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2022: Tenth Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of the CTBT

Kaltura

New York, 21 September 2022

Heads of state, high-level government officials, and youth advocates gathered in New York on the margins of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly to mark the 25th anniversary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and press for its entry into force.

The 10th Friends of the CTBT meeting was co-chaired by Japan and Australia and featured remarks by: Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan; United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu; President Sauli Niinistö of Finland; Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly of Canada; Vice Foreign Minister of the Netherlands, Marcel de Vink; Petra Sigmund, Director General for Asia and the Pacific of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand; Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See; Zane Dangor, Director-General of South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation; President Azali Assaoumani of the Union of the Comoros; and Penny Wong, Foreign Minister of Australia.  Representatives from Italy and South Africa, co-chairs of the Article XIV Conference, were on hand and Ahmed Elsabagh and Shizuka Kuramitsu, members of the CTBTO Youth Group (CYG), also participated in the event.

I see much to celebrate when it comes to the CTBTO. In my first year as Executive Secretary I have seen first-hand that the Treaty enjoys universal support – whether a State has ratified it or not – each one agrees with the Treaty’s mandate and ambition. Over the course of the past year, we have been converting that goodwill into action, witnessing ratifications at a rate not seen in many years. I applaud these countries for their efforts. We all have a responsibility to continue this momentum, and to strive for a world free from nuclear explosions.   

The Foreign Minister of Australia, Penny Wong, opened the meeting after a short video on the 25th anniversary of the CTBT and the state-of-the art verification system it has built. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan then addressed attendees, noting that the CTBT is a key component of any roadmap to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.
No matter how difficult the path may be, we must relentlessly make even the slightest progress toward realizing a world without nuclear weapons.

The high-level speakers commended the accomplishments of the Treaty over the last 25 years and stressed that it has become a vital component of the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament architecture. 
The Treaty’s adoption in 1996 was a clear statement of our sheer determination to end nuclear testing and it was a critical factor in the indefinite extension of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. As the threat posed by nuclear weapons continues to rise and the international community is divided over a choice between disarmament or a nuclear arms race, both treaties require our urgent care and our urgent attention.

Many of the distinguished attendees also highlighted the contributions of the International Monitoring System (IMS) which underpins the Treaty’s verification regime and ensures that no nuclear test can go undetected. 
Even though it hasn’t yet entered into force, the Treaty has already made significant contributions to strengthening international security. Its verification system is key in this respect. The International Monitoring System provides independent and reliable information ensuring compliance with the Treaty, but it also forms a treasure trove of knowledge. This knowledge has a broad range of civil and scientific applications. 

While applauding the achievements of the CTBT, many speakers also noted the importance of the Treaty entering into force to reap its full benefits for global peace and security.   
South Africa reiterates that until the CTBT enters into force, it’s vital that countries continue to enforce the moratorium on any nuclear explosions. It’s important to emphasize though that this moratorium is not a viable long-term alternative, and that the CTBT has to enter into force and be fully implemented. 

Ahmed Elsabagh and Shizuka Kuramitsu, members of the CTBTO Youth Group (CYG), were also on hand to advocate for the Treaty and greater inclusion of youth in advancing human development and advocating for peace and security.
When the CTBT was opened for signature in 1996, most of the CTBTO Youth Group members were not even born. But we are eager to finish what the CTBT has started, and we will keep searching for every opportunity to call for the CTBT’s prompt entry into force and universalization.

The high-level meeting was followed later that day by the deposit of the instrument of ratification by Equatorial Guinea and the following day São Tomé and Príncipe ratified the Treaty, bringing the total number of ratifications for the CTBT to 176 and marking the fifth and sixth ratifications during the Treaty’s 25th anniversary year. 
CTBTO

List of Speakers: CTBT Ministerial Meeting - Wednesday, 21 Sept. 2022

  State/Chair Speaker
1 Opening Remarks  
 

Australia

H.E. Penelope Wong,
Foreign Minister
2 Statements  
 

Japan

[VIDEO]

H.E. Fumio Kishida,
Prime Minister
 

United Nations

[VIDEO]

H.E. Izumi Nakamitsu,
Under-Secretary General
 

Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization

[VIDEO]
[PDF]

Dr. Robert Floyd,
CTBTO Executive Secretary
 

Finland

[VIDEO]

H.E. Sauli Niinstö,
President
 

Canada

[VIDEO]

H.E. Mélanie Joly,
Foreign Minister
 

The Netherlands

[VIDEO]

H.E. Marcel de Vink,
Vice Foreign Minister
 

Germany

[VIDEO]

H.E. Petra Sigmund,
Director-General for Asia and the Pacific of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
 

New Zealand

[VIDEO]

H.E. Jacinda Ardern,
Prime Minister
 

CTBTO Youth Group

[VIDEO]
[PDF]

Ahmed Emad Elsabagh,
CTBTO Youth Group member
 

Holy Sea

[VIDEO]

H.E. Pietro Parolin,
Secretary of State
 

Article XIV Co-Chairing Country

[VIDEO]

Mr Zane Dangor,
Director General of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, South Africa
 

Comoros

[VIDEO]

H.E. Azali Assoumani,
President
3 Adoption of the Joint Statement and closing statement  
  Australia H.E. Penelope Wong,
Foreign Minister
 

Joint Statement
[PDF]

 

10th Friends of the CTBT, 21 Sept. 2022, New York

10th Friends of the CTBT, 21 Sept. 2022, New York.

Dr. Robert Floyd addressing the Tenth Friends of the CTBT Meeting

H.E. Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Japan

H.E. Ms Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister, New Zealand

H.E. Sauli Niinistö, President of Finland

H.E. Zane Dangor, Director-General of South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation

Ahmed Elsabagh and Shizuka Kuramitsu, CTBTO Youth Group