Importance of CTBT stressed at NPT PrepCom

The Preparatory Committee for the 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is currently in its third session from 4–15 May 2009 at United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States. In the general debate on the first three days, many speakers emphasized the importance of the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) for strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. For the first time in nearly a decade, the head of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) was invited to officially address (PDF) the Conference. Here are the most relevant quotes (grouped according to order of speakers):

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

“To strengthen the NPT regime, it is essential that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty enters into force without further delay, and that the Conference on Disarmament begins negotiations on a verifiable fissile material treaty. I commend President Obama’s commitment to ratify the CTBT, and urge all countries that have not done so to ratify the Treaty without conditions.”

European Union (Czech Republic)

“The EU is conscious of new opportunities for the NPT, in particular with the renewed US-Russia engagement, renewed commitment to ensure the entry into force of the CTBT...It is in particular essential in the short-term to achieve the entry into force of the CTBT..."

New Agenda Coalition (Sweden)

“The New Agenda Coalition has never shied away from acknowledging and welcoming progress made on nuclear disarmament…three of the nuclear weapon Stated have ratified the CTBT and the other two have recently reaffirmed their commitment to doing so…The CTBT has not yet entered into force…The prospects for further ratifications of the CTBT were greatly improved by the commitment of the new US administration to “immediately and aggressively” pursue ratification of the Treaty.”

Russian Federation

“There is another crucial factor contributing to progressive advance towards global zero, which is the early entry into force of the CTBT.  Russia ratified this Treaty as far back as in 2000 and has consistently made efforts to ensure its earliest possible entry into force.  Observing the moratorium on nuclear testing is a significant measure but it cannot substitute for legal obligations arising from the CTBT.  We expect that all countries whose accession to the CTBT will bring it into force sign and ratify the Treaty as soon as possible.  Certainly, many things here will depend on the US position.  The Joint Statement on the outcome of the London meeting of President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia and President Barack Obama of the United States of America underscored the importance of entering into force the CTBT as a key measure of nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament.  In this respect we welcome the Prague Statement of 5 April 2009 by President Obama that his Administration would immediately and actively pursue the ratification by the US of this Treaty.”


“China is among the first to sign the CTBT and has always honoured its commitment on nuclear test moratorium.  China supports early entry into force of the CTBT and will continue to make its efforts to this end.”


"On the non-proliferation pillar, despite some recent progress, we note with regret that FMCT negotiations in the CD have still not begun, the CTBT is yet to enter into force...we continue to urge all states that have not yet done so to ratify the CTBT".


“All states should make the entry into force of the CTBT a priority, starting with those states possessing a nuclear weapons capability.  We welcome the strong commitment by the US Administration to pursue ratification of this treaty.  And we encourage all Annex II states which have not yet done so to ratify it.”

Republic of Korea

“To effectively pursue both nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, we share the view that the first order of business should be an early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)…in this respect, we welcome President Obama’s recent call for CTBT ratification by the US Government. We urge those who have not yet ratified the Treaty, in particular the Annex-2 countries, to do so as soon as possible.”

African Group (Nigeria)

"We are no less disappointed that the CTBT is yet to enter into force. We urge states that have not yet done so to ratify the CTBT.”

Arab Group (United Arab Emirates)

“Therefore, we in the Arab Group welcome the positive spirit demonstrated recently by the American Administration regarding the initiative of a world free of nuclear weapons and its willingness to engage in serious negotiations with the Soviet Union [the Russian Federation - CTBTO] to reduce strategic arms, and the positive approach to ratify the CTBT.”

Republic of Ireland

"The entry into force of the CTBT would constitute a significant concrete gain for the disarmament regime.  While welcome, a moratorium on nuclear testing cannot substitute for the Treaty.  Ireland again calls on the nine remaining Annex 2 States to ratify the CTBT immediately and unconditionally."


“The second area for promoting global nuclear disarmament consists of measures to be taken by the entire international community.  The first measure in this area is the early entry into force of the CTBT.  Japan welcomes the new US administration’s positive stance towards the ratification of the CTBT and we hope that the US can ratify it before the upcoming Review Conference.  Furthermore, Japan is formulating a “programme for the promotion of the entry into force of the CTBT” , and we intend to encourage the prompt ratification of the Treaty by all other Annex 2 countries, including China.”


“We call for the earliest entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and strengthening of its verification mechanism. Kasakhstan made available the territory of the former Semipalatinsk nuclear test site for the 2008 Integrated Field Exercise of on-site inspections as its contribution to this process…“Kazakhstan welcomes the Russian and United States leaders’ pledges to cut their countries’ nuclear arsenals as well as the statements by US President indicating that the United States would seek a world without nuclear weapons and to pursue ratification of the CTBT.”

