Monitoring System, Say Speakers as Two-Day Conference Concludes
Nuclear Testing on Korean Peninsula in May Demonstrated Success of Test-Ban Treaty’s Monitoring System, Say Speakers as Two-Day Conference Concludes
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Conference on Comprehensive
3rd Meeting (AM)
Nuclear Testing on Korean Peninsula in May Demonstrated Success of Test-Ban
Treaty’s Monitoring System, Say Speakers as Two-Day Conference Concludes
Far-Reaching Detection Network Deemed Treaty’s ‘Biggest Asset’, by Delegates
Urging Ratification by Remaining Nine States Needed for Treaty’s Entry into Force
Highlighting the importance of verification in “giving teeth” to disarmament and non-proliferation agreements, speakers today praised the effectiveness demonstrated by the nuclear test-ban Treaty’s International Monitoring System (IMS), as they concluded their conference aimed at promoting the Treaty’s entry into force.
Wrapping up the high-level meeting -- the sixth so far -- to garner support for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), speakers for the second day here at United Nations Headquarters brought a renewed sense of urgency to their calls on the remaining 9 countries whose ratification is among 44 specifically required to trigger the Treaty’s entry into force -- to take the necessary action. Undeniably, the Treaty was a big step towards the ultimate goal of eliminating nuclear weapons, they said, but even before its entry into force, it boasted a sophisticated global monitoring system, which had already proven its worth.
While the provocative nuclear test carried out by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in May had highlighted yet again the urgency of having a test-ban treaty in force at the earliest opportunity, said Peter Power, Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland, one positive outcome had been the demonstration of the considerable progress that had been made by the IMS as an effective and reliable means of verification with the provisions of the CTBT. That development should help to reassure those who had expressed concern about the efficacy of the system, he added.
Describing that system as one of the CTBT’s biggest assets, Onon Sodov, Director-General of the Department of International Organizations in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, agreed that it had proved itself when it provided accurate and timely findings and analysis of the nuclear tests by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Apart from the main mission to monitor the globe for nuclear explosions, verification data and technologies generated by monitoring stations under that system had also proven useful for broader civil and scientific applications. That was particularly relevant for mitigating tsunami consequences and might prove useful for earthquake early warnings, since seismic technology might help to acquire and disseminate data regarding potential earthquakes and thereby save human lives.
Juan Manuel Gomez Robledo, Deputy Foreign Minister for Multilateral Affairs of Mexico, said that, in addition to proving effective in addressing the case of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the international verification mechanism had also helped with disaster warnings. Mexico had contributed to the international verification system by installing and transmitting data in real time from its own monitoring stations to the International Data Centre. He expressed hope that the station in the Mexican state of Baja California would receive certification, so that it could begin transmitting data to the Centre in Vienna.
Other speakers stressed the importance of regional efforts in achieving nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and of the cessation of nuclear weapons testing as underpinning that process, if not propelling it. Nigeria’s Ambassador, Bukun-Olu Onemola, and the Chief of Staff of the First Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Spain, Juan Sell, welcomed the entry into force of the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (Treaty of Pelindaba) on 15 July.
Algeria’s Ambassador, Mohammed Belaoura, said that that the Pelindaba Treaty was a concrete contribution to worldwide peace and security. He added that the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East was a priority objective of the international community and said that the difficulty in the realization of that objective was a source of ongoing concern, particularly considering the sensitive situation and the tensions in that region.
The Permanent Representative of Egypt, Maged Abdelaziz, expressed regret that no real efforts had been made in the last 14 years to implement the commitment contained in the essential resolution on the Middle East, which had been included in the package of decisions agreed at the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). That resolution, which motivated a conclusion to negotiations the following year on the CTBT, had been sponsored in clear recognition that the nuclear situation in the Middle East threatened its stability in an unprecedented manner.
Addressing the Conference today on behalf of non-governmental organizations was Jessica Matthews, President of the Carnegie Endowment. She appealed to the nuclear-armed nations to reinforce their commitment to the purpose and objectives of the CTBT by adopting clear policies not to develop or produce new designs of nuclear warheads or modify existing warheads for the purpose of creating new military capabilities.
Ms. Matthews noted the pledge by United States President Barack Obama that that country would stop the development of new nuclear weapons, but she said that was not enough, urging the Obama Administration to embed a “no new nuclear warheads” policy in its forthcoming Nuclear Posture Review. The United States’ nuclear arsenal had been -- and could continue to be -- maintained with high confidence through non-nuclear tests and evaluations and, as necessary, the re-manufacture of key components to previous design specifications, she said.
In other business, the Conference adopted, as orally revised, the report of its Credentials Committee (document CTBT-Art.XIV/2009/5), which was introduced by the Committee’s Chairman, Jairo Hernandez-Milian, and the Report of the Conference as a whole (document CTBT-Art.XIV/2009/WP.2/Rev.1).
The representatives of France and Morocco, who shared the Conference presidency, made statements today.
Deputy Foreign Ministers and other State Ministers from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia and Montenegro also spoke.
Statements were also made by other senior Government officials from the United Arab Emirates, Brazil and Qatar.
Also speaking were the representatives of El Salvador (on behalf of El Salvador’s Foreign Affairs Minister), Viet Nam and Colombia.
The sixth Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) met this morning to continue its consideration of progress reports on cooperation to facilitate the Treaty’s operation and to hear a general exchange of views on the matter.
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 done so. To date, 181 States had signed it and 150, including 35 of the Annex II States, had ratified the Treaty. The nine Annex II States that had not ratified the Treaty were China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States.
Exchange of Views
ZORAN PETROV, Deputy Foreign Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, said that the CTBT’s entry into force remained crucial in a world where nuclear weapons existed. It was a strong instrument in limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons by holding countries and nuclear testing. Progress towards its ratification must be made in order for there to be progress in the field of disarmament during the 2010 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) Review Conference. Substantial efforts were required in that regard, particularly the political will and intent of all to ratify the Treaty. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was fully committed to the Treaty and its universalization. A total of 180 States had signed it and 150 States had ratified it. He appealed to all to consider early ratification of the instrument. The humanitarian benefits from ratification were many, particularly as they related to natural disasters.
PETER POWER, Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland, said that by aiming to hamper the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons, the CTBT was 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.
He said that the provocative nuclear test carried out by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in May had highlighted yet again the urgency of having a test-ban treaty in force at the earliest opportunity. When the Conference last convened in 2007, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had conducted a nuclear explosion the previous year. Shortly after that test, that country had returned to the six-party talks, which had been abandoned. Today, the situation was arguably worse, as Pyongyang had conducted a second nuclear test, but was now outside those talks. The country should return to the six-party talks immediately and without preconditions. It should abandon and completely dismantle any nuclear‑weapon-related programme in a transparent and irreversible manner. It must comply unconditionally and without delay with all its international obligations, as set out in relevant Security Council resolutions and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement.
A positive outcome to have emerged from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear test was that the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization’s (CTBTO) International Monitoring System (IMS) had demonstrated considerable progress, proving to be an effective and reliable means of ensuring verification with the Treaty, Mr. Power added. That should help reassure those who had expressed concern in the past about the efficacy of the system.
Welcoming the commitment made by United States President Barack Obama to “immediately and aggressively pursue US ratification of the CTBT”, he urged all States to not just wait for the United States to act, but to show leadership themselves in moving towards a world where the testing of nuclear devices was unacceptable.
HOANG CHI TRUNG ( Viet Nam) said his country consistently supported the objectives of complete disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation. In line with that long-standing and principled position, the country had acceded to all core nuclear disarmament instruments, such as the NPT and the CTBT, which were the pillars of the United Nations nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation machinery. At this important Conference, Viet Nam wished to reaffirm its strong support for the objectives of the test-ban Treaty, as a major instrument to enforce a comprehensive ban on all nuclear testing. That would be a significant contribution to stop the modernization of existing nuclear weapons and prevent the qualitative development of new nuclear warheads and delivery systems. It was undeniable that the Treaty was a big step towards the ultimate goal of the total elimination of those weapons and of a nuclear-weapon-free world. Guided by that principle, Viet Nam had been among the first countries to sign the Treaty in 1996 and then ratified it in 2006. It had also always supported its entry into force.
He said that, despite encouraging signs that the Treaty was achieving near universal acceptance, he remained deeply concerned that it had not yet entered into force. Given its vital importance for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, as well as world peace and security, he stressed the urgent need for greater efforts at all levels to bring the Treaty into force. In that connection, he emphasized the particular responsibility and role of the nuclear-weapon States; they should demonstrate their sincere political will and take a leading role in that regard. Viet Nam strongly believed that their ratifications would pave the way and further encourage the remaining Annex II countries to sign and ratify the Treaty. Pending its entry into force, all States, especially the nuclear Powers, should maintain their political will and moratoriums on nuclear testing and refrain from any acts that would undermine the Treaty’s noble objectives.
MOKHTAR CHAOUACHI, Minister Plenipotentiary and Director General of the Department of International Organisations and Conferences of Tunisia, said that modest progress had been made towards nuclear disarmament during the Conference on Disarmament, and in the context of the NPT. That momentum should encourage everyone to think about ways to strengthen the global disarmament system and renew confidence in multilateral forums, which worked to strengthen peace and security.
He said that, in ratifying the CTBT in 2004, Tunisia had expressed its commitment to collective action to address the nuclear-weapon threat. Tunisia had installed two inspection stations as part of the IMS, a further sign of its commitment to nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation. He welcomed the increasing number of States parties to the Treaty. Making the Treaty universal could contribute considerably to peace and security.
CARMEN MARIA GALLARDO HERNANDEZ (El Salvador), reading a statement on behalf of Foreign Affairs Minister Hugo Martinez, said that the greatest effort should be made to urge States that had not done so to sign and ratify the CTBT, particularly those countries listed in Annex II of the Treaty. While awaiting the Treaty’s entry into force, all countries should show political will by maintaining moratoriums in place against testing, in order to foster international confidence.
She said that El Salvador believed that the doctrines and justifications that nuclear weapons maintained deterrence should be discarded. Instead, room should be made for dialogue and other ways to resolve disputes among States. It was necessary to create an environment to enable States to have confidence in the Treaty. El Salvador believed that the international community should see itself as a community of States in the pursuit of the common good. In that regard, relations among States should be based on principles of international law and justice.
El Salvador had signed the CTBT on the day it opened for signature and ratified it shortly thereafter, she noted. The country believed that nuclear-weapon tests threatened international security and impeded economic development, and negatively affected biodiversity and the environment. Countries with nuclear weapons and those seeking to acquire them should take into account the moral and other costs associated with them. The use or threat of use of those weapons was just not acceptable.
MILORAD SCEPANOVIC, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro, said his country was the youngest Member of the United Nations. It was committed to the principles of the CTBT, confident that only a multilateral approach could contribute to long-term peace and security. The CTBT would pertain even to small States that did not have nuclear capacities. They, too, were part of the global security architecture aimed at maintaining international peace and ridding the world of nuclear weapons. He commended the convening, on Thursday, of a special Security Council summit on disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation. He had been encouraged by statements made on States’ commitment to the Treaty.
Particularly encouraging, he noted, had been the announcement by the United States that it was committed to ratifying the Treaty. That, and other developments, had created new impetus. The CTBT verification regime was built on the concept that it should be a pillar of trust among States parties. On-site inspections and other elements had been designed to detect nuclear activities. Bearing in mind the complexity of the IMS, the Preparatory Commission had used its time productively and it would continue to successfully fulfil its mandate. Lauding the merits of the CTBT verification technology, he said the IMS could contribute to the progress of mankind in new and competitive ways. He reiterated Montenegro’s commitment to the common objective of building peace and security.
MOHAMMED BELAOURA ( Algeria) called on all countries that had not done so, particularly the Annex II countries to sign and ratify the CTBT. By its action yesterday, in adopting resolution 1887 (2009), the Security Council had reaffirmed the relevance of the NPT as the cornerstone of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime.
He said that the present Conference was taking place after the entry into force of the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (Pelindaba) Treaty, which made Africa nuclear-weapon free. That Treaty was a concrete contribution to worldwide peace and security. Algeria had been an early signatory to that Treaty. The establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East was also a priority objective for the international community. The difficulty in its realization was a source of ongoing concern, particularly considering the sensitive situation and the tensions in that region.
The nuclear Powers had a particular responsibility to help to ensure the test-ban Treaty’s entry into force, he said. Algeria, aware of its responsibilities, including as President of the Conference on Disarmament, had taken the initiative to relaunch the work of the Conference. As a result, it had finally adopted a programme of work. Its implementation was a priority and would be reflected by the appointment of three working groups. Algeria believed that a fissile material cut-off treaty, together with the CTBT, were the two pillars that would make it possible to achieve real progress towards nuclear disarmament.
JUAN MANUEL GOMEZ ROBLEDO, Deputy Foreign Minister for Multilateral Affairs of Mexico, said the entry into force of the CTBT was a priority for Mexico, as it constituted a step towards nuclear disarmament. Since the fifth Conference, 10 States, including 4 in Latin America, had ratified the Treaty. Among them was Colombia, an Annex II country. There were no Annex II countries in Latin America that had not ratified the Treaty, thus no legal impediment in the region for its entry into force. The Conference coincided with the historic Security Council summit yesterday, but just months after the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear tests. Mexico had supported Council resolution 1874 (2009), which condemned that testing. That stance was consistent with Mexico’s policy that traditionally condemned all nuclear tests, which it considered reprehensible. In particular, the testing by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had illustrated the need for prompt entry into force of the CTBT.
He lauded the announcement by the Obama Administration to seek to ratify the Treaty in the United States Senate, and expressed hope that it would be ratified as soon as possible. That would encourage other States to follow suit and bring the Treaty closer to its entry into force. The international verification mechanism had proven effective in addressing the case of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. It had also helped with disaster warnings, such as tsunamis. Non-proliferation was the only path to peace. Mexico had contributed to the international verification system by installing and transmitting data in real time from its own monitoring stations to the International Data Centre. He expressed hope that the station in the Mexican state of Baja California would receive certification, so that it could begin transmitting data to the Centre in Vienna. Mexico, in coordination of the Preparatory Commission, had held a workshop last month on capacity-building for the Latin American region. Mexico, Australia and New Zealand would work on a text during the current General Assembly session to promote the CTBT.
MAGED ABDELAZIZ (Egypt) expressed appreciation for the determination shown by the leaders of nuclear-weapon States to work towards a world free of nuclear weapons, to implement their obligations under Article VI of the NPT and to take serious steps towards achieving the universality of that Treaty. That commitment was important, as it supplemented the negotiations under way between the United States and the Russian Federation on a strategic arms limitation agreement that should entail serious cuts in their nuclear arsenals. Moreover, the Conference on Disarmament, for the first time in 12 years, had adopted a programme of work that might lead to the revitalization of the role of the Conference and the initiation of negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty. There had also been strong signals of an emerging collective awareness of the importance of achieving a balanced and comprehensive success of the NPT 2010 Review Conference in a manner that would solidify the alliance between nuclear- and non-nuclear-weapon States to significantly strengthen the NPT regime and pursue its universality.
He said that Egypt had played a key role over the years in support of the NPT, aiming at the balanced implementation by all sides of their commitments, including achievement of its universality. In that regard, Egypt played a visible role in the negotiation of the CTBT and had been among the first States to sign the Treaty in 1996. Its support for the CTBT had been based on the fact that it was a complementary reinforcement to the NPT system; Egypt had been motivated by the adoption of the NPT’s 1995 Review and Extension package. That package had included an essential resolution on the Middle East, in clear recognition that the nuclear situation in that region threatened its stability in an unprecedented manner. Unfortunately, for the past 14 years, no real efforts had been made to implement the commitment in that resolution.
JUAN SELL, Chief of Staff of the First Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Spain, said that yesterday’s Security Council summit had been a call for hope to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons and characterized by international peace and stability. Spain had renounced nuclear weapons and supported the task at hand. The CTBT was necessary for a more secure world. He expressed Spain’s firm political commitment to the CTBT, adding that its entry into force would be a milestone. Spain was one of the first countries to have ratified the Treaty, which it did in 1998. For years, many believed the Treaty’s negotiation would be impossible. But to date, 181 countries had signed it and 150 had ratified it.
He welcomed the statement by the United States that it would work towards ratifying the Treaty in the United States Senate and join forces with other countries in that regard. He lauded China’s call in the General Assembly for the international community to take credible steps towards disarmament. Efforts to achieve a nuclear moratorium were positive, moral and just. Peaceful solutions must be sought to conflicts of peace and security, particularly in an era of weapons of mass destruction and threats to terrorist networks. Regional conflicts should be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy, and not the nuclear arms race. This year would conclude with a firm commitment by the United States and the Russian Federation concerning strategic arms. He lauded the recent entry into force of the Treaty of Pelindaba, which established a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Africa. The new political momentum towards disarmament must not be jeopardized.
ONON SODOV, Director-General, Department of International Organizations, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, said that, even though the CTBT was not yet in force, it had proven itself to be a successful Treaty. One of its biggest assets was its effective verification mechanism, which had been proven yet again when the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO had been able to provide accurate and timely findings and analysis following the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear test on 25 May. Mongolia, however, believed that as long as the Treaty was not in force, the global regime banning nuclear testing would remain fragile.
