Press Releases

    For information only - not an official document

    UNIS/MA/28
    20 September 2013

    Re-issued as received

    MEDIA ADVISORY

    Foreign Ministers Gather to Outlaw all Nuclear Testing

    VIENNA 19 September 2013 (Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization) - Foreign ministers and other high-level representatives from the 183 States Signatories to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) will gather at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 27 September 2013 to promote the entry into force of the Treaty that bans all nuclear testing. The Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is open to the press and to non-governmental organizations.

    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will open the conference, which will be jointly chaired by János Martonyi and Marty Natalegawa, the Foreign Ministers of Hungary and Indonesia respectively.

    Time and venue : Friday, 27 September 2013, 10.00-13.00 and 15.00-18.00 at the UN Headquarters, Conference Room 3 (Conference Building), see agenda.

    Items of media interest

    • Photo op at the opening of the conference, Friday, 27 September 2013, 09.55, UN Headquarters, Conference Room 3 (Conference Building)
    • Press briefing on 27 September 2013 at 11.00 at the UN Headquarters, Press Briefing Room. Participants: the Foreign Ministers of Hungary and Indonesia and CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo
    • Interview and photo op with members of the newly formed Group of Eminent Persons (GEM) to support the CTBT's entry into force. Members include Hans Blix, Jayantha Dhanapala, Kevin Rudd and Héctor Timerman: Thursday 26 September at 15.00 at UN Headquarters. Due to restricted access and space, registration is required in addition to the standard UN media registration: press@ctbto.org.
    • Interview requests with conference participants or members of the GEM: contact Thomas Mützelburg (Tel.: +43 699 1459 6421)
    • UN TV will cover the entire conference via web stream.

    More information: conference webpage; image packages for download: CTBTO Newsroom

    Media registration

    Media representatives wishing to cover the conference who are not already accredited to the UN in New York must apply for media accreditation through the electronic application system. Media are restricted to observing the conference from the booths or the mezzanine floor (entrance to both on 1st floor).

    Media Accreditation & Liaison Unit contact information:

    Isabelle Broyer,
    Chief, Media Accreditation & Liaison Unit
    United Nations Headquarters, Room L-248
    New York NY 10017, USA
    Telephone: (1-212) 963 6934 or 963 6937
    Fax: (1-212) 963 4642
    Email: broyer[at]un.org 

    NGO registration

    Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that wish to attend the conference are encouraged to apply to the Secretariat of the Conference at their earliest convenience; see here for details. Point of contact:

    Ray Acheson
    NGO Coordinator
    Reaching Critical Will
    777 UN Plaza, 6th Floor
    New York, NY 10017, USA
    Tel: (1-212) 682-1265
    Fax: (1-212) 286-8211
    Email: info[at]reachingcriticalwill.org

    * *** *

    Background

    The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions. The Treaty impedes both the initial development of nuclear weapons as well as the upgrade of existing designs. The Treaty also helps prevent damage caused by nuclear testing to humans and the environment.

    The Treaty has been signed by 183 States and ratified by 159. However, the CTBT's stringent entry-into- force formula prescribes that 44 particular States need to ratify the Treaty for it to enter into force. These States possessed nuclear capabilities at the time of the Treaty's negotiations in the 1990s. Eight of them have yet to ratify: China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States (the DPRK, India and Pakistan have also not yet signed the Treaty).

    The Group of Eminent Persons (GEM)

    To ensure an innovative and focused approach to advance the CTBT's ratification by the remaining Annex 2 States, a group comprising eminent personalities and internationally recognized experts has been established. Through their expertise, experience and political standing, this Group of Eminent Persons (GEM) will support and complement efforts to promote the Treaty's entry into force as well as reinvigorating international endeavours to achieve this goal. The Presidents of the Article XIV Conference, the Foreign Minister of Hungary, János Martonyi, and the Foreign Minister of Indonesia, Marty Natalegawa, will also be members of the GEM.

    The CTBT verification regime

    The establishment of the CTBT verification regime to monitor the globe for nuclear explosions has progressed significantly since the last conference in 2011. Around 87 percent of the planned 337 International Monitoring System facilities worldwide are now operational. The monitoring system detected the nuclear tests announced by the DPRK in 2006, 2009 and 2013 in a timely, reliable and precise manner. The system can also assist with disaster mitigation measures, in particular tsunami warning and radiation detection, as was the case with the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

    On the occasion of the International Day against Nuclear Tests on 29 August 2013, the UN Secretary General declared:

    "I once again urge all States to sign and ratify the CTBT without further delay. The eight remaining States whose ratifications are necessary for the Treaty to enter into force have a special responsibility; none should wait for others to act first. In the meantime, all States should maintain or implement moratoria on nuclear explosions. I also encourage civil society, academia and others to continue to contribute their crucial advocacy."

    ** *** **

    For more information, please see www.ctbto.org - your resource on ending nuclear testing, or contact:

    (in New York)

    Thomas Mützelburg
    Public Information Officer
    Telephone: (+43 1) 26030 6421
    Mobile: (+43 699) 1459 6421
    Email: thomas.muetzelburg[at]ctbto.org

    (in Vienna)

    Kirstie Gregorich Hansen
    Public Information Officer
    Telephone: (+43 1) 26030 6540
    Mobile: (+43 699) 1459 6540
    Email: kirsten.gregorich.hansen[at]ctbto.org