Mauritania ratifies the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

PI/2003/11

Mauritania has deposited its instrument of ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) with the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 30 April 2003, bringing the total number of ratifications to 100. Seventeen of the 53 States in the Africa geographical region have now ratified the Treaty.

The CTBT bans any nuclear weapon test explosion in any environment. Drafted at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, and adopted by the General Assembly on 10 September 1996, the Treaty was opened for signature on 24 September 1996 at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Africa's participation is vital in ensuring the entry into force and universality of the CTBT. Thirty-six African States signed the Treaty when it opened for signature and this number is rising steadily. Africa's determining role in the enhancement of regional and global peace and security is also significant. In addition, Africa has the largest number of States hosting International Monitoring System (IMS) facilities.

Mauritania hosts an IMS radionuclide station, RN43, at Nouakchott. This station forms part of the global network of 337 IMS monitoring facilities being established under the terms of the CTBT to verify Treaty compliance. IMS facilities record data using four complementary technologies seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasound and radionuclide ? and are capable of registering vibrations from a possible nuclear explosion underground, in the seas and in the air, as well as detecting radioactive debris released into the atmosphere. The monitoring facilities transmit the data via satellite to the International Data Centre (IDC) in Vienna, where the data are used to detect, locate and characterize events. These data and IDC products are made available to the States Signatories for final analysis.

To date, 100 States have deposited their instruments of ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. To enter into force, however, the Treaty must be signed and ratified by the 44 States that formally participated in the work of the 1996 session of the Conference on Disarmament and that possess nuclear power or research reactors. Thirty-one of these States have ratified the Treaty.

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The 100 States that have deposited their instruments of ratification of the CTBT are: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guyana, Holy See, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Latvia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uruguay, Uzbekistan and Venezuela.

For further information on the CTBTO, please see www.ctbto.org or contact:
Annika Thunborg, Chief, Public Information  
T    +43 1 26030-6375  
E    annika.thunborgping@ctbtopong.org
M    +43 699 1459 6375       
I    www.ctbto.org