South Africa

“The NWS have the primary obligation to realize nuclear disarmament.  Recent Statements relating to the reduction of nuclear weapons and the vision of the “zero option” provide some hope as we continue in our efforts to pursue a safer world.  Progress with regard to the CTBT and the resumption of negotiations on a Fissile Material Treaty will add the necessary confidence to implement the NPT obligations.”


“As always, action speaks loudest. Malaysia hopes to see the conclusion of an agreement between the US and Russia on a successor strategic arms reduction treaty and the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty by the US. The US ratification of the CTBT will spur Annex II countries to accede to the CTBT.”


“The State of Qatar supports the early implementation of the CTBT.”


“The question of the entry into force of the CTBT should be addressed as a matter of priority so that the Treaty can come into force.  In this regard, we welcome the overtures from Washington to ratify the Treaty and appeal to all States, in particular those whose ratification is needed for the Treaty to enter into force, to do so as a matter of priority.”


“We attach great importance to the universalization of the CTBT and reiterate our call on the states, particularly those listed in Annex 2, to sign and ratify the CTBT without delay and unconditionally and, pending its entry into force, to abide by a moratorium on nuclear testing and to refrain from any action contrary to the obligations and provisions of the Treaty.  We welcome the recent signature of the CTBT by Timor-Leste and its ratification by Lebanon.We also note with satisfaction the importance that the new US Administration attaches to the CTBT’s entry into force.  Ukraine welcomes the US President Barack Obama’s intention to work towards ratification of the CTBT.  We believe that the soonest realization of such intentions will constitute an important step towards CTBT entry into force and will give a strong positive signal to others.”


“On the CTBT, we welcome the intention of the US to immediately pursue a ratification of the CTBT.  If the US keeps its promise to push for ratification of the CTBT, it will serve as a catalyst for similar actions by other states listed in Annex II.”

United States of America

“Mr. Chairman, President Obama confirmed in Prague that the United States will immediately and aggressively pursue US ratification of the CTBT.  We will also launch a diplomatic effort to bring on board the other states whose ratifications are required for the treaty to enter into force...Until the CTBT enters into force, the United States will continue our nearly two-decade long moratorium on nuclear explosive testing.  We call on all other governments publicly to declare or reaffirm their intention not to test.”


“Turkey also attaches great significance to the early entry into force of the CTBT.  Turkey signed this important Treaty as soon as it was opened to signature in 1996 and completed the ratification process in 2000.  We believe that entry into force of the CTBT could be the first concrete step to overcome the present difficulties surrounding the nonproliferation and disarmament issues.  All states that have not yet signed or ratified the Treaty should do so as early as possible – in particular those states whose ratification is required for its entry into force.  Pending that, states should continue to abide by a moratorium and refrain from any action which would be contrary to the provision of the CTBT.”


“The NPT remains the most important instrument for attaining the objectives of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. To attain these goals, the CTBT is an important step forward. Therefore, we reaffirm the need for universality of the NPT, the CTBT and all major international disarmament instruments without any exception.”


“My delegation reaffirms the importance of the CTBT to nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament and reaffirms our consistent support for the efforts to bring this treaty into force without any further delay.”


“Furthermore, a verifiable FMCT is vital to the lasting success of the NPT regime, as is the entry into force of the CTBT.  Iceland welcomes the renewed commitments of signatory states in that regard and urges all countries, particularly the remaining Annex 2 states, to ratify the treaty at the earliest opportunity.”

Holy See

“The entry into force of the CTBT is essential and achievable if States are serious about their commitment to a nuclear weapons free world.”


“The entry into force of the CTBT is long overdue.  It is a strong instrument for nonproliferation.  It is an important confidence building and security building measure, which can facilitate reduction in strategic and non-strategic nuclear weapons, and changes of strategic doctrines. Together with Costa Rica, Austria has been coordinating the Article XIV process on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT since September 2007.  In this capacity we continue raising awareness about the CTBT and the scientific civil applications of its International Monitoring System such as the tsunami early-warning-system.  We hope that a better understanding of the overall benefits of the CTBT will help speed up the ratification process and its entry into force.  To that end we have sponsored outreach activities in many parts of the world.  We also co-organized the CTBT Ministerial Meeting in New York on 24 September 2008, at which high-level representatives from more than 90 states, as well as UNSG Ban Ki-moon, former US Defense Secretary William Perry and UN Messenger of Peace Michael Douglas participated.  We are honored that since we have assumed the position of the Co-Chairs with Costa Rica, a considerable number of states have ratified the Treaty raising the total number of ratifying states to 148. We are strongly encouraged by the recent commitment by President Obama that he “will immediately and aggressively pursue US ratification of the CTBT.”  We hope that other countries will respond to this initiative, and that this might further accelerate efforts towards entry into force.  We call on all states that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the CTBT without further delay.”


