NPT Final Page 1
“Lots of applause in the room, huge sense of relief,” Rebecca Johnson, a well-known arms control expert, noted on the afternoon of Friday, 28 May 2010. After four weeks of intense negotiations, 189 countries agreed on the final document of the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
“This is crucial for reinvigorating multilateralism in general and nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament in particular,” said Tibor Tóth, the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). “The agreement on concrete actions will advance all three pillars of the treaty – disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful use of nuclear energy,” concluded United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
CTBT of vital importance
“The strong commitment of the Conference to the cessation of all nuclear explosions and the reaffirmation of the vital importance of the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) are significant pledges. There can be no strong NPT without a CTBT in force,” Tóth said. Among other provisions, the “Conclusions and recommendations for follow-on actions” adopted by the Conference reaffirmed the vital importance of the entry into force of the CTBT as a core element of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. “Putting an end to nuclear explosions is […] one of the longest-standing goals of the United Nations,” said Ban on the margins of the Conference.
Commitment towards the test-ban at NPT meetings
Discussed for more than four decades, the completion of the CTBT negotiations was promised at the 1995 Review Conference as part of a package allowing for the indefinite extension of the NPT. With the CTBT’s opening for signature on 24 September 1996, a de-facto international norm on nuclear testing was established. The Final Document of the 2000 NPT Review Conference contained a 13 step action plan on nuclear disarmament, with the first step being to secure the early entry into force of the CTBT without delay or conditions.
Efforts to encourage further signature and ratification of the Treaty
“At the last Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT in September 2009, the CTBT ratifying and signatory States agreed by consensus to spare no effort and use all avenues to encourage further signature and ratification of the Treaty,” said Tóth. Convinced of the importance of achieving the CTBT’s entry into force, the participants urged all States to remain seized of the issue at the highest political level and to support and encourage bilateral, regional and multilateral initiatives to promote the entry into force of the Treaty.
Impressive CTBT support at the 2010 NPT Review Conference
During the first week of the Conference, more than 90 of the 130 high dignitaries lined up to expound their country’s views and visions on reviewing the NPT highlighted the importance of the CTBT for the disarmament and non-proliferation regime. Despite the many past challenges, this attention and commitment proved that support for the Treaty has continually increased.