STATES PARTIES STRESS DETERMINATION TO PROMOTE EARLY ENTRY INTO FORCE OF NUCLEAR-TEST-BAN TREATY, AS CONFERENCE CONCLUDES AT HEADQUARTERS
Final Declaration Calls for Moratorium on Nuclear Testing;
NEW YORK, 13 November (UN Headquarters) -- The Conference on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) concluded this morning at Headquarters, with States parties noting their concern that the Treaty has not entered into force five years after its opening for signature, and stressing their determination to strengthen efforts promoting its early entry into force.
With the consensus adoption of a Final Declaration, as orally amended, and a revised report, the Treaty’s participating signatories and ratifiers concluded the three-day Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT.
Through the Declaration, they affirmed that any nuclear-weapon-test explosion or any other nuclear explosion was a "serious threat" to global efforts towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. They underlined the importance of signature and ratification of the Treaty, and called upon all States to maintain a moratorium on nuclear-weapon-test explosions or any other nuclear explosions.
During the course of the Conference, three more countries ratified the Treaty: Ecuador, Nauru and Singapore. A number of others, whose ratification is specifically required for the Treaty’s operation, indicated their willingness to soon ratify it, among them Algeria, Indonesia, Colombia and Viet Nam. The representative of Libya today expressed his country’s intention to accede to the CTBT.
With a total of 161 signatories and, now, 87 ratifications, it is approaching the status of a universal Treaty, but it will enter into force only when all 44 States listed in an annex 2 have ratified it. Those are the 44 States that participated in the 1996 session of the Conference on Disarmament and possess nuclear research and power reactors, according to data compiled by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
So far, 31 of them have ratified the Treaty, including three of the five nuclear-weapon States: France, Russian Federation and the United Kingdom.
The 13 remaining States required for the Treaty’s entry into force include two nuclear-weapon States –- China and the United States, which have signed but not ratified the CTBT -- and three States that have not yet signed it: the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India and Pakistan.
The 2001 Final Declaration calls on all States that have signed but not yet ratified the Treaty, in particular those whose ratification is needed for its entry into force, to accelerate their ratification processes with a view to early successful conclusion. Noting the ratification by three nuclear-weapon States, it calls upon the remaining two to accelerate their ratification processes with a view to early successful conclusion.
The Conference was convened by the Secretary-General, at the request of the majority of States parties, to decide, by consensus, what measures might be undertaken to accelerate ratification in order to facilitate the Treaty’s early operation. Under article XIV, such a conference can be held if the Treaty has not become operational three years after its opening for signature, and at subsequent anniversaries, until its entry into force.
The first such Conference was held in Vienna, Austria in 1999. Among its many provisions, the Final Declaration of that Conference reiterated that the cessation of all nuclear-weapon-test explosions and all other nuclear explosions was an effective nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation measure, and a meaningful step in the realization of a systematic process to achieve nuclear disarmament. At the time of its convening, 154 States had signed the CTBT 51 signatory States had ratified it, including 26 "annex 2" States.
In statements made during the past three days, the CTBT was described as a key part of the regime designed to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and a vital foundation upon which to limit all classes of weapons, including conventional, and promote the ultimate, though remote, objective of total disarmament.
The Treaty, which bans all nuclear-test explosions in all environments for all time, was hailed by many speakers as underpinning the hard-won system of disarmament and arms control agreements. In line with its core objective, it would constrain the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons and end the development of advanced new types of nuclear weapons, they said.
Many delegations called for adjustments to the global security framework and vigilance with respect to eliminating the use or threat of use of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction and ensuring that they, or their components and delivery systems, did not land in the hands of terrorists. As a pillar of global security, the entry into force of the CTBT was described as "urgent and compelling".
The Conference was addressed by three of the nuclear-weapon States that have already ratified the Treaty -– France, Russian Federation and United Kingdom –- as well as one that had not –- China. That country’s representative described China’s "basic position" towards the Treaty as unchanged. The Government had reviewed it and now the National People's Congress would deliberate on it.
The Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) met this morning to conclude a general exchange of views among ratifiers and signatories on facilitating the Treaty's operation and to adopt a report and final document.
