Ministerial Statement on the CTBT issued on the margins of the U.N General Assembly

Foreign Ministers from 18 countries have met to examine ways to remove all obstacles to the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. The meeting, proposed by Australia, Japan and the Netherlands took place in New York on 14 September 2002, on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly. In a press briefing afterwards, the Ministers issued a joint statement urging states that have not yet signed or ratified the Treaty to do so. "We call upon all states that have not yet signed and ratified the CTBT to sign and ratify the treaty as soon as possible, in particular those whose ratification is needed for its entry into force," the statement says. The Ministers state that they will make representations at regional and multilateral meetings in order to make the Treaty a focus of attention at the highest political level. Calling on all states to continue the moratorium on nuclear weapons test explosions, the ministers stress the importance of maintaining momentum in building the verification regime, and appeal to all States Signatories to make available the financial resources needed to build and operate the verification system. The statement closes with an invitation to all Foreign Ministers to join in the task of realizing the vision of a ban on nuclear weapons test explosions.