Countries are called upon to sign and ratify the Treaty

The United Nations Disarmament Committee stressed Wednesday the urgency of signature and ratification, without delay and without conditions, to achieve the earliest entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). The draft resolution of the UN General Assembly’s First Committee, was adopted by a recorded vote of 166 countries in favor to 1 against (the United States), and 4 abstentions (Colombia, India, Mauritius, Syria). The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) that voted against the resolution in 2006 was not present at the vote. The resolution urged all States not to carry out nuclear-weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions, to maintain their moratoria, and to refrain from acts that would defeat the object and purpose of the CTBT, while stressing that these measures do not have the same permanent and legally binding effect as the entry into force of the Treaty. The text also called for a peaceful solution of the nuclear issues on the Korean peninsula through successful implementation of the Joint Statement, and the initial and second-phase actions to implement it, agreed upon in the framework of the six-party talks. Speaking on behalf of the European Union, the representative of Portugal said that the CTBT’s entry into force was of utmost importance, and he called on the States whose ratification is necessary for entry into force to sign and ratify the Treaty as early as possible. The EU had conducted an extensive lobbying campaign to promote the universalization of the CTBT, and would continue to do so. He said he appreciated the work of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission and, therefore, was concerned about the failure of some States signatories to meet their financial commitments. He called on all States to meet their financial obligations in full. Pending the CTBT’s entry into force, he urged all States to abide by the nuclear weapons test moratorium. The representative of Colombia explained his country’s abstention by stating that there was awareness of the constitutional reason that had prevented Colombia from becoming party to the CTBT, but Colombia reaffirmed its commitment to the Treaty. Hopefully, a solution to that situation would be found to enable Colombia to ratify the Treaty as soon as possible. Colombia, the DPRK, India and the United States belong to the group of ten countries that have yet to ratify the Treaty for it to enter into force. The other remaining countries are China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, and Pakistan who all voted in favor of the resolution.