Malaysia ratifies the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
Malaysia ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) on 17 January 2008, bringing the total number of ratifications to 143. “We welcome the decision by Malaysia to ratify the CTBT”, said Tibor Tóth, the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) in a statement: “This is very important internationally, but also regionally: Malaysia’s ratification tips the balance in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) where 6 out of 10 countries now have ratified the Treaty.”
In ASEAN, Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam have now ratified the CTBT, whereas Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand have yet to ratify it. Malaysia is very active on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation issues. It chaired the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in 2004-2006, and coordinates the NAM on CTBT issues in 2006-2009. Malaysia also hosts radionuclide station RN42 - one of the stations in the global alarm system that is being built to monitor compliance with the CTBT. The station is in an advanced stage of construction, and will be included in the global alarm system by the end of 2008. “This is an additional achievement and a very positive development”, said Tóth. To date, 178 States have signed the Treaty. To enter into force, however, the Treaty must be signed and ratified by the 44 States listed in Annex 2 to the Treaty. These States participated in the negotiations of the Treaty in 1996 and possessed nuclear power or research reactors at the time. Thirty-four of these States have ratified the Treaty, including the three nuclear weapon States France, Russian Federation and the United Kingdom. The ten remaining States are China, Colombia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States of America. The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions. A verification regime is being built to monitor compliance with the Treaty. 337 facilities world-wide will monitor the underground, the oceans and the atmosphere for any sign of a nuclear explosion. Today, nearly 225 facilities have been included in the global alarm system and send data continuously to the International Data Centre at the CTBTO in Vienna.