1994-96: Entry into force formula

1994-96: Entry into force formula

Entry into force provisions (EIF)

Determining the provisions for the Treaty’s entry into force was as politically challenging a task as negotiating many of the other contentious issues surrounding the nuclear test ban. The central question was which countries must ratify the CTBT before the Treaty enters into force.

On 20 June 1994, China tabled a draft calling for entry into force one year after all CD members and all States known by the IAEA to possess nuclear or research reactors had deposited their instruments of ratification. However, many states were weary of supporting Entry Into Force (EIF) provisions that would allow one State an essential veto against the Treaty.

Determining the Treaty’s entry into force provisions was
as politically challenging a task as negotiating many of
the other contentious issues surrounding the nuclear test ban.

Although many States favored EIF provisions similar to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which required a simple numeric formula, the United States would not join the Treaty unless all NWS ratified. At the outset of negotiations the United Kingdom, France and Russia advocated an IAEA-based list of countries that were capable of conducting a nuclear test. This formula would have met the goal of covering Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) as well as the three “threshold” states, India, Pakistan and Israel.

Others, such as Australia, suggested a diplomatic process to decide EIF provisions instead of including specific language in the text of the Treaty. Japan, Sweden and Indonesia all proposed a simple number of ratifications to be required for EIF, but this method had no guarantee of capturing NWS and those capable of nuclear testing.

Differences emerge and persist

In 1995, the United States proposed a draft with similar language to China’s initial offer, although it included a waiver clause to prevent one State from holding the Treaty hostage. The proposal stipulated that the Treaty would enter into force after ratification by all States possessing nuclear or research reactors. However, after all the NWS ratified the Treaty, a majority of States Parties could elect to convene a conference to decide whether to waive this requirement.

Nonetheless, stating that the primary objective of the CTBT was nuclear non-proliferation, the United Kingdom said it could not support a waiver clause, and India rejected any special classification for the NWS. Meanwhile, France maintained that a test ban treaty without the ratification of all nuclear capable States was useless.

Treaty supporters “clenched their teeth” as the deadline for
negotiating the CTBT drew near.

By 1996, clear divergences of opinion between delegations persisted over, among other issues, EIF provisions and Treaty supporters clenched their teeth as the deadline for negotiating the CTBT approached.

It was in January of 1996 that India introduced language stating that the Treaty shall enter into force only after all Parties commit to attaining total disarmament after ten years. Although insisting that the terms and target dates were negotiable, India clarified its position that the CTBT must be a disarmament Treaty.

The United States argued that the CTBT was an important step towards the elimination of nuclear weapons, and that attempting both a test ban and a total disarmament Treaty would ultimately lead to neither.

The EIF formula

With no consensus, or even a favoured option for EIF provisions, the Chairman of the Conference on Disarmament (CD), Jaap Ramaker, inserted a Canadian proposal in May 1996 to include those countries that hosted primary seismic stations or a radionuclide laboratory in the list. This formula would have succeeded in covering all five Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) as well as the three threshold States, but it met with resistance from many members of the CD. These States were fearful of disrupting the negotiations on the verification regime, which were nearing completion.

The EIF formula cont.

However, China and Pakistan endorsed the draft, and India subsequently withdrew all of its facilities from the IMS, effectively severing all cooperative links with the CTBT. India then reiterated its position that the Treaty must not enter into force without a timetable for disarmament, also arguing that India would not be coerced into signing a Treaty that impinged on its sovereign right to act in accordance with its own supreme national interest.

Chairman Ramaker was determined to conclude the negotiations in time to submit the Treaty to the 51st session of the United Nations General Assembly. At this stage, the negotiations had reached fever pitch, with delegates holding meetings at all hours of the day. The exhausting pace of the negotiations and the pressure to complete the draft Treaty before the deadline placed the delegates under enormous pressure.

As the final entry into force formula, it was decided that
the Treaty would enter into force 180 days (i.e. six months)
after all the 44 States that possessed nuclear reactors and
research reactors had deposited their instruments of
ratification with the United Nations Depositary.

On 28 June 1996, after making no headway during open-ended consultations in the preceding few days, Ramaker presented a revised Treaty that he believed had garnered the most support during the negotiations. This text contained a list of “Annex 2” States compiled from the International Atomic Energy Agency’s April 1996 edition of “Nuclear Power Reactors in the World”, which identified countries that possessed nuclear research and/or power reactors. These Annex 2 countries were also part of the Conference on Disarmament and had participated in CTBT negotiations in 1996.

It was decided that the Treaty would enter into force 180 days (i.e. six months) after all 44 Annex 2 States had deposited their instruments of ratification with the United Nations Depositary.