The CTBT commits States parties not to carry out any nuclear-weapon-test explosion or any other nuclear explosion in any environment; and to prohibit, prevent, and refrain from, in any way, participating in the carrying out of such explosions. The Treaty also provides for a complex global verification regime, and measures to ensure compliance and redress a situation contravening it.
With 161 signatories and 85 ratifications (84 in previously issued materials; Singapore ratified on 10 November), the CTBT is now approaching the status of a universal treaty, but, under its article XIV, it must be ratified by the 44 States listed in its annex 2 before it can enter into force. At present, 31 have done so. Thirteen "annex 2" countries that have still not ratified the Treaty include two nuclear-weapon States -– China and the United States. Three of the "annex 2" countries have not signed the Treaty, namely, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, India and Pakistan.
The 31 annex 2 countries that have ratified the Treaty are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
The following States whose ratification is required, but who have not yet done so, are: Algeria, China, Colombia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, United States and Viet Nam.
When it concludes today, the Conference will issue its Final Declaration (document CTBT-ART.XIV/2001/WP.1). In the Declaration, delegations reaffirm their strong determination to promote international peace and security and stress the importance of a universal and internationally and effectively verifiable CTBT as a major instrument in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
Member States of the Conference reiterate that the cessation of all nuclear-weapon-test explosions and all other nuclear explosions, and constraining the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons and ending the development of advanced new types of nuclear weapons, constitutes an effective measure of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. It is, thus, a meaningful step in the realization of a systematic process to achieve nuclear disarmament. The delegates renew their commitment to work for universal ratification of the Treaty and its early entry into force.
Despite the progress made and strong support for the Treaty, delegations note with concern that the Treaty has not entered into force five years after opening for signature. Member States of the Conference, therefore, stress their determination to strengthen efforts aimed at promoting the Treaty’s entry into force at the earliest possible date. Delegations affirm that the conduct of a nuclear-weapon-test explosion or any other nuclear explosion constitutes a serious threat to global efforts towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
Member States of the Conference call upon all States to maintain a moratorium on nuclear-weapon-test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and underline the importance of signature and ratification of the Treaty. Delegations welcome the progress in building the global infrastructure for Treaty verification, including the International Monitoring System, with a view to ensuring that the verification regime will be capable of meeting the requirements of the Treaty at entry into force. Convinced of the importance of achieving universal adherence to the Treaty, delegations welcome the ratifications of all States that have done so since the 1999 Conference, stressing in particular the steps required to achieve its early entry into force.
Member States of the Conference:
-- Call upon all States that have not yet ratified the Treaty to sign and ratify it as soon as possible and to refrain from acts which would defeat its object and purpose in the meanwhile;
-- Call upon States that have signed but not ratified the Treaty, in particular those whose ratification is needed for entry into force, to accelerate their ratification processes with a view to early successful conclusion;
-- Recall that two States out of three whose ratification is needed for the Treaty’s entry into force, but have not yet signed it, have expressed their willingness not to delay the entry into force of the Treaty, and call upon them to ratify it as soon as possible;
-- Note the fact that one State out of three whose ratification is needed for the Treaty’s entry into force and which have not yet signed it, had not expressed its intention towards the Treaty, and call upon this State to sign and ratify it as soon as possible;
-- Note the ratification of the Treaty by three nuclear-weapon States and call the other two to accelerate their ratification processes;
- Agree that ratifying States will select one of their number to promote cooperation to facilitate the early entry into force of the Treaty, through informal consultations with all interested countries; and
-- Call upon the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO to continue its international cooperation activities to promote understanding of the Treaty, including by demonstrating the benefits of the application of verification technologies for peaceful purposes.
(For lists of signatures and ratifiers, see Press Release DC/2814 issued 9 November.)
SULE LAMIDO, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nigeria, said the CTBT constituted the major pillar sustaining the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime of the NPT. Its provisions envisaged pragmatic and concrete measures aimed at attaining a nuclear-weapon-free world, which was of great importance to his country and the rest of the world. The NPT Review Conference in 2000 recognized in article VI that the CTBT was the practical step towards nuclear disarmament. He commended, therefore, the development of the global verification regime to monitor compliance with the Treaty.
In particular, he welcomed the emerging profile of the international cooperation programme as a vehicle for promoting the importance of the Treaty, he said. He commended its supporting role in advancing the establishment of an international monitoring system, consultation and clarification, and on-site inspections, as well as confidence-building measures. In that regard, he welcomed the decision of the CTBT Organization (CTBTO) to organize a workshop to facilitate the implementation of the CTBT for countries in the West and Central African subregions in Dakar, Senegal, this month. Nigeria supported that initiative and would participate in the workshop.
As part of Nigeria’s commitment to the non-proliferation regime, President Olusegun Obasanjo signed the CTBT while in New York to attend the Millennium Summit last year, he said. The process of ratification had since been concluded by the National Assembly, making Nigeria one of the 12 African countries to have ratified the Treaty. The Treaty provided a credible framework for securing the world from threat of nuclear weapons. Nigeria was prepared to cooperate with the Provisional Technical Secretariat to achieve the early entry into force of the Treaty.
ALEXANDRU NICELESCU (Romania) said that he fully supported the statement that Belgium had made on behalf of the European Union. The adoption by the General Assembly of the CTBT in 1996 brought to an end one of the longest treaty negotiations in the history of arms control and disarmament. Solutions to the problems preventing the CTBT from entering into force must be found and steps must be taken to ensure an effective verification system. The early entry into force of the CTBT was a priority, because a universal and verifiable ban on nuclear testing continued to be an essential component of regional and international security and a decisive step towards the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.
Since the Treaty was adopted, 161 States had signed it and 85 of them had ratified it, he said. Romania was one of the 44 States whose ratification was necessary for the Treaty to enter into force. That was welcome evidence of a determination to start a new century free of nuclear-test explosions. Regrettably, the Treaty had been challenged in 1998 by two nuclear tests in South Asia. The statements of the two States concerned declaring their willingness to accede to the CTBT and to forego further testing were, however, welcomed. All States must refrain from any further testing.
The efforts of the CTBTO’s Preparatory Commission and the Provisional Technical Secretariat to establish an effective verification system for the Treaty were to be commended, he continued. Measures consistent with international law to accelerate the ratification process of the CTBT should be considered. The progress made in that regard since the last Conference should continue at the current Conference. The review of those States whose ratifications were necessary for entry into force of the CTBT had pointed out the need for further encouragement of the ratification process. The Preparatory Committee and the Secretary-General were called on to actively support such efforts. States that had not yet signed, or ratified the Treaty should do so at the earliest possible date, in order to promote universal adherence to the Treaty.
MOVSES ABELIAN (Armenia) said that his country was among the first countries to sign the CTBT and to deposit a ratification instrument of the Additional Protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on application of safeguards, to assure that nuclear energy was being used for peaceful purposes. The ratification process of the CTBT was under way and would be followed by further actions in preparing the necessary legislation to implement the Treaty at its entry into force. Bringing the CTBT into force would give a new impetus to existing disarmament mechanisms. In particular, it would revitalize negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty.
He said he was encouraged by the amount of work and progress achieved by the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO. He reiterated his full and unequivocal support for the efforts of the Commission to establish a strong verification regime in a timely manner, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the CTBT. The International Monitoring System (IMS), as a key component of the Treaty’s verification mechanism, represented a substantial and important investment by the international community.
He supported the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones as an important element of the overall process of nuclear disarmament, he said. In particular, he supported the establishment of such zones provided that they, according to the guidelines adopted by the Disarmament Commission, were freely arrived at among all the States of the regions concerned. Armenia would support any new proposal for the establishment of such zones, when a consensus was reached among concerned States. Such consensus must be reached prior to seeking international consideration.
ALFRED MOUNGARA-MOUSSOTSI (Gabon) said that exactly five years ago the Secretary-General opened the CTBT for signature. Since then, 161 States had signed the Treaty, confirming the universal aspiration of the international community to end nuclear tests of all kinds. Gabon itself ratified the CTBT in 2000. To date, 84 others had ratified the Treaty, including 31 annex 2 States.
The ratification of the CTBT by three of the five nuclear Powers was noteworthy, he said. It was important to have unequivocal support for the Treaty, especially from those States whose ratifications were necessary for it to enter into force. The events of 11 September showed the importance of consensus among the international community to take disarmament measures. All States should adopt nuclear test moratoriums until the entry into force of the Treaty. Restraint would also be necessary with regard to the continued development of nuclear weapons. The Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO was a framework for technological work to make the Treaty’s implementation possible.
