UN Security Council adopts historical resolution on CTBT

On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the opening for signature of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), the United Nations Security Council met in New York on 23 September 2016 for a historical debate on, and endorsement of, the Treaty.  A resolution on the subject (2310/2016) , co-sponsored by 42 countries, passed with 14 positive votes; one country, Egypt, abstained. Read Resolution 2310/2016

Resolution 2310/2016 passed with 14 positive votes and one abstention.

Our affirmative vote here is a sign of our unwavering commitment to a safer world in which nuclear technology is used solely for peaceful purposes and the risk of nuclear conflict is no more.

The resolution comes at a time when concerns over the nuclear weapons programme of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) are increasing, following that country’s fifth announced test on 9 September. The DPRK is the only country  worldwide which continues to ignore the global norm against nuclear testing.

Click the picture to watch the press stakeout. The stakeout was held following the Security Council Meeting.

Realizing a nuclear-weapon free world requires a nuclear-test free world first.

Stressing the “vital importance and urgency” of achieving the entry into force of the Treaty, the Security Council resolution urges all States that have either not signed and/or not ratified the Treaty – particularly the eight remaining Annex 2 States – to do so without further delay.
I welcome any initiative that serves to strengthen the norm against nuclear testing. … Adopting this resolution today, keeps the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty relevant.

In the resolution, the Security Council also called on all States to refrain from conducting any nuclear explosions, and to maintain their moratoria in that regard, as well as to continue to support and strengthen the verification regime administered by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). By the text of the resolution, the Council also recognized that “even absent entry into force of the Treaty, the monitoring and analytical elements of the verification regime are at the disposal of the international community in conformity with the Treaty and under the guidance of the Preparatory Commission.” Such elements “contribute to regional stability as a significant confidence-building measure, and strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime,” the Council said.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty bans all nuclear explosion everywhere by everyone and for all times. It has near universal membership with 183 signatures and 166 ratifications, but is not yet legally in force, pending ratification by the remaining eight so-called Annex 2 countries. Nevertheless, the verification regime established over the past 20 years by the CTBTO is already in operation and has detected all five announced nuclear tests by the DPRK.