The CTBTO at the NAM Ministerial Summit

The Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Tibor Tóth, attended the XVI Ministerial Conference and Commemorative Meeting of the Non-Aligned Moved (NAM) in Bali, Indonesia, from 25 to 27 May 2011. Tóth, who had been invited by the host, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalagewa, congratulated the Movement on its 50th Anniversary and commended it for representing the vast majority of non-nuclear weapon States that have already made a legal and political commitment to refrain from  developing or testing nuclear weapons. He also used the opportunity to promote the entry into force and universalization of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), meeting with Minister Natalagewa, Egyptian Foreign Minister El Araby and eleven other ministers.

NAM currently has 118 member and 20 observer countries. Click to enlarge.

As one of the key steps agreed to by the States Parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the CTBT must enter into force and be universalized to demonstrate that the entire global community understands the uselessness of nuclear weapons.

NAM's staunch support for the CTBT

Members of the NAM are traditionally strong supporters of the CTBT: of NAM's 118 members, 107 or over 90% have signed the CTBT, of which 82 have also ratified. Forty-eight of the members also host a total of 104 facilities of the International Monitoring System. At their previous summit in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt, in July 2009, NAM heads of State and Government called for universal adherence to the CTBT.
At the same time, the NAM has a key role to play in the CTBT's entry into force: of the nine so-called Annex 2 States that have yet to sign or ratify the Treaty before it can enter into force, six belong to the NAM: Egypt, Indonesia and Iran, which have yet to ratify, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, India and Pakistan, which have to sign and ratify. The three non-NAM Annex 2 States are China, Israel and the United States.

Strong support for the CTBT was already evident at the 2009 NAM Summit.

The role of Non-Aligned States, including those States that have not yet ratified, in pushing and pulling the Treaty into force remains indispensible.

Indonesian ratification anticipated

Noting the significance of Indonesia's anticipated ratification, Tóth remarked: "I salute Minister Natalagewa for his continuous efforts to secure the ratification by Indonesia and I hope that the recent visit to the CTBTO in Vienna by a Parliamentary delegation will enable the Parliament to soon conclude the ratification process. As one of the remaining Annex 2 States to ratify, this important step by Indonesia will have a significant impact on the success of the 23 September 2011 Conference to Facilitate the Entry into Force of the Treaty, and will serve to further promote global nuclear disarmament."
For Indonesia, the waiting time is over and the time to act has arrived. It is no longer appropriate for Indonesia to merely wait.

Nehru: trailblazer for both NAM and CTBT

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is a group of countries that consider themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of May 2011, the movement had 118 members and 20 observer countries. The NAM was never established as a formal organization but became the term used  to refer to the participants of the Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries first held in 1961. The word "non-alignment" itself was coined by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru during his speech in 1954 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Nehru was also the first Head of State to push for a “standstill agreement” on nuclear testing that same year.

Nehru (right, with Mahatma Gandhi) was the first statesman to advocate a nuclear test ban.

Capacity building for Developing Countries

In order to make participation in the CTBT's verification regime more accessible to developing nations, which comprise a majority of NAM members, the CTBTO has launched a range of capacity building activities. These activities include live  workshops, training and exercises and a series of lectures on the CTBT. The CTBTO will also provide virtual training and capacity building tools through comprehensive e-learning modules through access to Internet based lectures and tutorials. Selected scientists and engineers from developing countries are offered on-the-job training at the CTBTO in Vienna. Many of these activities are funded through voluntary contribution, in particular by the European Union.

Click for the lecture series on the CTBT.