After Ten-Year "Hiatus" Entry Into Force of Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty an Achievable Goal

After Ten-Year “Hiatus” Entry Into Force of Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty an Achievable Goal


Entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is an achievable goal and it’s time to “walk the talk” and translate wide political support for it into concrete action, Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) has told a meeting of its member states. After a ten-year “political hiatus” the CTBTO is entering “the most defining period of its existence,” he said at the opening of the thirty-third session of the CTBTO PrepCom, the decision- making body of the CTBTO,  in Vienna on Monday, 16 November.

Read the press release here.

Marshall Islands ratifies Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty


The Marshall Islands has ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), becoming the 151st country to do so. The ratification of the CTBT by the Marshall Islands is highly symbolic. A total of 67 atmospheric nuclear tests were conducted by the United States at the Bikini and Enewetak Atolls between 1946 and 1958.

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Panel Sees No Need for A-Bomb Upgrade

(New York Times)

In a new report, a federal panel has concluded that programmes to extend the life of the nation’s aging nuclear arms are sufficient to guarantee their destructiveness for decades to come, obviating a need for a costly new generation of more reliable warheads. The finding, by the JASON panel, an independent group of scientists that advises the federal government on issues of science and technology, bears on the growing debate over whether the United States should ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty or, instead, prepare for the design of new nuclear arms.

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Arms Control Association

Arms Control



Near Universal Support for the CTBT at First Committee


An overwhelming number of countries have expressed their support for the CTBT, with 175 countries voting in favour of the CTBT resolution at this year’s United Nations General Assembly First Committee. The resolution was put to the vote and adopted on 30 October 2009.

Read the highlight here.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test- Ban Treaty for Journalists: The Road Ahead

(Ambassador Glyn Davies, second from right)


"The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) will 'ideally' be presented to the US Senate for ratification in the late summer of next year, or early in 2011. A decade has elapsed since the Treaty was last considered by the US and the ground for it has to be prepared with the public and members of the Senate," Glyn Davies, the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Vienna, told a forum for journalists in Vienna held to discuss the road ahead for the CTBT.

Read more of the highlight here.

CTBTO tests noble gas detection technology


The vital role of noble gas technology, as one of the tools in the detection of an underground nuclear explosion, was demonstrated in October, 2006, in establishing that the DPRK had carried out a nuclear  test. During an on-site inspection, in which the site of a suspected nuclear explosion is examined,  it would provide evidence of a ‘smoking gun’. In October, 2009, in Slovakia,  the CTBTO tested a variety of detection techniques in a field experiment. Speaking to the BBC, experts explain how they function and how they feature in the overall detection of nuclear explosions.

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In Full: U.S.-China Joint Statement

(CBS News)

During his visit to China, US President Barrack Obama along with President Hu Jintao issued a joint statement in which "They committed to pursue ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty as soon as possible, and will work together for the early entry into force of the CTBT."

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United States, Japan Cooperating on Global Nuclear Disarmament

(Media Newswire)

Reporting on the meeting held between U.S. President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, Media Newswire reports that "The United States also intends to pursue ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and both countries expressed confidence that their security alliance 'will be enhanced by the entry into force of the CTBT and the reinvigoration of the international nonproliferation regime'."

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US, EU Ask India to Embrace NPT, CTBT

(Express Buzz)

The United States and the European Union held their yearly summit in Washington, D.C., with the leaders of these countries calling on non-signatories "to accede to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty 'as non-nuclear weapon states’ to achieve universality." Full support was also affirmed "for the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) at an early date and for continued observance of moratoria on testing in the meantime."

Read more here.

India and the CTBT: The Debate in New Delhi

(Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)

In an analysis for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, A. Vinod Kumar discusses the influence U.S. ratification of the CTBT will have on India's decision to join the treaty, stating: "if [the U.S.] Congress manages to resist such pressures and ratifies the CTBT, it could trigger a domino effect among other non-signatories. India would then be left with few options but to truly reconsider its official stance regarding the CTBT."

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Why We Don't Need to Resume Nuclear Testing

(Carnegie Endowment)

"Nuclear testing is a dangerous and unnecessary vestige of the last century that the U.S. has already given up... U.S. action on the CTBT would build support for updating and strengthening the global nonproliferation system at a critical juncture," argues Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association in Washington D.C., in a response to Senator Jon Kyl's article "Why We Need to Test Nuclear Weapons."

Read more here.

An Interview With Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher

(Arms Control Today)

"The CTBT is both about policy and about politics. This administration will not attempt to [seek CTBT ratification] unless we believe it can actually pass... [We are] laying the groundwork for the support of a supermajority in the Senate, 67 votes—we think we understand where we need to be to attract persuadable senators and certain senators that have voted for it before, persuadable senators who have not voted on it yet," Ellen Tauscher, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, said in an interview with Arms Control Today. During the interview, