Summoning States to Ratify Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, Secretary-General Says Message Is Clear: ‘Time for Waiting Has Passed, Take the Initiative and Lead’
Summoning States to Ratify Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, Secretary-General Says Message Is Clear: ‘Time for Waiting Has Passed, Take the Initiative and Lead’
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Conference on Comprehensive
1st & 2nd Meetings (AM & PM)
Summoning States to Ratify Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, Secretary-General Says Message
Is Clear: ‘Time for Waiting Has Passed, Take the Initiative and Lead’
Conference to Facilitate Treaty’s Operation Adopts Declaration
Committing Parties to ‘Remain Seized of Issue at Highest Political Level’
To halt all nuclear testing, the international community must aim to launch the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 2012 through political will and concrete action,United NationsSecretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged today at the seventh so-called “Article XIV” Conference to facilitate the instrument’s operation.
“We must face facts,” he told the ministerial-level gathering. “Until we have universal adherence to a legally binding global norm against nuclear testing, there is no guarantee that nuclear tests will not happen again.”
“My message is clear,” he declared. “Do not wait for others to move first. Take the initiative, and lead. The time for waiting has passed. We must make the most of existing — and potentially short-lived — opportunities.” With that, he summoned all remaining States to sign and ratify the CTBT without further delay.
Boasting near-universal membership with 182 signatories, and 155 ratifications, the Test-Ban Treaty needed to be ratified by only nine more States to enter force, according to a list of 44 countries deemed nuclear-capable in an annex — Annex 2 — of the text. The “Annex 2” States that have signed but not ratified the text are China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Israel and the United States. Those that have not signed or ratified are the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India and Pakistan. Indonesia was in the process of ratification.
“We simply cannot accept business as usual,” the Secretary-General said, ahead of adoption of the meeting’s Final Declaration. In it, the ratifying States, together with other States signatories, said the end of nuclear weapon testing was a meaningful step in the realization of the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons globally, and of general and complete disarmament. They reaffirmed their determination to take concrete steps towards the Treaty’s early entry into force and universalization and to adopt a series of measures.
Among those was a pledge that they would spare no efforts and use all avenues open to them to encourage further signature and ratification, and urge all States to sustain the momentum generated by this Conference and to remain seized of the issue at the “highest political level”. The Declaration will be annexed to the Report of the Conference.
In the course of the day-long Conference, some 60 speakers took the floor, including several Annex 2 States, to lay out their positions. The United States’ Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security drew attention to issues of operational readiness of the Treaty’s verification system, acknowledging that, despite a moratorium on nuclear testing since 1992, it had been 12 years that the United States Senate had been unable to consent to ratify the CTBT.
Contributing to that “rejection”, the delegate explained, were concerns over verifiability, and the safety of America’s deterrence without testing contributed to that rejection. However, today, there were dramatic changes, and the current Administration must make a strong case in favour of ratification, with discussions planned with the Senate, she said.
Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister said his country’s approach towards ratification of the CTBT was guided by a number of considerations, including the level of readiness of the verification regime of the Treaty, especially that of the on-site inspections and the instrument’s immunity to abuse. In fact, out of genuine concern about the poor coverage of the International Monitoring System mechanism in the Middle East region, Israel had constructed two auxiliary seismic stations in Meron and Eilat, and was operating a radionuclide laboratory currently pending certification by the Treaty’s Provisional Technical Secretariat. Moreover, Israel had always maintained that nuclear issues, as all other security issues, could only be realistically addressed within a regional context, he said.
Even in its current unfinished state, however, the CTBT’s verification mechanism had more than once demonstrated its viability and efficiency, many speakers said. Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs lauded the CTBT Organization, which had provided reliable, real-time, accurate and verified data on the 11 March Fukushima Nuclear Power Station incident, with data being made immediately available to all CTBT State Signatories and to international agencies and other actors.
Mongolia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade said the test-ban verification regime was indeed noted for its potential broader use of advances in science and technology, which could benefit developing States. The existing 321 monitoring stations and 16 radionuclide laboratories that measured seismic, ultrasound and aquatic infrasound and atmospheric radioactive changes caused by nuclear testing could also be used for risk assessment of climate change and natural disasters.
Drawing attention to the CTBT’s utility during the 2006 and 2009 nuclear tests in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation said the Treaty’s long overdue entry into force was imperative, given the prevailing view that global security and stability could only be achieved through collectively elaborated international legal norms. That should be enough to inevitably compel countries that remained outside the Treaty to reconsider their position, he said.
The point of readiness was approaching for the Treaty’s entry into force, said Tibor Toth, Executive Secretary of the Treaty’s Preparatory Commission. More than 80 per cent of the International Monitoring System’s global monitoring stations were already sending operational data from the stations, thanks to the advances made in processing methods and software. Like the Secretary-General, Mr. Toth was eager to clear up any lingering concerns about the Treaty’s monitoring and inspection capabilities.
In other business, the Conference elected the Foreign Ministers of Sweden and Mexico as co-Chairs and approved the delegates of Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Netherlands and Viet Nam as Vice-Presidents. It adopted the draft rules of procedure and agenda, and confirmed Mr. Toth as Conference Secretary.
Also speaking, including at the ministerial level, were the representatives of France, Morocco, Mexico, Poland (on behalf of the European Union), Austria, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherland, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Viet Nam, Czech Republic, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, South Africa, Italy, Canada, Brazil, Turkey, Hungary, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Norway, Peru, Belarus, Colombia, Algeria, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Romania, Republic of Korea, Croatia, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Philippines, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Lithuania, Chile, Spain, Liechtenstein, Portugal, Burkina Faso, Jordan, Egypt, Finland and China.
The representative of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace also made a statement on behalf of the non-governmental organizations attending the Conference.
The seventh Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)(Article XIV) met today to convene its seventh meeting. The Test-Ban Treaty prohibits all nuclear-test explosions, whether for a military or any other purpose. It covers all environments and sets no threshold from which the prohibitions should apply. The preamble of the Treaty states that its objective is “to contribute effectively to the prevention of the proliferation of nuclear weapons in all its aspects” and “to the process of nuclear disarmament”.
Under Article XIV, if the Treaty has not entered into force three years after the date of the anniversary of its opening for signature, a conference of those States that have already ratified it may be held to decide by consensus what measures consistent with international law may be taken to accelerate the ratification process and to facilitate entry into force. States signatories will also be invited to attend the conference.
The last Article XIV Conference was held on 24-25 September 2009 in New York, with 103 ratifying States and States signatories participating, as well as three observer States. The Conference adopted a Final Declaration calling upon all States which had not yet done so, to sign and/or ratify the Treaty (document CTBT-Art.XIV/2009/6, Annex). The declaration included a number of measures to promote the entry into force of the CTBT.
In the course of the follow-up to that Conference, and in accordance with paragraph 11(c) of the Final Declaration, France and Morocco, which served as the presidency of the Conference, had been selected as coordinators of the process “to promote cooperation, through informal consultations with all interested countries, aimed at promoting further signatures and ratifications”. On 29 June and 7 July 2011, at informal consultations within the framework of this “Article XIV process”, Mexico and Sweden were appointed to serve as Presidents-designate in preparing for the 2011 Article XIV.
Significant progress has been made towards the much desired goal of entry into force and universalization of the Treaty. To date, the Treaty has been signed by 182 States, with 155 States having ratified, including 35 of the 44 States listed in Annex 2.
Statements by Conference Chairs
ALAIN JUPPE, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of France, said since his country had been designated as co-Chair of the Article XIV Conference in 2009 with Morocco, he had spared no effort to promote the CTBT. The Review Conference on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in May 2010 had reaffirmed the importance of progress of the Test-Ban Treaty’s entry into force. In the last two years, five States had ratified the instrument and now a total of 155 countries had ratified the Treaty. Indonesia had embarked on a ratification process, which would hopefully bring down to eight the number of countries still required for the Treaty’s entry into force. After 15 years of efforts, this Conference should attain the last required signatures for the Treaty’s operations.
TAIB FASSI FIHRI, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Morocco, as outgoing co-Chair of the Conference, commended the Secretary-General’s untiring efforts with a view to promoting disarmament and non-proliferation issues, which would open the way for a new momentum to bring the CTBT into force quickly. His country and France, in their two years of co-chairing the Conference, had undertaken efforts at the multilateral, regional and bilateral levels. Disarmament could be advanced if efforts were shared, and multilateralism was the approach needed to do so. He was convinced of the value of the CTBT’s entry into force.
The Conference then elected the Foreign Ministers of Sweden and Mexico as co-chairs and approved the delegates of Costa Rice, Czech Republic, Denmark, Netherlands and Viet Nam as Vice-Presidents. It then adopted the draft rules of procedure and agenda, confirming Tibor Toth as the Secretary of the Conference.
New Conference co-Chair PATRICIA ESPINOSA CANTELLANO, Foreign Minister of Mexico, said that during her chairmanship she would no doubt be able to rely on the support of all delegations. Peace-loving countries, she knew, were working together to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons and they demanded that nuclear-armed States stop developing or trying to improve existing nuclear weapons. Non-nuclear-weapon States demanded the right to leave a world free of nuclear weapons to future generations. It was unacceptable that in today’s world so many lived in abject poverty when such large amounts of resources were used to develop and improve bellicose capacities that undermined “the very survival of our species”. Mexico would continue to actively support the work of the Preparatory Commission of the CTBT Organization (CTBTO), and was convinced that efforts to operationalize the Test-Ban Treaty were the only path to a lasting global peace.
JACEK NAJDER, Under-Secretary of State of Poland, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the outcome of the 2010 NPT Review Conference and the ratification by the United States and the Russian Federation of the Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START) illustrated a renewed momentum. The CTBT’s entry into force was a major objective on the multilateral agenda and remained a strategic priority for the European Union. Its entry into force would also strengthen the international security architecture.
The European Union, he said, reaffirmed the vital importance of the Treaty’s early operation as a core element of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, and called on all States that had not yet done so to sign and ratify it, with expediency. The Union stressed the need to maintain moratoriums on nuclear-weapon test explosions and called on all States present today to work together to achieve the rapid entry into force of the Treaty.
MICHAEL SPINDELEGGER, Foreign Minister of Austria, said it was the seventh time that those States which had deposited the instruments of ratification had requested the convening of the Conference to accelerate the process of an early entry into force of the CTBT, and the seventh time that those States’ foreign ministers had to acknowledge that its entry into force remained elusive.
He expressed strong support for banning all nuclear tests, underpinned by a solid verification regime. In 15 years, the international community had witnessed the positive effects of the establishment of the Preparatory Commission in several ways, which had reduced the number of explosions and of testing by nuclear-weapon States. Combined resources so far had built up more than 80 per cent of the international monitoring system, and the verification regime required by the time the Treaty entered into force was near completion and already proving its capabilities. Next month would mark the tenth anniversary of Austria’s laboratory set up for those purposes, which demonstrated the benefits of the civil and scientific applications of the verification system. Unfortunately, those services received recognition only when dealing with disasters like tsunamis and the Fukushima Daiichi accident.
EAMON GILMORE, Tánaiste and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland, said the time had long come for the Treaty’s entry into force, which would end all nuclear-weapon test explosions, by constraining the development of nuclear weapons and of new types of those weapons. The CTBT was a key foreign-policy priority for the Irish Government, as it was only with that Treaty that the global community could achieve a legally binding commitment to end nuclear tests.
He said his country stood together with the Conference to demonstrate the collective determination that the Treaty must enter into force, as the world simply could not wait much longer. The provocative nuclear tests conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 2006 and 2009 had clearly demonstrated the urgent need for a test-ban treaty. Until that was achieved, the undeniable risks to peace and security associated with the development and spread of new and more advances in nuclear weapons remained. While not yet in force, the Treaty served as a strong international norm against test explosions. Crucial to the Treaty was its provision for an international monitoring system, which had not only shown its value in meeting its mandate to ensure effective verification of compliance, but also in its beneficial civil applications. Those had been demonstrated during the tragic nuclear accident at Fukushima earlier this year, in seismic tsunami warning, and in tracking radionuclides expelled into the atmosphere.
JEAN ASSELBORN, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg, said the pace of ratification was the major challenge. The nuclear tests in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 2009 were a reminder, among other things, that verification regimes should be developed further. The nuclear accident in Japan was also a reminder of the work remaining to be done in the civil aspects of nuclear-monitoring systems.
URI ROSENTHAL, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, said more countries were developing nuclear arms than when United States President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Treaty on the NPT. The proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction was a threat to peace and stability. The CTBT must enter into force. His country had always been a supporter of it, and he drew attention to a recently published book entitled Detect and Deter: Can Countries Verify the Nuclear Test Ban?, which deals with how States could use the international monitoring system to verify compliance with the CTBT. Next month, the book would be presented in New York. The verification regime deserved special mention this year, in light of the disaster in Japan. Timely tsunami warnings helped to prevent damage and the data those warnings provided were invaluable. The CTBT had already contributed to the international norm on testing. However, the Conference still needed the nine Annex 2 States to put the Treaty into force.
KEVIN RUDD, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia, said that in the 15 years since the CTBT was opened for signature, the world had witnessed six nuclear tests, which had enhanced the deadliness of nuclear arsenals that remained beyond the reach of the NPT. Although that number was substantially lower than for the previous 15 years, any such tests stood in the way of the common objective of ridding the world of nuclear weapons. Some States which had yet to ratify the CTBT had declared moratoriums on nuclear testing, which served to help reinforce the taboo against developing those arms.
He said that by imposing a legally binding ban on testing — through ratification by the nine remaining Annex 2 States — the international community could minimize the threat of new countries developing nuclear weapons, while also limiting the ability of existing nuclear-armed States to develop new, more lethal weapons. He welcomed the steady progress being made towards those goals. For its part, Australia had agreed to intensify diplomatic efforts to help obtain the necessary ratifications.
GUIDO WESTERWELLE, Foreign Minister of Germany, said that his country was working within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for a speedy resumption of disarmament talks with the Russian Federation, which should lead to a substantial reduction in sub-strategic nuclear weapons in Europe. “Global Zero” was the long-term goal, and the entry into force of the CTBT would represent an important contribution to that end.
In the five decades of nuclear testing, he said, the world had seen more than 2,000 nuclear tests. The level of radiation released by those tests had been many times higher than that set free by the nuclear power plant accidents of Chernobyl and Fukushima. The decision to sign and ratify the CTBT or not, revealed the true nature of a State. That decision served as an important confidence-building measure and could help overcome regional tensions, especially in the Middle East and East Asia.
Statement by Secretary-General
United Nations Secretary-General BAN KI-MOON said calls for bringing the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty into force were growing, gathering strength at last year’s NPT Review Conference, and when the world marked the International Day against Nuclear Tests a few weeks ago. “Last year, I travelled the world to meet victims and survivors of nuclear weapons and nuclear tests,” he said. When visiting Semipalatinsk, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, again and again, people had said “Don’t let what happened to me happen to anyone else.” He added, “That passion to achieve a world without nuclear weapons was my goal as well”.
“My name is Ban,” he said, saying that that was a clear determination of his position. “Nuclear-test ‘Ban’, so you have my personal assurances.” A test ban was a comprehensive step towards a nuclear-weapon-free world. Since the 2009 Article XIV Conference, five countries — the Central African Republic, Ghana, Guinea, Marshall Islands, and Trinidad and Tobago — have joined the common cause to achieve a global ban on nuclear testing. That brings the total number of ratifications to 155. He welcomed indications of the intention to ratify by Guatemala, Iraq, Papua New Guinea and Thailand, and noted expressions of intent of some remaining Annex 2 States, whose signature and ratification were required for the Treaty to enter into force. He looked forward to their prompt action, urging all remaining States to sign and ratify the Treaty without further delay.
“My message is clear: Do not wait for others to move first,” he said, urging, “Take the initiative, and lead. The time for waiting has passed. We must make the most of existing — and potentially short-lived — opportunities.” With that, he summoned all remaining States to sign and ratify the CTBT without further delay.
“Tibor Toth and I are ready and willing to visit those countries to clear up any lingering concerns about the Treaty’s monitoring and inspection capabilities,” he said. “Just say when.” In the meantime, he urged all States to honour existing moratoriums on nuclear-weapon-test explosions and to refrain from acting in a manner that undermined the Treaty’s purpose.
“We must face facts. Until we have universal adherence to a legally binding global norm against nuclear testing, there is no guarantee that nuclear tests will not happen again,” he said. “We need no more reminders. We need political will. We need concrete action. I repeat my call for the international community to set the goal of bringing the Treaty into force by 2012.” Business as usual was not acceptable, he concluded.
CARL BILDT, Foreign Affairs Minister of Sweden and new co-Chair of the Conference, said that taking on the task of co-Chair was a further sign of Sweden’s support of the CTBT and its entry into force, as well as a wider interest in the need to strengthen the international security architecture. The world must completely put an end to nuclear testing, and the Treaty would significantly constrain the development and improvement of nuclear weapons, and by so doing, would offer an indispensible contribution to nuclear non-proliferation and eventually to disarmament. With the CTBT in place, a step would be taken towards the goal of a future without nuclear weapons.
Fifteen years after it was opened for signature, the Treaty had the overwhelming support of the international community, which agreed on the urgent need to operationalize the instrument. Despite that, however, the Treaty had not yet taken effect because the whole group of 44 States in Annex 2 of the Treaty, whose ratification was required, had not yet signed. That built-in “safety valve” should alleviate any possible concerns regarding the risk of others not taking on the same obligation. At the same time, that amounted to special responsibility for those Annex 2 states. The need to act could not be passed over to others. So far, 35 of those States had assumed that responsibility and ratified, including three nuclear-weapon States, which was commendable. The course of further CTBT ratifications was a slow but evolving process. Two of the remaining States had announced their intention to actively pursue ratification. That leadership was greatly welcomed, and any further ratification could untie the knot among remaining States, possibly paving the way for a series of ratifications. That, in turn, could make the entry into force of the CTBT a tangible scenario in the not-too-distant future.
TIBOR TOTH, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO, said the Treaty was a uniting force in the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime. Boasting near-universal membership, 182 countries had signed the Treaty, with Guinea depositing its ratification yesterday, bringing that number to 155. That amounted to one signature (Trinidad and Tobago) and five ratifications (Central African Republic, Ghana, Guinea, Marshall Islands, Trinidad and Tobago) since the Conference last met in 2009.
Significant progress had been made of the fulfilment of the mandates of the Preparatory Commission. The point of readiness was approaching for the Treaty’s entry into force, as more than 80 per cent of the International Monitoring System’s global stations were already sending operational data from the stations, thanks to the advances made in processing methods and software. The on-site inspection regime was steadily being built up in close collaboration with Member States. The next integrated field exercise would take place in 2014 to put to the test an enhanced operational readiness of the regime. The CTBTO was able to provide reliable, real-time, accurate and verified data on the 11 March incident in Japan, with data being made immediately available to all CTBT State signatories and to international agencies and other actors.
The international community must seize the moment, maintain momentum, and redouble its efforts, he urged. Whether scientists, academics or non-governmental organizations, all had to carry the burden to lead, each in his or her own sphere, as anything less would be an injustice in the noble endeavour.
Next, the Conference adopted by consensus the draft Final Declaration to promote the entry into force of the Treaty.
PHAM BINH MINH, Foreign Affairs Minister of Viet Nam, said it was his country’s policy to support and promote general and complete disarmament, with top priority given to nuclear non-proliferation. The CTBT, once brought into force, would significantly strengthen existing mechanisms in the quest for a nuclear-weapon-free world. For that reason, Viet Nam had been one of the first to have signed the Treaty in 1996 and ratified it in 2006.
He said the Conference was commencing at an important juncture, when there was renewed expectation on addressing various challenges to international security. The threats posed by nuclear weapons and proliferation continued to manifest themselves over the years and, despite many efforts, the international community still faced serious difficulties in reaching consensus on the core issues on the disarmament and non-proliferation negotiating agenda. Viet Nam, over the years, had unrelentingly promoted the policy of peace and disarmament, and called on all States, especially nuclear-armed States, to sign and ratify the Test-Ban Treaty.
KAREL SCHWARZENBERG, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minster for Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, said the value of the CTBT was clearly demonstrated after two nuclear tests by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which were unanimously condemned by the United Nations Security Council. The Czech Republic was persuaded that that country’s continued defiance of its international commitments was one of the most critical threats endangering global peace and security. Against that backdrop, the crucial role of the CTBT and its verification regime was more than evident.
He said that this year’s tragic events in Japan also proved the relevance of the CTBT’s verification data technologies for civil and scientific applications, which included, among others, tsunami warning, disaster mitigation and climate change studies. Apart from that, the June Science and Technology Conference had further contributed to the advancement of the CTBT’s innovative verification capabilities. Encouraged by the one new signature and four new ratifications of the Treaty since 2009, he expressed hope that the Conference would send a clear signal of its determination to spare no effort to speed up the entry into force of the CTBT, thus contributing to strengthening the global non-proliferation regime.
ZANDANSHATAR GOMBOJAV, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Mongolia, said his country had organized a regional conference to raise awareness about the importance of the early entry into force of the Treaty, and stood ready to host additional meetings to showcase the instrument’s seismic, infrasound and radionuclide stations. Mongolia supported the broader use of advances in science and technology relevant to test-ban verification, particularly to benefit developing States. The existing 321 monitoring stations and 16 radionuclide laboratories measured seismic, ultrasound and aquatic infrasound and atmospheric radioactive changes caused by nuclear testing and could be used for risk assessment of climate change and natural disasters.
He said the Fukushima nuclear accident had demonstrated that the global monitoring system of the CTBT had become a vital element in monitoring changes. “Perhaps it will also become indispensable in forecasting some changes in the future,” he said. The Memorandum of Understanding signed last year between the Preparatory Commission and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was a promising example of possible broader utilization of the emerging global monitoring system, including future tsunami warming.
RUSLAN KAZAKBAEV, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan, said his country was committed to global disarmament and that of weapons of mass destruction, and had ratified the CTBT and NPT. Kyrgyzstan was among the leaders to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region and was doing its utmost at the national level to achieve disarmament goals. He supported the work of the United Nations and of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, joining the appeal for immediate ratification of the Test-Ban Treaty and calling on remaining States to sign and ratify it.
ELLEN TAUSCHER, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, United States, said that when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came to the Conference, that had ended a 10-year absence on the part of the United States. The speaker stood before the Conference today proud of the actions of the Obama Administration on the issue of non-proliferation and disarmament. Since that Administration came into office, the United States had assisted in achieving consensus on the action plan of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, and it had convened the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit, which extended efforts to establish an international nuclear fuel bank and had increased multilateral cooperation to reduce nuclear activities. Her country accorded high priority to the entry into force of the Test-Ban Treaty, which was a crucial step towards a world without nuclear weapons. In so doing, it was leading nuclear-armed States towards a diminished reliance on nuclear weapons, and reducing nuclear competition. With a global ban, States interested in pursuing or advancing nuclear tests would risk deploying weapons with uncertain effectiveness, or face sanctions and international condemnation.
She said that an operationalized comprehensive test-ban treaty would benefit national and international security, and facilitate other cooperation on arms control and non-proliferation priorities. The United States had had a moratorium on nuclear testing since 1992, but 12 years had elapsed without the consent of the United States Senate to ratify the CTBT. Concerns over verifiability and the safety of America’s deterrence without testing contributed to that rejection. However, today, there were dramatic changes, and the current Administration must make a strong case in favour of ratification. International monitoring systems were 85 per cent complete and would be in place in 89 countries spanning the globe. The full body of data would be available to all State parties to the Treaty. Additionally, with the crisis in Japan, the international community had seen proof of the utility of non-verification-related purposes as well.
The United States would continue to provide the full costs of operating and sustaining 34 operational international monitoring stations, she said. Last month, it had announced a voluntary in-kind contribution of $8.9 million to accelerate development of the CTBT verification regime, along with $25.5 million to rebuild an island station in the southern Indian Ocean, as part of a total of $34.4 million in contributions from the country.
She said her delegation had begun the process of engaging the United States Senate, and was working on getting information out to members and staff for the purpose of education. Patience would be needed, but her delegation would be persistent. It was eager to start the discussion, as it was only through dialogue and debate that concerns about ratification could be worked through. The United States intended to assist the Treaty’s entry into force, but it could not do it alone. She called on all Governments to declare or reaffirm their commitment not to test and on the remaining Annex 2 States to move forward towards ratification. The path would not be travelled quickly or easily, and for its part, the United States needed the support of the Senate and the American people to move ahead. However, move ahead it would, for the benefit of the world.
KOSTANTYN GRYSHCHENKO, Foreign Affairs Minister of Ukraine, regretted that the CTBT had not entered into force, 15 years on. Various efforts were still needed to ensure its universalization. Ukraine continued to urge all States to maintain a moratorium on testing, and hoped that the Conference would build further momentum towards more signatures or more ratifications. He called on the Annex 2 States to sign and ratify the Treaty unconditionally and without delay.
Today, he said, when all were witnessing changes to international security, an effective multilateral approach to security was the best way to maintain international order. His delegation was confident that the CTBT would make the world more secure for all and put the atom towards the peaceful service of mankind. Another step on the path of implementation of the Washington Nuclear Summit had been the high-level meeting on safe and innovative uses of nuclear energy. The ultimate goal of the Summit had been to promote the use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, and the Kiev Summit also served as an integral part of a broader preparatory effort for the CTBT’s ratification. The Treaty was a cornerstone of the global non-proliferation regime, and he welcomed measures to promote its entry into force. Ukraine was ready to closely participate in the implementation of related measures and reiterated its commitment to a fruitful and constructive deliberation.
NIKOLA POPOSKI, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, said the Treaty remained a very important non-proliferation instrument that harnessed nuclear-weapon States and limited development of the nuclear-weapon capabilities of non-nuclear-armed States. As the world witnessed the resurgence of nuclear energy and technologies, those developments must be properly controlled. In addition, he acknowledged the humanitarian benefits from the application of the Treaty’s international monitoring system regarding natural disasters, and he underlined the necessity of sharing the benefits among States.
KIOCHIRO GEMBA, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, addressing his remarks first to the earthquake and subsequent nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, said the Provisional Technical Secretariat of the CTBTO had undertaken tremendous efforts to provide the international community with accurate information on the dispersion of radionuclides, also using Japanese data.
Concerning the Treaty itself, he appealed, first and foremost, to the nine Annex 2 States that had yet to sign or ratify it, to do so at the earliest possible time. It was encouraging that the executive branches of Indonesia and the United States had shown their willingness to ratify; they should be encouraged. Regarding the countries that had rejected signature or ratification on “regional security grounds”, he said “we need to persistently advocate that the CTBT itself greatly contributes to regional confidence-building and a more stable security environment”. Furthermore, there was a need to seriously discuss how those regional security problems could be resolved. The nuclear tests announced by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 2006 and 2009 “go drastically against” the emerging global norm banning all such tests and should be strongly condemned.
ZELIJKO JERKIC, Foreign Affairs Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said that today, perhaps more than ever, the collective involvement in the struggle to operationalize the CTBT was very much needed. Faced with the grievous consequences of the Fukushima Daiichi incident, and aware of the global expectations for concrete and strong measures to improve global nuclear safety and security, the strengthening of the international legal instruments for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament inevitably became the priority agenda issue.
He urged all remaining States, especially those whose signatures and ratifications were necessary for the Treaty’s entry into force, to sign and ratify it without delay. It was certain that, against the backdrop of growing momentum towards safer use of nuclear energy, and nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, it was of the utmost importance to work together to make the Test-Ban Treaty globally binding and most effective.
MICHEL CHRISTOS DIAMESSIS, Director for the United Nations and International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece, said that his country had been among the first States to sign the Treaty, and from the outset, had been committed to promoting its universalization and entry into force. His delegation valued the current declared unilateral moratoriums on nuclear-test explosions, and urged all States to continue along that path. However, those measures could not be seen as a substitute for the full implementation of the obligations contained in the CTBT.
Recent developments, such as the new START and the positive outcome of the last review of the NPT in May 2010, had given new impetus to nuclear disarmament, he said. In addition to efforts to support the CTBT, the world must set aside long-lasting sources of uncertainty and mutual misunderstanding and focus on the ultimate goal of strengthening global peace and security in a world free of nuclear weapons.
SIPHO GEORGE NENE ( South Africa) said the CTBT formed part of a treaty regime to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and allowed the use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. It further worked to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and the resumption of nuclear testing. However, the common objective of a world free from nuclear weapons was being impeded by the continued non-entry into force of the Treaty, and the international community must without delay live up to its responsibility and achieve the Treaty’s entry into force. After 14 years, immediate actions were required. The world could not allow this important investment to be wasted, and he called on all Annex 2 States to sign and ratify the Treaty without further delay.
VINCENZO SCOTTI, Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Italy, said that in recent months, a wind of change had blown over a number of regions of the world, bringing hope for a better future for all — a future in which global disarmament initiatives would regain momentum, and concrete measures towards a safer and more stable world would be achieved. While significant progress had been made towards the universalization of the Treaty, without the ratification by some Annex 2 States, the entry into force continued to be impossible. Italy was aware of the difficulties and understood the reasons still prevailing in some countries and in certain areas, but it remained convinced that through a genuine dialogue and the adoption of confidence-building measures, the Conference could create the necessary conditions for overcoming present obstacles.
KERRY BUCK, Assistant Deputy Minister-Political Director, International Security Branch ( Canada), said that hopes were high in 1996 that the threats posed by nuclear tests would be relegated to the dustbin of history. Fifteen years later, the Treaty enjoyed wide support, but had not yet entered into force. In October 2006 and May 2009, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had conducted test explosions. Canada’s Prime Minister denounced that country’s nuclear weapons programme as a grave threat to international security, and further tests remained a concern.
She urged all States to fulfil the commitments made at the 2010 NPT Review Conference. Canada had been successful in bringing the attention of the G-8 to the importance of the CTBT’s ratification, and she urged the Governments of all States that had not yet done so to ratify it. There were no obstacles, whether domestic, regional or international, which could not be overcome by applying the necessary amount of political will. Canada would do all it could to ensure the Treaty’s entry into force.
VERA MACHADO, Undersecretary General for Political Affairs of the Ministry of External Relations of Brazil, said the entry into force of the CTBT was among the 13 practical steps agreed for nuclear disarmament, adopted by consensus in the 2000 NPT Review Conference. Ten years later, the 2010 Conference renewed such goals and agreed that the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO should fully develop the verification regime, including the early completion and provisional operationalization of the International Monitoring System (IMS). The fact that the Treaty had not yet entered into force needed to be urgently addressed, and she called on those States which had not yet done so to sign or ratify the Treaty.
OMER TUZEL, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, said the entry into force of the Treaty would be a crucial step in stemming the proliferation of nuclear weapons, which constituted a threat to all. The ratification by additional States would give new impetus to complete the entry into force, and he encouraged them to do so without delay. Already, the CTBT had a remarkable history of accomplishments. Regular meetings of the Preparatory Commission kept the momentum of the objectives alive and provided guidance for implementation at the technical level. Those efforts were impressive and commendable. The IMS and inspection regime were being built up and had been proven on such occasions as the nuclear tests conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the tragic events in Japan this year. Since the inception of the CTBT, Turkey had been committed to its political, financial and technical efforts, and would continue its efforts to contribute to its early entry into force.
JANOS MARTONYI, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary, said the existing moratoriums on nuclear tests were important, but he emphasized the need for the binding legal structure that the CTBT would provide. He noted the progress made by the Preparatory Commission in establishing the IMS, which offered a realistic perspective for an effective verification regime to be in place by the time the Treaty entered force. The crisis in Japan had highlighted the need for the refinement of existing facilities of the verification regime, and he welcomed the fruitful cooperation of the Provisional Technical Secretariat with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other international organizations. In order to fulfil its mandate, the Preparatory Commission needed both political and financial support, and he urged Member States to increase their assistance to the activities of the Commission. For its part, Hungary remained committed to continue rendering personnel and financial assistance to the CTBT.
MARTY M. NATALEGAWA, Foreign Affairs Minister of Indonesia, recalling that his country had withheld ratification of the Treaty until all nuclear Powers and other States claiming possession of such weapons had ratified, said that in October 2010, the President had submitted a draft law to the House of Representatives to ratify the text. The bill was deliberated in December 2010 and the Government was now working with Parliament for an early ratification. He expected that process to encourage Annex 2 countries to start their own ratification processes.
Describing disarmament in his region as “promising”, he said nuclear Powers would soon accede to the Protocol of the 1995 South-East Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (Bangkok Treaty). After a 10-year impasse, direct consultations between ASEAN States and the nuclear Powers had resumed in Geneva in July. A second round of talks would be held in New York in October, which should lead to outcomes that accommodated the legitimate concerns of all. Indonesia looked forward to strengthening its cooperation with the CTBTO, he added.
KAIRAT UMAROV, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, said the international community needed to vigorously use all mechanisms and additional international arrangements, including the General Assembly resolution declaring 29 August as the International Day against Nuclear Tests, to mobilize all other stakeholders, such as media, civil society and “public diplomacy” to convince Governments that had not yet joined or ratified the Treaty to do so in the near future. On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk test site, Kazakhstan had held several events to call for the end to nuclear tests and promote global disarmament. In October, it would host the International Forum for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World, dedicated to the anniversary of the site’s shutdown.
He said that promoting closer regional cooperation within the framework of the CTBT allowed the international community to focus on addressing specific issues which were unique for each region. Today’s Conference demonstrated that delegations were united in their commitment to find ways to remove all the obstacles to the CTBT’s entry into force.
ESPEN BARTH EIDE, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway , said that global security would be enhanced by the elimination of nuclear arms and by a comprehensive ban on testing nuclear weapons. Real and welcome progress had finally been seen in the field of nuclear non-proliferation, and his delegation was pleased by the new ratifications of the CTBT since 2009. He welcomed the announcement by the United States and other countries of their intention to ratify the Treaty. Testing moratoriums were no substitute for a binding legal agreement, which was becoming increasingly important in a changing world.
He, therefore, joined others in urging those States that had not yet signed or ratified the Test-Ban Treaty, to do so without further delay. As the world awaited the instrument’s entry into force, the global monitoring systems were almost in place; immediate detection of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s tests in 2007 and 2009 had demonstrated their capability. Those systems worked, and momentum must be ensured as well to complete preparation of those valuable assets. The message from the global community was clear in its expressed determination to rid the world of nuclear tests and to see the operationalization of the CTBT.
ALEXIS AQUINO ( Peru) hoped this would be the last meeting of this Conference and that the next gathering would be a celebration to mark the entry into force of the Treaty. He applauded States for their ratification; however, efforts must continue to help the Treaty come into effect as quickly as possible. Disarmament and non-proliferation were priority global issues, and Peru hoped progress would be made in that field. He was aware that the Treaty had established an elaborate system of verification, and said that some countries would need extended technical assistance to achieve the benefits of this system.
