CTBTO launches presidential initiative: CTBT Champions for a Nuclear-Test-Free World

Two former heads of state – First President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan and former Finnish President Tarja Halonen – are taking on a new role as Champions of a Nuclear Test Free World for a Nuclear Weapons Free World, under the umbrella of the CTBTO’s Group of Eminent Persons (GEM). The two-year initiative aims to benefit from the high political standing of the two leaders, and their active role in promoting international peace and security, in order to promote the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and its entry into force.
I consider it as an honour to accept this offer and would like to assure that I will devote all my energy and knowledge to the successful accomplishment of this new mission.

The CTBT Champions will provide political insights from their long experience, particularly in nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and mediation. The focus will be on promoting engagement with states that have not yet signed and/or ratified the CTBT, as well as with regional, multilateral and international organizations.
As a Member of the CTBTO Group of Eminent Persons, I am deeply attached to the objective of a world free from nuclear testing and nuclear weapons. It is only through the full implementation of the CTBT that the world will enjoy its promised benefits for international peace, security and sustainable development.

Although 184 countries have signed the CTBT and 168 have also ratified it, 44 specific nuclear technology holder countries must sign and ratify before it can enter into force. Of these, eight are still missing: China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the USA.
I offer my deep thanks to First President Nazarbayev and former President Halonen for their commitment to this new initiative within the framework of the CTBTO Group of Eminent Persons, and look forward to benefiting from their wisdom and their energy to help us put an end to nuclear tests for all time.

The CTBT Champions initiative was launched on 26 August during the high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly to mark the annual International Day against Nuclear Tests, which was established through a resolution initiated by Kazakhstan.