Ratification of treaty banning nuclear tests an international priority – UN chief

27 September 2013

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged the international community speed up the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), stressing it is indispensable to move forward on the disarmament agenda.

“I call on all members of the international community to break the stagnation in the disarmament process. We must secure the CTBT’s entry into force, enforce a complete ban on nuclear testing and take further concrete steps towards creating a world without nuclear weapons,” Mr. Ban told the eighth conference on facilitating the entry into force of the CTBT, held at United Nations Headquarters on the margins of the General Assembly’s high-level debate.

The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions in all environments, for military or civilian purposes. It was adopted by the General Assembly in September 1996 but has not yet entered into force.

Out of a total listed number of 195 States, 183 have so far signed the CTBT and 161 have ratified it. For the treaty to enter into force, ratification is required from the so-called “Annex 2 States.” Of these, China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States have yet to ratify.

“A comprehensive ban on nuclear tests is an indispensable step on the road to a nuclear-weapon-free world. And it is the only fitting response to the hopes of those people who have suffered most from the production, testing and use of these weapons,” Mr. Ban said.

“I urge all remaining States to sign and ratify the CTBT without further delay. This is a call I make on behalf of all people in our world who adamantly oppose the development of these indiscriminate weapons and yearn for a safer world.”

Mr. Ban added that the eight remaining States whose ratifications are necessary for the treaty to enter into force have “a special responsibility,” and noted that all States should honour existing moratoria on nuclear weapon test explosions.

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