"We call for the signing and ratification without delay and condition of the CTBT by Annex II nations which have not done so, so that this treaty can go into effect as soon as possible.  The nuclear States have a great responsibility in this."


“We welcome the announcement by the new US Administration to immediately pursue ratification to the CTBT.  Liechtenstein ratified the CTBT in 2004, firmly believing that an end to nuclear testing provides a great step towards ensuring security and stability.”


“The way to deal with this issue and other relevant issues has been defined very clearly in numerous agreements, conventions, resolutions and work plans concluded between states.  What is required now from the member states is to comply with the commitments, cooperate and coordinate among each other to implement their commitments.  The lack of political will is the core of the issue; therefore endeavors and efforts must continue.  The necessary arrangements for high fateful decisions must be taken in order to activate the decisions agreed upon internationally.  This requires bolstering our deliberations in this forum, as a general priority towards the following: (...) -Sixth: Reaffirm what was mentioned in the final declaration of the Fourth Conference on the facilitation of entry into force of the CTBT, which calls upon the member states that did not ratify the Treaty to do so.”


"We also support the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. To this end we call on all countries in Annex II that are yet to ratify the treaty to do so to allow for its early entry into force.


“The entry into force of the CTBT in our view is an indispensable building block in strengthening the international regime for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.  My delegation is encouraged by the recent developments building towards the universal ratification of the CTBT.  In this connection, we urge all countries that have not yet signed and ratified the CTBT, especially those listed in Annex 2 to do so without delay.  We consider it vital that this Treaty is universal.  It is for this reason that Namibia hosted a Workshop for the countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) from 1-2 April 2009 with a view of creating and strengthening the momentum to ensure a successful outcome of this session.”

League of Arab States

"[the United States'] committment to pursue the ratification of the CTBT, starting negotiations on a FMCT, and, finally, to cooperate with the international community to strengthen the NPT are all, no doupt, positive steps worth welcoming by all parties."


Tadotoshi Akiba, Mayor of Hiroshima, Japan

“It is imperative that your expertise in the international arena, especially within the United Nations, is utilized to its fullest extent, just as in completing the CTBT task...In order to show the world that diplomacy has advanced civilization visibly, we should make every effort to support President Obama’s pledge that his “administration will immediately and aggressively pursue U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty”... soon.”

Arms Control Association

(excerpt) "Entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) is within sight. Since the idea of a ban on nuclear testing was first proposed in the 1950s, it has stood among the highest priorities on the international nonproliferation and disarmament agenda. The CTBT is more important now than ever." Read more here

Statement by a meeting of non-governmental experts from countries belonging to the New Agenda Coalition

"Concrete, transparent and verifiable steps are now needed urgently. The highest priority should be given to:
· The entry into force of the 1996 Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Apart from being a value per se, the ratification of the Treaty by key states would create a positive chain reaction in other areas."

NGO Conclusion

"To demonstrate that they are serious, nuclear weapon states should announce clear policies to move irreversibly and quickly towards nuclear weapons elimination...A simple example is offered by the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). If the United States and other nuclear weapon states agree to be bound the CTBT but continue to invest in developing or producing new design warheads or to modify existing warhead types in a manner that creates new military capabilities, then it is fair to question their commitment to the purpose and objectives of the CTBT."

NGO recommendations

"Nuclear testing
10. We urge all Annex II states to ratify the CTBT and urge all like-minded pro-CTBT states to work together to develop a common diplomatic strategy to persuade the remaining states that must sign and/or ratify the treaty to do so.
11. To reinforce their commitment to the purpose and objectives of the CTBT, we call upon all nuclear-armed nations to adopt clear policies not to develop or produce new design warheads or to modify existing warhead types.
12. We call on all nuclear-armed states to join France in closing their test sites to all nuclear weapons-related research activities and experiments and to adopt additional transparency measures at their test sites.
13. We call on nuclear supplier states to make it clear that as a matter of national policy, they will terminate nuclear trade with any state that conducts a nuclear test explosion regardless of the circumstances."