Non-Aligned Movement Stresses Significance of Universal Adherence to CTBT

Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) have stressed the significance of achieving universal adherence to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), at the 18th Summit meeting of the group, from 25-26 October 2019 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The Non-Aligned Movement comprises some 120 Member States. Its leaders  and  high ranking officials from more than 20  international organizations  met under the Summit theme: “Upholding the Bandung Principles to ensure concerted and adequate response to the challenges of contemporary world”.

An address by the Head of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Dr Lassina Zerbo, was delivered at the Summit by the Executive Secretary’s Special Assistant, Mohammad Hassan Daryaei.

“By prohibiting nuclear test explosions by anyone, anywhere, in a transparent, democratic and verifiable manner, the CTBT represents an important and necessary step towards our ultimate objective of a world free of nuclear weapons,”CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo
Azerbaijan’s Minister of High Technologies, Ramin Guluzade, with CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo

“In order to secure a more peaceful and prosperous existence for future generations, world leaders must recommit to multilateralism, science-based diplomacy, and international cooperation and collaboration in every sphere of international relations. This is particularly true with regard to the threats posed by nuclear weapons,” Zerbo’s statement said.

Zerbo urged that progress on “finishing the unfinished business of the CTBT” would reinforce the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and create momentum for other pending non-proliferation and disarmament initiatives. Read the full address here.

At its very first summit meeting in Belgrade in 1961, the NAM recognized it was essential that a complete prohibition on all nuclear tests be concluded at the earliest time, and called for immediate negotiations to achieve this goal.

“More than ever, the international community needs to reembrace the principles established in the United Nations Charter and built upon at the Afro-Asian Conference of 1955 in Bandung,”CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo
Syrian Deputy-Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad with CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo

The final declaration of the Baku Summit highlights the CTBT and stresses the significance of achieving universal adherence to the Treaty, as a way to contribute to the process of nuclear disarmament. It also welcomed the most recent ratifications of the CTBT by Myanmar, Swaziland, Thailand and Zimbabwe, as well as its signature by Tuvalu.

While in Baku, Zerbo met with a number of delegations to discuss the importance of the CTBT’s entry into force, as a way to strengthen nuclear non-proliferation and multilateralism. This included meetings with the Cuban Foreign Minister and Deputy Foreign Minister of Syria to promote the universality of the CTBT and the  benefits of joining the Treaty.

In a meeting with Azerbaijan’s Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, Ramin Guluzade, Zerbo discussed possibilities for cooperation in the field of scientific and technical training for youth.