The CTBT must be brought into force without delay. This event must be a call to action.
The eight Annex II states must not wait for others to act. Any one of the eight can and should break ranks first. The ratification by any one of these states will encourage others to follow suit and have other benefits for the broader disarmament and non-proliferation agenda.
More than twenty non-Annex II states have yet to sign or ratify the treaty. For many of these states, this is not because they are not willing, but mostly because they are not able.
The United Nations stands ready to help. In partnership with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation, we are scaling up our efforts to assist states, refining our methods and taking a more targeted approach, including at a regional and sub-regional level.
These states too, must not wait for others to act. I urge them to take every step they can to join the treaty.
I want to applaud the exceptional work of the CTBTO. It is effectively working as a functioning institution, despite the Treaty’s non-entry into force. I am encouraged that, while 164 states have signed and ratified the CTBT, 183 signatory states have taken on the responsibilities of membership of the CTBTO.
The robust and tested verification mechanism is ably supported by the 183 states, and by states that have not signed the treaty.
The nuclear taboo has been broken only by one state this century. Even one is too many. The CTBTO’s role in detecting and verifying that breach was useful. It further demonstrated its value in the essential work of maintaining global security.
The United Nations will continue to be a full partner with the CTBTO.
I take this opportunity to reiterate my personal commitment to the universalisation and full implementation of the CTBT.