Ban notes urgency of entry into force of nuclear-test-ban treaty

15 June 2009
Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs) under construction at a nuclear power plant

Noting that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) has still not been brought into force over a decade after it was agreed, Secretary-General today renewed his appeal to all States that have not yet done so to adhere to the pact.

The General Assembly adopted the CTBT in September 1996 to ban any nuclear-test explosions anywhere. It will enter into force 180 days after all 44 of the States mentioned in Annex 2 of the Treaty – those that possessed nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons technology at the time of the opening for signature in 1996 – have ratified it.

The conclusion of the Treaty was “an important milestone in norm-setting and marked a significant achievement in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation,” Mr. Ban said in a statement issued today in New York.

“But for too long, it has not been brought into force,” he added. “The price is high. There is no doubt that the longer the Treaty is delayed, the greater the risks and consequences that nuclear weapons will again be tested.

“By outlawing all nuclear tests, the CTBT in force would greatly contribute to global efforts to curb the proliferation of nuclear weapons while advancing nuclear disarmament,” he stated.

The Secretary-General last week welcomed the Security Council’s toughening of sanctions on the Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK), following the country’s latest nuclear test.

He said the test “reminded the international community of the urgency of bringing the Treaty into force without further delay.”

Stressing that the international community should “seize the current moment,” he particularly commended the new United States Administration for its pledges to work toward ratification of the Treaty.


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