Joint Appeal by Japan, Kazakhstan and CTBTO
Vienna, 2 May 2017
On the occasion of the 2017 Preparatory Committee for the 2020 NPT Review Conference in Vienna, a Joint Appeal on the CTBT was issued by Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Kairat Abdrakhmanov, and Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the CTBTO. The Appeal was presented by Minister Kishida, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan Kairat Sarybay, and the Executive Secretary at a press conference in Vienna. In his opening remarks, Executive Secretary Zerbo thanked both Japan and Kazakhstan as coordinators of the Article XIV process for the continuous and strong support to the CTBT, and highlighted the importance of the issue in the current geopolitical situation, especially as regards North Korea. Referring to the ongoing NPT Preparatory Committee meeting, Zerbo welcomed the high level of support for the CTBT expressed by many delegations, specifically by Japan.
This Appeal demonstrates both countries’ tireless work as co-coordinators of Article XIV as well as the fact that the Treaty is being well promoted and that the verification system is strong and effective.
Foreign Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida stated that CTBT is at the core of realistic and practical nuclear disarmament measures which Japan is promoting. In his remarks he emphasized three major points: the importance of the CTBT’s entry into force without delay, the rising threat by North Korea’s nuclear and missile development, and the importance of the universalization of the International Monitoring System (IMS). “Together with Executive Secretary Zerbo, Kazakhstan and Japan have made efforts as the joint coordinating States to facilitate the early Entry-into-Force of the CTBT. This year Japan will host a regional CTBT conference for South-East Asia, the Pacific and the East. Also we will aim to have cooperation between the CTBTO Youth Group and our Youth Communicators for a world without nuclear weapons,” mentioned Kishida. The Minister further stressed that North Korea’s nuclear and missile development represents “a serious challenge to the international disarmament and non-proliferation regime”, adding that he “strongly urge[s] North Korea to refrain from taking provocative actions such as conducting nuclear tests.” He also asserted the need for the universalization of the IMS and further enhancement of its detecting capabilities, mentioning the recent voluntary contribution to this end by Japan of 290 million Yen.
Japan will continue to lead the international community in order to aim for an early entry into force of the CTBT and the abolition of nuclear weapons: together with the CTBTO and also Kazakhstan we will continue making all efforts towards achieving a world free of nuclear weapons.
In his remarks, Kazakh Ambassador Kairat Sarybey spoke of his country’s decision to shut down one of the world’s largest nuclear test sites in Semipalatinsk in 1991, paving the way for the adoption of the CTBT five years later in 1996. Yet now, 20 years after its opening for signature, the Treaty has not yet entered into force. Sarybey mentioned that as the co-coordinators of the CTBT Article XIV process, Kazakhstan and Japan have been conducting consistent work to facilitate the entry into force of the Treaty, as reflected in the Joint Statement (PDF) by Japan and Kazakhstan in 2015 as well as in today’s Joint Appeal. The Ambassador stated that the Joint Appeal “reflects not only the wishes of both countries’ peoples, but also the wish of the global community”, adding that the ATOM project launched by Kazakhstan has so far gained more than 300,000 signatures from around the world in support of a nuclear weapons test ban.
We encourage the states whose ratification is needed for the entry into force of the CTBT, to sign and ratify the Treaty as soon as possible. Rapid entry into force of this Treaty would be essential for an effective implementation of Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.