CTBT in spotlight at Inter Parliamentary Union Assembly panel discussion

17 October 2008 - Page 1

Geneva, 14 October 2008

A panel discussion on "Advancing Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament and Securing the Entry into Force of the CTBT: The role of parliaments" was held  during the 119th session of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Geneva on 14 October 2008. The discussion was a call to action for parliaments from all over the world on the urgent need for progress in the areas of non-proliferation and disarmament. They were also encouraged to re-energize political will to facilitate this objective, among which is the urgent entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Read the full report from the panel discussion here

Many delegations underlined the importance of the CTBT’s immediate entry into force, - especially the ratification of the Treaty by the nine remaining Annex 2 States whose ratification is necessary for entry into force. These nine countries are: China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States.  Discussions ranged from the need for parliaments to take on a leading political role in their respective countries in the pursuit of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, to the discriminatory nature of the non-proliferation regime with its different rights and obligations for nuclear weapon States and non-nuclear weapon States.

The panel discussion was attended by well over 115 representatives from about 150 governments.   There was a great deal of interest and discussion on the issue at hand and about 37 speakers took the floor. The four panelists were the two parliamentarians, Roger Price of Australia and J.J. Mwiimbi of Zambia, Alyn Ware, Global Coordinator, Parliamentarian for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).

"A critical step that States could take in advancing the
objective of global security is to facilitate the entry into
force of the CTBT...(and) this is an immediate disarmament
priority for Australia as it should be for all States."Roger Price, Parliamentarian of Australia

Role of Parliament on Entry into Force of the Treaty

In his opening statement, Price stated that there are many challenges confronting parliamentarians today, including "another crisis-in-waiting which is today far too often overlooked - the immediate and horrific danger posed by nuclear weapons." He underscored that parliamentarians must play "our part in ensuring that nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament are kept at the forefront of political agendas."  He concluded that a critical step that States could take in advancing the objective of global security "is to facilitate the entry into force of the CTBT...(and) this is an immediate disarmament priority for Australia as it should be for all States."