VALENTIN RYBAKOV, Assistant to the President of Belarus, said the CTBT was meant to prevent nuclear testing and to close down the development of new nuclear weapons. At the time of this Conference, much had already been done to advance technological developments and the principles of the United Nations. He called on States who had not done so to ratify the Treaty without delay. Its entry into force was relevant, not only to verify nuclear explosions, but for civilian purposes, such as during the incident in Japan in March of this year.
PATTI LONDONO, Deputy Minister of Multilateral Affairs of Colombia , said her country had been the first densely populated zone to be free of all nuclear weapons. Colombia had always promoted the universalization of the CTBT, and in complying with the obligations that arose from that and other instruments, the country had a safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency. As one of the States whose ratification was key for the Test-Ban Treaty’s entry into force, Colombia called on others to ratify so that the Treaty could become an instrument of vital importance to stop the global threat of nuclear weapons.
MARTIN BRIENS ( France) reported on the activity during the period since the Article XIV Conference in 2009. He applauded the new ratifications which had been deposited since 2009, and said France and Morocco had worked tirelessly at all times in order to establish a plan of action and a road map, developed jointly, to promote the Test-Ban Treaty. Among other things, they had conducted public awareness-raising campaigns about the importance of universalizing that instrument. He underscored the importance attached to its entry into force, and expressed the hope that Indonesia’s ratification procedure would lead, without further delay, to other Annex 2 States following suit, in order to bring down the number of Annex 2 States needed for the Treaty’s operation from nine to eight.
MOURAD MEDELCI, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria, said his country still bore the environmental and humanitarian scars of nuclear tests conducted on its soil by a colonial Government. Having already ratified the CTBT, Algeria encouraged efforts aimed at giving the Treaty a formal and effective existence. His country supported the goal of international monitoring, and felt that civil purposes should also be encouraged. The Conference should be proud that the international monitoring system was now an active and effective system on the ground, which could be used towards civil goals without hampering its primary function.
Since the last 2009 Conference, he noted that five new ratifications had been deposited, and he commended the trust placed in the Treaty. However, those that had not yet ratified were contributing to a deadlock of the Treaty, which was worrying for the international community. It was crucial to avoid that kind of scenario, and the international community should work to synchronize its efforts. He launched a “solemn appeal” to all States that had not yet done so to immediately ratify the CTBT.
AZZEDDINE FARHANE, Head of the United Nations and Internationales Organizations Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Morocco, also reported on that period. He underscored the importance and urgency of ratifying the Treaty without conditions or delay. Morocco and France had engaged in political awareness-raising initiatives, and had taken part in a regional workshop in Mongolia in March 2010 with several Asian countries, in order to promote the Treaty. Additionally, the Science and Technology Conference in Vienna had been a forum for exchanges, bringing together 800 scientists, diplomats and representatives of civil society from more than 100 countries. This Conference looked at a variety of issues, including improving knowledge through partnership. Such actions served to raise awareness of “what exactly was at stake”. Morocco would continue its efforts to assist facilitating the Treaty’s entry into force, and he expressed hope that the goal of 160 ratifications would soon be achieved.
SAMUEL ŽBOGAR, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia, aligning with the European Union, said the CTBT remained a cornerstone legal instrument in the field of nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and the prohibition on nuclear-weapon tests. Like many States, Slovenia attached vital importance to the legally binding prohibition of nuclear-weapon testing and any other nuclear explosions, as well as to a credible verification regime. They also urged States to dismantle all their nuclear testing sites in a transparent manner, open to the international community. They also called on all countries, particularly those listed in Annex 2, to sign and ratify the Treaty without delay and without conditions, welcoming the intention of the United States and others to ratify in the near future. It was encouraged by Ghana’s recent ratification of the Treaty, signifying its membership in the “CTBT family”.
DIMITER TZANTCHEV, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, strongly supported the shared objective of bringing the remaining Annex 2 States into the fold of those that had ratified the CTBT and called on all those States that had not yet done so to sign and ratify it. Further, he emphasized the importance of all States to refrain from any action that would defeat the object and purpose of the Treaty, pending its entry into force. There was also a need to promote the goal of universal adherence to the treaty, which in itself could stimulate further progress towards its entry into force by focusing, on a universal basis, on a central task of securing all Annex 2 ratifications.
Noting the progress made by the CTBTO Preparatory Commission and its Provisional Technical Secretariat in developing the International Monitoring System, he said Bulgaria considered the operational readiness of the CTBT verification regime an important element towards achieving the Treaty’s goals. Bulgaria was confident of the verification regime’s future ability to provide the international community with an independent, reliable and cost-effective means of verifying and deterring any violation of the Treaty’s provisions. He added that the importance and value of the monitoring system should be considered, not only in relation to the CTBT mandate, but also in other applications for civilian purposes, including its role in tsunami warning and other disaster alert systems.
MILAN JEŽOVICA, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia, aligning with the statement delivered on behalf of the European Union, said the Treaty must be a priority goal. Slovakia had been actively involved in the work of the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO and its Provisional Technical Secretariat. Recognizing the central role of the verification regime for attaining the Treaty’s objectives, his country had hosted various CTBTO exercises in its territory. The Final Declaration of the Conference should bring a fresh political impulse to operationalize the Treaty soon with a functional, effective and efficient verification regime.
DORU COSTEA, State Secretary for Global Affairs of Romania, expressed his country’s support for the early entry into force of the CTBT, as an important step in achieving nuclear disarmament. Romania was convinced that operationalizing the Treaty would be a major step towards building a safer and more peaceful world, and thus, should be a high priority objective in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. An effective verifiable ban on nuclear tests was an essential component of regional and international peace and security and a decisive step towards the elimination of nuclear weapons.
In the same vein, he said, Romania placed a high priority on the establishment of the Treaty’s verification regime and improving the activity of the national data centres. In that respect, his Government, together with the Provisional Technical Secretariat, was organizing the 2011 “National Data Center Evaluation Workshop” in Bucharest, from 3 to 7 October. The workshop’s objectives were to provide a forum for the data centres’ experts to share experiences in fulfilling their verification responsibilities and to provide feedback to the Provisional Technical Secretariat on all aspects of the data, products and services. It was also aimed at supporting the centres in their work. He reaffirmed Romania’s commitment to the early entry into force of the CTBT, and emphasized the country’s determination to work in partnership with the international community towards facilitating that important goal, including by granting support for the activities of the Preparatory Commission and the Provisional Technical Secretariat.
DANNY AYALON, Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel, commended the Provisional Technical Secretariat on its important contribution in the international efforts aimed at monitoring radiation during the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan. During the crisis, the importance of developing the Treaty’s International Monitoring System and International Data Centre had again been clearly demonstrated.