Gabon had a seismic station on its territory and was eager to cooperate with the Preparatory Commission, he said. The remarkable work of Executive Secretary Wolfgang Hoffman and the CTBTO Provisional Technical Secretariat in promoting the Treaty should be praised. Work on the verification regime should continue and a regional workshop to be held in Dakar from 13 to 15 November would be helpful. It was necessary to fully resource the CTBTO, to enable developing countries to implement verification measures. He was convinced the Conference was very important, in a context where it was ever more important to stop proliferation. A genuine commitment to disarmament was needed to reduce dangers to mankind. The CTBT was an instrument that must be applied, in order to have a world without nuclear weapons.
ADDURRAHMAN M. SHAGHAM (Libya) said that the meeting was taking place in the wake of horrible attacks against the United States. Libya looked forward to intensifying efforts to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons in particular. Libya had participated in most meetings and conferences on disarmament and had contributed to the international community’s efforts to adopt relevant resolutions. His country had signed and ratified several regional and international disarmament treaties, including the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Biological Weapons Convention and the Africa Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (Treaty of Pelindaba).
More than 30 years had passed since the signing of the NPT, he said. The latest Review Conference, held in 2000, adopted a resolution calling for the realization of the universal character of the Treaty and the need for nuclear- weapon States to eliminate their nuclear arsenals. The Conference also underlined the importance of nuclear-weapon-free zones, including one in the Middle East. Israel’s acquisition of hundreds of nuclear weapons threatened the lives of people in the region. The international community should exert more pressure on Israel’s leadership to accede to the NPT and place their nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards.
He was pleased to announce that his country had decided to accede to the CTBT. Legislative procedures were expected to be finalized as soon as was possible. All people yearned to live in a world free of nuclear weapons, so all States should sign and ratify the CTBT without delay to assure its early entry into force. Nuclear-weapon States should show their political will and take steps under the NPT, such as establishing timetables for eliminating all their nuclear weapons. That was the only way to create a world of security and stability.
REBECCA JOHNSON, Executive Director of the Acronym Institute, speaking on behalf of the non-governmental organizations to the Conference, said that the CTBT was brought about through the hard work and determination of non-governmental organizations and millions of ordinary people around the world. In all those years, the non-governmental organizations community had not faltered in its advocacy for a test-ban treaty. People throughout the world understood that ending nuclear testing was essential for two powerful reasons: to halt the spiralling arms race; and to prevent further devastation of human health and the global environment, already contaminated from decades of atmospheric and underground explosions. Entry into force of the CTBT was within reach.
However, she continued, due to the actions of a handful of States, the long road to secure a total ban on nuclear tests was in jeopardy. A ban on testing was an essential step towards nuclear disarmament. It helped block dangerous nuclear competition and new nuclear threats from emerging. However, technological advances in nuclear-weapon research and development meant that a ban on nuclear test explosions, by itself, could not prevent some qualitative improvements in nuclear arsenals. Continued efforts to improve nuclear arsenals and to make nuclear weapons more useable in warfare would jeopardize the stability of the test ban and non-proliferation regimes.
She called on all States possessing nuclear weapons to halt immediately all qualitative improvements in their nuclear armaments, especially those which provided new or enhanced military capabilities, whether or not those improvements required nuclear explosive tests. The Conference needed to send out a strong message to the remaining 13 States that had not yet signed and/or ratified the Treaty and urge their prompt signature and ratification without conditions or reservations. The world would otherwise hold those countries responsible for undermining international security, and the non-proliferation and disarmament aspirations of their peoples.
She also urged the Conference and committed governments to send high-level emissaries to the 13 hold-out States and to press for their signature and ratification at every opportunity, including in discussions on combating terrorism.
The Acting President, OLGA PELLICER (Mexico), announced that, since the opening of the Conference on 11 November, three more States had ratified the Treaty: Ecuador, Nauru and Singapore. Consequently, the draft final declaration should be amended to reflect the Treaty’s current status.
The Conference then adopted the draft final declaration, as orally amended.
Turning to the report of the Conference (document CTBT-Art.XIV/2001/WP.2*), she drew delegates’ attention to an informal paper containing proposed language for revision or addendums, which had been prepared for ease of reference for delegations.
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