Fortunately, she asserted, the chances of the Treaty’s entry into force were greater today than ever. She commended all States that had signed or ratified it since the previous article XIV Conference, adding that the factors contributing to today’s favourable climate had included the pledge by United States President Obama to “immediately and aggressively pursue US ratification”. When translated into action, that commitment had the potential to set in motion ratifications by the other remaining Annex II countries.
She said that apart from the main mission to monitor the globe for nuclear explosions, verification data and technologies generated by the monitoring stations under the IMS had proven useful for broader civil and scientific applications. That was particularly relevant for mitigating tsunami consequences and might prove useful for earthquake early warnings, since seismic technology could help to acquire and disseminate the relevant data and thereby save lives. Mongolia believed that the Provisional Technical Secretariat of the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO should undertake a comprehensive study on how CTBT seismic and other relevant monitoring stations could be used for such peaceful and noble purposes.
HAMAD ALKAABI, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the IAEA, said that his country had a consistent position on nuclear test bans, disarmament and international nuclear security. Peaceful nuclear energy was a viable option to meet growing energy demands, due to its competitive environmental and commercial nature. In 2008, the United Arab Emirates adopted a policy paper on the development of a peaceful nuclear energy programme, with a particular focus on high standards of nuclear security, non-proliferation and cooperation with the international community to achieve those commitments. His Government was now taking further tangible steps to support international non-proliferation, among them the development of an innovative model for peaceful nuclear energy. Those steps should help reduce global non—proliferation concerns by showing that nuclear energy could be used in a highly transparent, safe, secure and peaceful way.
He said that the United Arab Emirate’s political commitment to peaceful nuclear energy use was long-standing. The United Arab Emirates had acceded to the NPT in 1995 and it had ratified the CTBT in 2000. It remained fully committed to its obligations under both treaties, and the agreements reached by States parties at the 1995 and 2000 NPT review conferences. He reiterated his Government’s long-standing position for full elimination of all nuclear testing. As a ratifying State party to the CTBT, the United Arab Emirates strongly supported the creation of a comprehensive ban on all nuclear test explosions to stop the qualitative development of nuclear weapons. Noting that only 35 of the 44 Annex II States had ratified the Treaty, he called on the remaining ones to do so, saying their early ratification would facilitate and encourage other States to join and ratify.
CARLOS DUARTE, Director-General, Department of International Organisations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, said that his country had always supported a test-ban treaty. It had signed the CTBT on the first day it was opened for signature and it had been among the first countries to ratify it in 1998. Brazil believed that the CTBT was a key element in the non-proliferation and disarmament regime. In that regard, the country welcomed the recent positive signs for its entry into force, in particular the commitment by the United States President to pursue ratification. Brazil expected all of the Annex II States, whose signature or ratification was still pending, to join the effort aimed at bringing the Treaty into force, so as to ban nuclear testing once and for all.
AHMED HASSAN Al HAMMADI, Director of the Legal Affairs Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, said that his country believed that rather than being squandered, nuclear materials should be put to peaceful use in nuclear reactors to generate electricity for the use and benefit of humankind. Qatar fully supported the CTBT and its efficient verification system, which, over the past three years, had proved its effectiveness. Qatar looked forward to the time when the CTBT would enter force. In that regard, it asked those countries that had not signed or ratified the Treaty to accelerate their effort towards accession. It also called upon the remaining nine Annex II countries to expedite action to sign and ratify the Treaty. Qatar hoped that the present Conference would be the last effort to promote the CTBT’s entry into force.
BUKUN-OLU ONEMOLA ( Nigeria) said that State signatories to the CTBT must underscore a commitment to totally eliminate all forms of nuclear testing. Nigeria supported the goals of the Treaty. The development of more sophisticated nuclear weapons was a challenge that must be collectively addressed and prevented. This year had brought nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation to prominence. It had also reflected the overwhelming outpouring of support for the CTBT. The doubts that had persisted for many years had waned, and the Treaty’s entry into force had become increasingly feasible. State signatories must seize the moment. Nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation were a prerequisite to international peace and security. He strongly urged all global partners to make concerted efforts towards achieving disarmament and non-proliferation, which required tremendous political will. He recognized the commitment of nuclear-weapon States during the 1995 and 2000 NPT Review Conference.
