Joint statement in support of the CTBT released by 42 foreign ministers in New York

A joint statement in support of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was released by 42 foreign ministers on 23 September in New York. The ministers, in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, issued the statement following a meeting convened on the margins of the General Assembly. The joint statement calls on States to ratify the Treaty, and recognizes it as "a major instrument in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation". It emphasizes the importance of a continued adherence to a voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing in the absence of a binding treaty, but notes that the current moratorium does not have the same permament effect as the entry into force of the CTBT. The initiative was led by the foreign ministers of Australia, Finland, Japan and the Netherlands. It was welcomed by the United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, who said that the CTBT was "a major step by the international community towards the goal of bringing 50 years of nuclear testing to an end".