1999-2004: CTBT's expanding role

1999: The First Article XIV Conference

Out of the 154 Signatory States, 92 attended the Conference to Facilitate the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (Article XIV Conference).

Due to the US Senate’s decision to proceed with the debate and scheduled vote in mid-October, the First Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (Article XIV Conference) was affected by the political atmosphere in Washington. At the time of the Conference, 154 States had signed the Treaty and 51 States had also ratified it. Of the countries whose ratification was necessary for entry into force, 41 had signed and 26 had ratified the Treaty, including the two nuclear weapon States, France and the United Kingdom.

Many States expressed grave concern over the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan in 1998. Others referred to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its connection to the CTBT. The decision adopted at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference highlighted the important role of the CTBT in the nuclear non-proliferation regime. Acceleration of the ratification of the CTBT would contribute to the success of the 2000 NPT Review Conference.

The non-signatory States were urged to refrain from acts that could defeat the Treaty’s objective and purpose.

The 92 countries attending the Conference adopted a consensus declaration on the closing day, calling on all States that had not signed or ratified the Treaty to do so without delay. The non-signatory States were urged to refrain from acts that could defeat the Treaty’s objective and purpose. India and Pakistan had expressed their willingness not to delay the entry into force of the Treaty. They were called upon to fulfill those pledges. The DPRK had not indicated its intentions towards the Treaty. It was called upon to sign and ratify it. India and the DPRK did not attend the Conference, whereas Pakistan did so and also delivered a statement.

To learn more about this Conference, click here.

2000: The 2000 NPT Review Conference

The 2000 NTP Review Conference was held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Although the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference (1995 NPTREC) successfully negotiated an indefinite extension of the NPT in exchange for a set of Principles and Objectives on Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, many NNWS remained apprehensive about whether the NWS intended to follow through with their commitments.

Moreover, in the years following the 1995 NPTREC, events in South Asia and the failure of the US Senate to ratify the CTBT posed critical challenges to the credibility of the international nonproliferation regime. Many States were eager to reassert the legitimacy of the NPT in the wake of India and Pakistan’s nuclear tests.

2000: The 2000 NPT Review Conference cont.

The 2000 NPT Review Conference opened on 24 April with 155 States Parties out of 187 in attendance. There were many statements expressing disappointment over the US Senate’s failure to ratify the CTBT. Delegates offered strong endorsements for the EIF of the CTBT, as well as the conclusion of a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT).

2000: Nuclear Disarmament Plan of Action

Contrary to the expectations of most experts and analysts, for the first time in NPT history, the Conference adopted a fully negotiated consensus Final Document. The Final Document contained an “unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear weapon States to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament to which all States parties are committed under Article VI”.

The Final Document of the 2000 NPT Review Conference contained a 13 step action plan on nuclear disarmament. The first step was to secure the CTBT entry into force without delay or conditions.

It also contained practical steps for the systematic and progressive efforts to implement Article VI of the NPT and paragraphs 3 and 4(c) of the 1995 Decision on "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament". The first of these steps was to secure the early entry into force of the CTBT without delay or conditions and in accordance with constitutional processes. Pending the entry into force of the Treaty, the second step was the continuation of a moratorium on nuclear testing.

2001: The Second Article XIV Conference

The second Article XIV Conference highlighted the importance of the CTBT as an additional tool in the international nonproliferation regime.

Convened shortly after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on 11 September 2001, the second Article XIV Conference highlighted the importance of the CTBT as an additional tool in the international non-proliferation regime. Then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan opened the Conference remarking, "If anyone thinks that [the CTBT and the Conference] have been overshadowed or marginalised by the events of 11 September and their aftermath…those events should have made it clear to everyone that we cannot afford further proliferation of nuclear weapons”.

"If anyone thinks that [the CTBT and the Conference] have been overshadowed or marginalised by the events of 11 September and their aftermath…those events should have made it clear to everyone that we cannot afford further proliferation of nuclear weapons”.UN Secretary-General
Kofi Annan, 2001

109 countries attended the Conference which took place in parallel to the UN General Assembly in New York. A record number of 80 countries made statements, some 50 at the ministerial level.