Reiterating his Government’s unequivocal support for the CTBT, he said that support had been manifested in international forums, as well as in the practical work of building up the CTBTO and it verification regime. Israel’s experts had been actively participating in many activities of the Preparatory Commission, such as tabletop exercises, training courses, field exercises and technical workshops. There was a need for a universal commitment to not carry out any nuclear test explosions or other nuclear explosions. The tests conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea were an ominous reminder that the concerted will of many, even with improved detection capabilities, was not enough to enforce that norm and respond collectively in an unambiguous manner.
He said the international community should redouble its efforts to complete the CTBT verification regime to the level necessary for its entry into force. For its part, Israel had meaningfully supported the CTBT in many respects since its launch. In particular, it had lent support to the establishment of the verification regime. Out of genuine concern about the poor coverage of the International Monitoring System mechanism in the Middle East region, Israel had constructed two auxiliary seismic stations in Meron and Eilat, as required by the Treaty, and was operating a radionuclide laboratory currently pending certification by the Provisional Technical Secretariat.
Israel had always maintained that nuclear issues, as all other security issues, could only be realistically addressed within a regional context, he said. His country’s policy was to support and, wherever possible, join those arms control and other international treaties that did not detract from Israel’s uniquely narrow overall security margins in its region. In recent years, the international community had witnessed growing threats and challenges to the non-proliferation regime from within the Middle East region, besides alarming calls by some against the very existence of the State of Israel. Notwithstanding such political realities, Israel had continued to contribute to global non-proliferation through its policy of responsible behaviour and restraint in the nuclear domain.
Israel’s approach towards ratification of the CTBT was guided by a number of considerations, including the level of readiness of the verification regime of the Treaty, especially that of the on-site inspections and its immunity to abuse; Israel’s sovereign status in the policymaking organs of the Treaty, including those related to the geographical region of the Middle East and South Asia; and compliance with the CTBT by States in the Middle East.
SERGEY RYABKOV, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, said the entry into force of the Treaty was imperative, and long overdue. Wide international consensus was growing in support of the Treaty. The prevailing number of States viewed security and stability in the world only through generally recognized, collectively elaborated international legal norms, which should inevitably compel countries that remained outside the Treaty to reconsider their position.
He said it was high time to translate words into action, which applied to the remaining States on the so-called “List of 44”, whose ratification was essential for the Treaty’s entry into force. Russia was determined to continue supporting the CTBT in multilateral and bilateral contexts, and urged all States to observe the Treaty’s letter and spirit until its entry into force. Even in its current unfinished state, the CTBT’s verification mechanism had more than once demonstrated its viability and efficiency, including during the 2006 and 2009 nuclear tests in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. He hoped that joint efforts would lead to a qualitative shift towards the transformation of the Treaty into an operational international legal instrument.
KIM BONG-HYUN Deputy Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea, said the Declaration adopted this morning had reaffirmed that the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons and an end to nuclear testing under the CTBT were more important than ever. Ratifying States and signatories declared that the Treaty’s entry into force was a core element of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, and he believed that reaching consensus on the Final Declaration reflected robust political support for the CTBT and its objectives.
He cited growing political support seen in relevant resolutions and documents approved by the General Assembly, the 2009 Security Council summit on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament and the 2010 NPT Review Conference. Support had also been built at national levels, as some Governments of Annex 2 countries had announced their intention to pursue ratification of the Treaty. Significant progress on the technical front had chiefly been in the area of the CTBT verification regime. In that regard, he noted that the IMS was nearing completion and its operational capability had already been demonstrated. For example, nuclear explosions conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — “in clear violation of United Nations resolutions and [its] other obligations” — had shown that the verification regime was capable of performing in a timely and effective manner.
Continuing, he stressed that pending the Treaty’s entry into force, the international community must continue to reaffirm its commitment to refrain from nuclear explosions. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was the only country to have conducted nuclear tests since the Treaty had been opened for signature. “We, therefore, once again strongly urge [that country] to abandon all nuclear-weapons programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner in accordance with its obligations under Security Council resolutions and the joint statement of 19 September 2005,” he said. He also believed that the denuclearization of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea would contribute to greatly strengthening the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime.
MARIO NOBILO, State Secretary for Political Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Croatia, fully subscribing to the statement made on behalf of the European Union, said that maintaining the new momentum for nuclear disarmament was critical at this juncture. Croatia had actively participated at the highest political and expert levels in forums that aimed to facilitate the earliest entry into force of the CTBT, contributing to the verification regime, advocating for the Treaty and condemning nuclear tests that were in clear violation of international norms.
He once again called upon those States whose ratification was necessary to increase their efforts to complete that process. The Treaty had already proved its value among global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regimes. He welcomed, in particular, all activities of the Provisional Technical Secretariat aiming at completion of the monitoring system and strengthening the verification regime’s infrastructure.
PAUL SEGER ( Switzerland) commended the CTBTO for its cooperation with other international organizations, especially the IAEA, and for the valuable contributions of its monitoring system in the aftermath of the Fukushima accident. He called on those States that had not yet done so to ratify the Treaty, in line with the expressed wish of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that 2012 should be the year the Treaty entered force.
He welcomed the reaffirmation made by the United States in Vienna in June at the thirty-sixth session of the Preparatory Commission to “commit to rapidly ratify” the CTBT. He hoped that the positive development initiated by the conclusion of the new START would be followed by other concrete steps. Ratification of the Test-Ban Treaty by the United States would encourage other Annex 2 States to do the same. The meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) would be held in Bern next October, during which a segment would be devoted to nuclear disarmament with the participation of the CTBTO’s Executive Secretary.
EDUARDO ULIBARRI ( Costa Rica) suggested a focus now on two specific goals. The first was to promote a change of paradigm, which would open new avenues to discussions, such as a treaty on fissile material. To move forward on that path, Costa Rica asked for support for a model nuclear weapons convention, which enjoyed strong support from States and civil society. Nuclear-weapon States were currently investing millions of dollars to develop those weapons. Despite the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on those weapons, they continued to exist. He urged the Secretary-General to support the establishment of a fund to provide assistance to nuclear test survivors.
LIBRAN CABACTULAN ( Philippines) said in order for the Treaty to be fully realized, it needed the strong support of all countries possessing nuclear weapons, and he called on those nations to lead the way. The Philippines advocated for the utilization of the International Monitoring System facilities for various civil and humanitarian purposes. That system, aside from being a tool for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, also had valuable civilian applications, such as early warning of tsunamis, as was seen in Japan earlier this year. Recent positive developments in the field of disarmament showed that the CTBT’s entry into force was the logical next step.
JIM MCLAY ( New Zealand) said that the CTBT made an important contribution to constraining the qualitative improvement of existing nuclear weapons and ending the development of advanced new types of those weapons, as well as preventing their proliferation. He welcomed both those that had ratified the Treaty and those that had made progress in that regard, because each new ratification brought the instrument close to universalization.
He said that valuable scientific and civil benefits had already been provided by the International Monitoring System, and those developments represented an increasingly important global scientific resource. New Zealand had been pleased to participate in the 2010 NPT Review Conference, which reaffirmed the essential role of the CTBT within the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime.
