Thank you all for coming to this important meeting.
I am especially grateful to see representatives of countries which have not yet ratified the treaty.
Throughout my diplomatic career, I have pushed for an end to nuclear tests. As Secretary-General, I have consistently advocated universal ratification of the CTBT.
This treaty bans all nuclear tests, constrains the development and proliferation of nuclear weapons, and contributes to progress on nuclear disarmament. The CTBT also helps protect our environment against harmful radioactive by-products of nuclear tests.
But we must secure the ratifications necessary for entry into force.
I call for urgent ratification by the eight remaining Annex 2 States.
I look forward to hearing soon from His Excellency Mr. John Kerry, Secretary of State of the United States – an advocate against nuclear tests.
I thank the Governments of Australia and Japan for taking the lead in organizing today’s meeting.
I also commend the many non-governmental organizations, civil society groups and individuals who have made efforts to support our goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world. The United Nations stands with them in this historic struggle.
Earlier this month, I visited the Pacific region.
I went to countries that were not directly affected by nuclear tests – but flying over the ocean I recalled the injustice of how innocent people in tranquil islands were exposed to harmful radiation.
We cannot undo the past. But we can create a better future.
Let me just make a personal observation, reflection. I served as the second Chairperson of this CTBT Prepcom while serving as Korean Ambassador in Vienna. That was just after the signature of the CTBT. When I chaired this committee, I made a joke. My name is Ban; this can be read “ban”, so I told delegations that I will not ban constructive discussions in the committee meetings but I will ban the nuclear test. Everybody laughed. That was my commitment, using my name. I will continue to ban nuclear tests. That is why I have never missed this meeting in the UN. This is my eighth time as Secretary-General to participate in this meeting. So let us ban nuclear tests. And let us do everything possible to secure this Treaty’s entry into force for the sake of our planet and all living beings.
Thank you very much.