When the Conference ended, a total number of 161 countries had signed and 87 had ratified the CTBT. 31 of the 44 countries whose ratification was necessary for entry into force had now ratified it, including the three nuclear weapon States France, the United Kingdom, and Russia. Four other Annex 2 States - Algeria, Colombia, Indonesia, and Viet Nam – had indicated their willingness to ratify the Treaty soon.

UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, the depositary of the CTBT, opens the second Article XIV Conference.

Out of the 321 planned IMS stations, 121 stations had now been completed. Another 90 stations were under construction or contract negotiation.

In the consensus Final Declaration, States renewed their commitment to work for the early entry into force and the universality of the Treaty. They called upon the two remaining nuclear weapon States, the United States and China, to accelerate their ratification processes with a view to early successful conclusions.

Many countries noted that the United States did not participate in the Conference. The European Union urged the United States to reconsider its position not to ratify the Treaty and to participate in joint endeavours to implement the nuclear-test ban.

To learn more about this Conference, click here.

2001: The Second Article XIV Conference cont.

Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation

In explaining its position, China underlined that its “basic position” towards the Treaty was unchanged. The CTBT was of great significance to the maintenance of international security, and essential in preventing the horizontal and vertical proliferation of nuclear weapons and promoting nuclear disarmament. The Chinese Government had reviewed the Treaty and now the National People’s Congress would deliberate on it.

The Russian representative read out a statement on behalf of President Vladimir Putin. The President was convinced that both early entry into force and universality of the CTBT “would meet the interests of all in the world community.” That was why Russia had done its best to promptly ratify the CTBT. Russia also proposed to conduct additional bilateral confidence-building measures with the United States at the nuclear test sites in both countries.

China underlined that the CTBT was significant to international security, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. The Government had reviewed the Treaty and now the National People’s Congress would deliberate on it.

2002: The First Joint Ministerial Statement

Yoriko Kawaguchi, Foreign Minister of Japan (courtesy of www.yoriko-kawaguchi.jp)

Not to lose momentum in a year in which the Article XIV Conference did not take place, Japan, in cooperation with Australia and the Netherlands, took the initiative to organize a “Friends of the CTBT” Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York. Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi emphasized in her opening remarks the need for nations to share a common understanding of the vision of the CTBT and to cooperate on activities promoting the entry into force of the Treaty and building the International Monitoring System.

The meeting was attended by ten foreign ministers; subsequently more than 50 foreign ministers, including those from France, Russia and the United Kingdom, associated themselves with the Joint Ministerial Statement.

The Statement identified the CTBT as central to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. It called on all States that had not yet signed and ratified the CTBT – in particular those whose ratification is needed for entry into force – to do so as soon as possible. The Ministers committed themselves to making the Treaty “a focus of attention at the highest political levels.”

The Ministers also stressed that it was vital to maintain momentum in establishing the verification regime. They appealed to all States Signatories to make available the financial resources needed to build and operate the regime as soon as possible, through the full and timely payment of assessed contributions.

2003: The Third Article XIV Conference

101 States that had signed or ratified the Treaty formally participated in the Conference in Vienna.

The third Article XIV Conference, convened in Vienna, 3-5 September 2003, highlighted not only the benefits to international peace and security to be gained by the Treaty’s entry into force, but much emphasis was also put on the potential civil and scientific applications of the International Monitoring System (IMS).

All together, 101 States that had signed or ratified the Treaty formally participated in the Conference, and another six states, several intergovernmental organizations, 19 non-governmental organizations and a few specialist agencies attended the Conference.

The third Article XIV Conference, convened in Vienna, 3-5 September 2003, highlighted both the benefits to international peace and security to be gained by the Treaty’s entry into force and the potential civil and scientific applications of the CTBTO verification regime.
The Final Document of the 2003 Article XIV Conference reaffirmed Member States’ commitment to work for universal ratification of the Treaty and its early entry into force.

