High-Level Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
Vienna, 22 September 2021
The high-level international Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) will be held virtually on 23-24 September 2021, aimed at intensifying efforts to end all nuclear testing once and for all.
Commonly known as the ‘Article XIV Conference’, after the article of the CTBT that makes provision for such an event, it is held every two years to rally international support for the CTBT and its entry into force as a core element of the global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament architecture.
Although the CTBT is almost universally recognised, and its monitoring system helps to maintain a global norm against nuclear testing, the Treaty has not yet entered into force. To do so, it must be ratified by a further eight specific countries.
The Conference will include statements from U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, other high-level international officials and numerous ministers and senior officials from States that have ratified and/or signed the Treaty. A Final Declaration will be adopted by the Conference and issued on the CTBTO website.
This year’s Article XIV Conference coincides with the 25th anniversary of the CTBT's opening for signature on 24 September 1996, a milestone that will be commemorated throughout the coming year.
Although the Conference normally takes place at United Nations headquarters in New York during the high-level opening of the U.N. General Assembly, this year it will be held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The event will be streamed live from 16:00 CEST on 23 September on the CTBTO website at https://www.ctbto.org/the-treaty/article-xiv-conferences/2021/, continuing from 15:00 CEST on 24 September.
Further information on the Article XIV Conference can be found at https://www.ctbto.org/the-treaty/article-xiv-conferences/2021/.
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The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions everywhere, by everyone, and for all time. Adherence to the Treaty is nearly universal – 185 States have signed and 170 have ratified – but it has not yet entered into force. To do so, it must be ratified by all 44 States listed in the Treaty’s Annex 2, of which eight are still missing.
The CTBTO has established an International Monitoring System (IMS) to ensure that no nuclear explosion goes undetected. Currently, 302 certified facilities – of a total of 337 when complete – are operating around the world, using four main technologies: seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasound and radionuclide.
The data registered by the IMS can also be used for disaster mitigation such as earthquake monitoring, tsunami warning, and tracking radioactivity from nuclear accidents, as well as research into fields as diverse as whale migration, climate change or the prediction of monsoon rains.