Two staunch supporters of the CTBT

David Miliband: now is the time to show we're serious about the treaty

U.K. Foreign Minister David Miliband calls for renewed international efforts to strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, including putting the CTBT into effect: "The fact that we’ve been stuck on it has sapped a lot of hope", he said, adding that he welcomed the renewed interest from the United States in the CTBT. The British Foreign Office has published a paper outlining specific conditions and steps for moving towards the goal of abolishing nuclear weapons.

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Clinton says she would embrace climate, arms treaties

According to the Boston Globe, incoming U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, pledged to revitalize US leadership on international treaties, including seeking U.S. ratification of the CTBT: "The President-Elect and I are both strongly committed to Senate approval of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and to launching a diplomatic effort to bring on board other States whose ratifications are required for the Treaty to enter into force." The statement was made during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on 14 January.

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Nuclear Weapons: a Relic of the Past - IAEA DG Dr. ElBaradei

In an editorial published in the German Süddeutsche Zeitung, IAEA Director-General, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, calls for renewed political momentum towards the vision of a nuclear-weapon free world. ElBaradei sets out a five-point plan, the first point being major reductions in U.S. and Russian nuclear weapon arsenals, a step which "needs to be accompanied by the long-overdue entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty".

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Steinmeier Calls For 'New Trans-Atlantic Agenda'

The online version of the German news magazine Der Spiegel reports on German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier's meeting with newly appointed U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The magazine reports on Steinmeier's plan to push for a "new trans-Atlantic agenda", of which one of the key elements would be nuclear disarmament. In that context, Steinmeier specifically highlighted the ratification of the CTBT by the U.S. Senate.

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Interview with CTBTO PrepCom Chairman Ambassador Lundborg

"Generate Political Energy!" - Ambassador Hans Lundborg takes positive stock of his chairmanship of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission in 2008 and gives an outlook on the new year. He encourages CTBT Member States to increase political pressure on the nine remaining countries that still have to ratify the CTBT for entry into force: "With U.S. ratification in sight, we will be able to build up further political momentum."

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Obama Urged to Keep Pledge to Ratify Nuclear Treaty

In an interview with Bloomberg, CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth expresses his hope that the Obama administration will not lose sight of the threat posed by nuclear weapons or the campaign pledge to work towards U.S. ratification of the CTBT amid the global financial crisis: "There is a need for a nonpartisan approach to this issue ... People should understand that it’s in the best interest of the United States of America.”

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Drawing a Bright Red line: Forestalling Nuclear Proliferation in the Middle East

Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Program at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, analyses possibilites for preventing a cascade of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. According to the author, the CTBT could contribute to these efforts: "The legal barrier between latent capability and weaponization could be strengthened if Iran were to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which will require the United States to exercise leadership in following through with its own ratification."

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USA: Congressional Research Service issues report on CTBT

The U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS) has issued a comprehensive report on the CTBT. The 43-page long report compiled by nuclear weapons policy specialist, Jonathan Medalia, highlights the different national positions on the Treaty, the declared North Korean nuclear test and the suspension of U.S. voting rights in the CTBTO Preparatory Commission. There is also strong emphasis on the U.S. Stockpile Stewardship Program.

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Stepping Back from the Brink: Avoiding a Nuclear March of Folly in South Asia

Zachary Davis, research professor at the Naval Postgraduate School proposes a number of steps in Arms Control Today to reduce the risks posed by nuclear weapons, specifically in South Asia. The author advocates a renewed effort by the Obama administration to bring India and Pakistan into the CTBT: "The prospects for overcoming opposition to the CTBT rest heavily on persuading India's hard-line nationalists that joining the CTBT in no way diminishes India's nuclear status but rather enhances it by including India as one of the nations that has tested nuclear weapons."

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