OSCE is a driving force for disarmament and non-proliferation, Tóth says

Tibor Tóth, CTBTO Executive Secretary, presenting to the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation.

“You can make a difference because of the example you have set,” Tibor Tóth, the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), told the Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on 28 April 2010 in Vienna. “Our two organizations are at the forefront of the international community’s efforts for disarmament and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons,” Tóth said, emphasizing the OSCE’s ability to bring a robust message to countries beyond the European region by virtue of its being a strong role model.

OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation

The FSC, established in 1992, is an autonomous decision-making body that convenes on a weekly basis at ambassadorial level, bringing together 56 OSCE participating States to consult on political and military issues. In 2010, Greece, Hungary and Ireland chair the Forum. “Currently, there is a renewed political momentum marked by the signature of the new START Treaty, the Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington, and the upcoming Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference,” György Molnár, Hungary’s Permanent Representative to the OSCE and the current Chairman of the Forum, told the session.

OSCE committed to disarmament and non-proliferation

“The commitment of the OSCE participating States to disarmament and non-proliferation has been a driving force on the issue,” Tóth said. “The 56 participating States in the OSCE are all signatories to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). All except one have ratified [and] 45% of the 321 stations that make up the International Monitoring System (IMS) envisaged in the CTBT are hosted by OSCE participating States”, Tóth added. “Finally, around two thirds of our budget comes from OSCE States.”

OSCE States support the CTBT

Reiterating OSCE support for the CTBT, Molnár said: “In the last ministerial declaration on non-proliferation, among other things, participating States have called upon all States still not party to the CTBT to become parties thereto, and underlined their commitment to the early entry into force. […] Pending its entry into force, [OSCE Member States] have also called upon all States to abide by a moratorium on nuclear weapons test explosions and to refrain from any action.”

European Union appreciates the contribution of the CTBT

“The CTBT’s entry into force will significantly strengthen the international security architecture built upon the foundation of the NPT,” stated a Spanish representative on behalf of the European Union. All 27 Member States of the European Union – in fact, all the countries of the European continent –   have ratified the Treaty. “The EU appreciates the contribution of the CTBTO as a confidence-building measure for the whole European continent,” the Spanish representative concluded.

A Treaty banning all nuclear explosions

The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions. The Treaty has been ratified by 151 States and signed by 182. China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States still have to ratify the Treaty for it to enter into force. Another 35 States have either not yet signed (10 States) or not yet ratified (25 States).

Action is needed

“The CTBTO and the OSCE share the same commitment to multilateralism in dealing with security issues,” said the Spanish representative on behalf of the EU. “The CTBT is a catalyst for nuclear disarmament and a strong instrument for non-proliferation, […] one of the measures around which international consensus can be built, and the only instrument on the horizon close enough to universal adherence,” Tóth said. “We have to roll up our political sleeves and invest in this system.”