New York

21 September 2016

Secretary-General's remarks to the Eighth Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of the CTBT (Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty) [as delivered]

It is a great pleasure to be here with the Friends of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. I thank the governments of Australia and Japan for organising today’s event, and I thank all the Friends of the CTBT for their continued support. 

These meetings remind all States that the status quo cannot stand. 

It is not sustainable, and it must change. 

The treaty’s failure to enter into force was unacceptable when I entered office in 2007. It is beyond unacceptable now. 

This year is the twentieth anniversary of the treaty’s opening for signature. But this is not a celebration. It is a stark reminder of the work that remains. 

Some of you may know that I served as second Prep Commof CTBT chair. I was the second chairman, and still after twenty years we have not seen this Treaty enter into force.

There have been some successes over the past 20 years, for example, the de facto moratorium on tests, and the establishment of an International Monitoring System. 

For this, I commend the Preparatory Commission of the CTBT Organisation and its staff for their dedication to this cause.

I have been fiercely committed to a legally-binding prohibition on nuclear testing throughout my tenure as Secretary-General of the United Nations. 

I have repeatedly called for the CTBT’s entry into force and written to those states yet to sign or ratify. The CTBT is integral to my Five Point Plan on Nuclear Disarmament. 

My message to those states that have not signed or ratified is simple: Do not wait for others. Act now. 

There will never be a perfect security environment, but there is an urgent need to ban nuclear testing. 

Ratification by China and the United States, the two remaining nuclear weapon States that have signed but not ratified, is particularly important. 

As we await entry into force, I welcome all initiatives that strengthen the de facto moratorium. No state should use the current status of the CTBT as an excuse for nuclear testing. 

I urge all members of the international community to step up efforts to reach our shared destination. 

Our persistence is being tested, but we will not waver in our goal of creating a world free of nuclear weapons – a safer world for present and future generations. 

Thank you for your commitment.