ALISTAIR BURT, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom, said the participation of so many ministers today testified to the enduring support of the vast majority of the international community to put in place a legally binding ban on all nuclear explosions. There were encouraging prospects, bringing the Treaty closer to universality. His delegation was encouraged by the United States’ dedication to laying the necessary groundwork for ratification, and it encouraged China to follow suit.
He said the United Kingdom strongly supported the continued development of the global verification regime, which was viable and ready for entry into force. His country also supported the need to hold the integrated field exercise scheduled for 2014, as that would play a vital role in the on-site inspection regime. To further assist in that, the United Kingdom looked forward to co-hosting an expert meeting in Edinburgh later this year. His country had been working hard, not only to strengthen the CTBT’s regime, but also to make concrete progress towards the disarmament architecture overall by reducing the number of warheads and missiles on its submarines, and giving assurances to non-nuclear-armed States. The United Kingdom was among the five nuclear-weapon States that had taken part in the “P5” meeting in Paris in March.
DALIUS ČEKUOLIS ( Lithuania) said his country strongly supported the current efforts to move the CTBT forward to ultimately enter into force. He urged all States that had not yet done so to sign and ratify the CTBT without delay. The Article XIV Conferences aided in advancing the process, and he supported those efforts, as they buttressed the common goal of banning nuclear weapons testing worldwide.
MILENKO SKOKNIC, Ambassador and Chef de Cabinet of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile, said his country was an advocate of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. The final goal should be achieved: to eliminate all nuclear weapons. Regarding the verification regime of the CTBTO, he highlighted the technical features, especially early warning systems, which could be shared. However, the main goal of the Treaty was to maintain international peace and security. Chile called on all Governments that had not signed or ratified the Treaty, especially the remaining Annex 2 countries, to do so immediately.
SANTIAGO CABANAS ANSORENA, Director General for Foreign Policy, European and Security Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, aligning with the statement of the European Union, said this Conference would bring the world closer to the goal of universalizing the prohibition on nuclear-weapon tests, which was essential for achieving nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Spain was firmly committed to the Test-Ban Treaty as one of the first countries to have ratified it in 1998. Now, the main objective must be its entry into force.
He said his country had taken responsibility to assist the Provisional Technical Secretariat’s on-site inspections. That regime had showed its effectiveness for other civilian purposes in the face of natural disasters and certain types of accidents. “The prompt and efficient response of the Technical Secretariat to the impact of the tsunami, and the subsequent nuclear accident in Fukushima, in Japan, proves the sophisticated technical development of the verification system, utilizing the seismic, radionuclide, hydroacoustic and infrasound networks,” he said.
MARTIN FRICK, Director of the Office of Foreign Affairs of Liechtenstein said that a small State that was without weapons, like Liechtenstein, looked to strong legal norms in the field of disarmament for protection. That was why it had signed and ratified the CTBT and why his delegation was calling on all remaining non-parties to do the same. It was somewhat disquieting that the positive noises made by some Annex 2 States in past years had not led to additional ratifications, and he urged those States to do so as, by virtue of their inclusion in Annex 2, they held the key to the Treaty’s entry into force.
Mr. RIBEIRO ( Portugal) said the CTBT was a major instrument in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and Portugal was actively engaged in promoting its entry into force. The international monitoring stations in the Azores also provided scientific services to States on a variety of civil issues. The CTBT’s strength and vitality had never been more evident, and it was now necessary to achieve its universality. There was near universal recognition of the importance of bringing it into full legal standing, and he encouraged all States to make maximum efforts to achieve its early operation.
PAUL ROBERT TIENDRÉBÉOGO ( Burkina Faso) underscored that all African States supported non-proliferation, and expressed the sincere hope that there would be a rapid entry into force of the CTBT, through its ratification by all States. He urged all that had not yet done so to ratify the Treaty. In that regard, he commended the latest ratification by Guinea. Burkina Faso reaffirmed commitment to meet its own obligations under the Treaty and urged all States to do likewise. His delegation was well aware of the importance of the impacts of the International Monitoring System, in terms of the scientific and civilian spin-offs, and assured the Provisional Technical Secretariat of Burkina Faso’s full cooperation in all aspects of the Treaty and its implementation.
Ms. AL-MAJALI ( Jordan) lent support to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and all efforts towards its universalization, because such efforts would greatly contribute to the non-proliferation regime. Jordan had been among the first States in the Middle East to have ratified the Treaty. The presence of nuclear weapons was a great source of instability. As such, it was important to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones. She called on Israel to become a party to the Test-Ban Treaty without delay and stressed that ratification by all countries in the Middle East would bring the international community closer to its goal. She hoped that the Final Declaration would hasten the Treaty’s entry into force.
AMR ALJOWAILY ( Egypt) underlined that his country sought to establish a comprehensive legal regime in the Middle East that would prohibit the development and possession of nuclear weapons, one which was applicable to all countries of the region, without exception. The only way to realize that goal was by achieving the universality of the NPT, through the adherence by the only country in the region that had not yet acceded to it and which had so far refrained from subjecting its nuclear installations to comprehensive IAEA safeguards. On that premise, the current priority was the faithful implementation of the outcome text adopted at the last Review Conference of the NPT regarding the implementation of the 1995 resolution on the Middle East.
Ms. SUIKKARI-KLEVEN ( Finland) said that moratorium were no substitute for a legally binding ban on nuclear weapons. The provisional verification regime had already proven to be very useful, when the CTBTO was able to issue rapid alerts to populations in coastal areas for tsunami early warnings. It was important to maintain momentum and increase political will towards the entry into force of the Treaty, and Finland was committed to continuing doing so, as 15 years of waiting was more than enough.
ZHANG JUNAN ( China) said that the CTBT was concluded following the arduous negotiations through concerted efforts of the international community, and it was a significant milestone in disarmament and the eventual total destruction of all nuclear weapons. At present, the process still confronted serious challenges. Early entry into force was of great significance and, to that end, China reiterated the need to foster a new security concept centring on mutual trust, benefit and cooperation. It was important to uphold the disarmament norms and avoid double standards and discriminatory practices. The principles of the CTBT must be upheld, as well as moratoriums on test explosions; all must refrain from the development of new nuclear weapon designs. Further, countries should undertake to grant assurances on the non-use or threat of use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States. As one of the first signatories to the CTBT, China had always supported its objectives and participated in international efforts to facilitate its entry into force.
Delivering a statement on behalf of the non-governmental organizations that took part in the Conference, TOGZHAN KASSENOVA of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said that nuclear testing was a dangerous and unnecessary vestige of the past, and that the CTBT was a cornerstone of the international security architecture of the twenty-first century. With the Treaty in force, global and national capacities to detect and deter possible clandestine nuclear testing by other States would be significantly greater.
The representative from Canada introduced the Report of the Credentials Committee, which the Conference adopted by consensus.
The Conference also adopted by consensus the Report of the Conference in its entirety, as well as the following sections: Introduction; Organizational and Procedural Decisions; Work of the Conference; and Conclusion of the Conference.
Following adoption, the representative of Iraq noted that his country had signed and was in the process of ratifying the Treaty, but had been left off the list due to a technical mistake. The co-Chair then noted that Iraq would be on the finalized list.
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