The twin threats of resumed nuclear weapon testing and nuclear terrorism were among the key concerns raised at the Conference. Participants stressed that further delay in the CTBT's entry into force could lead to a resumption of nuclear testing, resulting in the acquisition of nuclear weapons by terrorists.

Malaysia, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), referred to the 2002 United States Nuclear Posture Review and “ambitions to develop new nuclear weapons”. The Russian Federation also voiced its “serious concern with the [United States’] plans of developing new types of nuclear warheads” as well as the “decision to cut the timeframe needed to get ready for conducting nuclear tests”.

The Final Document of the 2003 Article XIV Conference reaffirmed Member States’ commitment to work for universal ratification of the Treaty and its early entry into force. The overwhelming support for the Treaty as expressed in the United Nations General Assembly was also noted.

The Final Document also highlighted the importance of the Treaty and its entry into force for the systematic and progressive efforts towards nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation.

The third Article XIV Conference adopted twelve specific political measures to promote the entry into force of the Treaty.
Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Austria. The Conference adopted twelve specific political measures to promote the Treaty's entry into force.

Most significantly, the Conference adopted twelve specific political measures to promote the entry into force of the Treaty. These included, inter alia; supporting bilateral, regional and multilateral initiatives by countries interested in promoting the Treaty; providing legal assistance on implementation measures and on national ratification processes; demonstrating the benefits of the civil and scientific applications of the verification technologies; and, encouraging cooperation with non-governmental organizations and other elements of civil society.

2003: The Third Article XIV Conference cont.

Auxiliary Seismic station 45, Kupang, Indonesia. By 2003, 79 IMS stations had been fully certified (25 primary seismic, 11 auxiliary seismic, 4 hydroacoustic, 17 infrasound and 22 radionuclide stations).

Following the Conference, Ambassador Jaap Ramaker, Permanent Representative  of the Netherlands to the Conference on Disarmament during the CTBT negotiations, was appointed Special Representative of the Ratifying States to promote the entry into force of the CTBT.

By the end of the Conference, 169 countries had signed the Treaty, while 105 had ratified. Of the 44 Annex 2 States whose ratification is required for the Treaty to enter into force, 41 had signed and 32 countries had ratified the CTBT.

Significant progress on the IMS had been achieved. In accordance with the strict technical requirements of the CTBTO, 79 IMS stations had been fully certified by 2003 (25 primary seismic, 11 auxiliary seismic, 4 hydroacoustic, 17 infrasound and 22 radionuclide stations). Out of the 321 stations in the IMS, 175 stations were certified, installed or substantially met CTBTO specifications.

To learn more about this Conference click here.

By 2003, significant progress on the International Monitoring System had been achieved. Out of the 321 IMS stations worldwide, 175 had already been certified, installed or substantially met CTBTO specifications.

2004: Second Joint Ministerial Statement

Alexander Downer, Foreign Minister of Australia

Once again, the Foreign Ministers of the “Friends of the CTBT” gathered in New York on the margins of the UN General Assembly to garner support for the Treaty. This time, Finland joined Australia, Japan and the Netherlands in convening the meeting; subsequently 66 foreign ministers associated themselves with the Joint Statement.

The 2004 Statement (PDF) emphasized the CTBT as an integral part of agreements related to the NPT. It affirmed that the CTBT will make an important contribution towards preventing the proliferation of materials, technologies and knowledge that can be used for nuclear weapons, “one of the most important challenges the world is facing today.”

The 66 Foreign Ministers committed themselves to making the CTBT a focus of attention at the highest political levels and to take measures to facilitate signature and ratification.

The entry into force of the CTBT was thus more urgent today than ever before. Progress on a CTBT should also contribute to a positive outcome of the 2005 NPT Review Conference. The Ministers committed themselves once again to making the CTBT a focus of attention at the highest political levels and to take measures to facilitate the process of signature and ratification.

Next chapter:
2005-07: Continued challenges for nuclear arms control