He recalled that in the final declaration of the Article XIV Conference held in 2000, several strategies were created to effectively achieve the goal of the Treaty’s early entry into force. He called for reviewing the proposals made earlier to verify some weaknesses that had occurred. He was encouraged by the United States’ presentation during Thursday’s Security Council summit that it would pursue ratification of the CTBT. Indonesia had spoken of its intention to do so as well. He called on the international community to sustain the political momentum to eliminate nuclear weapons. He called on all remaining Annex II States to ratify the Treaty. He welcomed the entry into force of the African Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Treaty on 15 July.
BETTY ESCORCIA ( Colombia) said this was the first time Colombia was taking part in the Conference as a ratifying State. She reaffirmed Colombia’s commitment in various forums on disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation. In ratifying the CTBT, Colombia had shown its commitment to respect the Treaty, and it would work hard to achieve its entry into force. While obstacles to that existed, she expressed hope that the CTBT would take effect as soon as possible and that it would complement the NPT. In that vein, she hoped for a successful outcome of the NPT Review Conference in 2010. All countries should show their commitment to the treaties and the political will to achieve international peace and security.
She said that the test-ban Treaty, upon its entry into force, would be an important tool for global disarmament. Colombia was a State party to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco), which established Latin America and the Caribbean as one of the first weapon-free zones in the world. She reaffirmed Colombia’s commitment to the CTBT to find ways to ensure its early entry into force.
JESSICA MATTHEWS, President of the Carnegie Endowment, making a statement on behalf of non-governmental organizations, said that to help put the CTBT over the finish line, like-minded, pro-CTBT States should work together to develop and execute a common diplomatic strategy to persuade the remaining States to sign and/or ratify the Treaty before the next Article XIV Conference two years from now. Failure to pursue such an effort would cast doubt on the sincerity of the many strong statements of support for the CTBT’s entry into force, which had been expressed at this weeks’s Conference. Those few States that had not delivered their assessed contributions or that had not yet allowed the transmission of data from monitoring stations on their territory should do so without further delay, as those actions were contrary to the Treaty’s goals.
She said that nuclear-armed nations, in order to reinforce their commitment to the purpose and objectives of the CTBT, should adopt clear policies not to develop or produce new designs of nuclear warheads or modify existing warheads for the purpose of creating new military capabilities. Ratification by the United States and China was particularly important. Given their existing nuclear test moratoriums and 1996 signature of the CTBT, Washington and Beijing already bore most CTBT-related responsibilities, yet their failure to ratify had denied them ‑‑ and others ‑‑ the full security benefits of CTBT entry into force.
Noting the pledge by United States President Obama that that country would stop the development of new nuclear weapons, she said that now he must translate those words into action by mounting a substantial effort to win the support of two thirds of the United States Senate for the Treaty. However, it was also true that the United States’ nuclear arsenal had been ‑‑ and could continue to be ‑‑ maintained with high confidence through non-nuclear tests and evaluations and, as necessary, the re-manufacture of key components to previous design specifications. She, therefore, strongly urged the Obama Administration to embed a “no new nuclear warheads” policy in its forthcoming Nuclear Posture Review. She added that Washington’s ratification also opened up opportunities for other Annex II States, such as Indonesia.
Nuclear-weapon States, in order to increase confidence in their commitment to the CTBT, should seriously consider joining France in closing their test sites to all nuclear weapons-related research activities and experiments, particularly those involving fissile material. Meanwhile, those States with active nuclear test sites should adopt transparency and confidence-building measures that helped to clarify that there were no prohibited nuclear test explosion activities of any kind on their territory.
India and Pakistan could advance the cause of nuclear disarmament and substantially ease regional tensions by converting their unilateral test moratoriums into legally binding commitments to end nuclear testing through the CTBT. With no shortage of conflict and hostility in the Middle East, ratification of the test-ban Treaty by Israel, Egypt and Iran would reduce nuclear-weapons-related security concerns in the region. It would also help create the conditions necessary for the realization of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, as called for in the Middle East resolution adopted by the 1995 NPT Review Conference.
In closing, OMAR ZNIBER (Morocco) said now, more than ever, it was necessary to combine efforts and seize the opportunity to end the reluctance of some States to commit to the CTBT. There must be greater awareness of the great risks involved in a world without a ban on nuclear weapons. That ban was necessary to ensure peace and stability in the world, which was facing so many challenges, including nuclear terrorism. Morocco would spare no effort to work towards the CTBT’s entry into force, which would set a milestone for disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation.
FLORENCE MANGIN (France) thanked all who had contributed to the Conference before adjourning it.
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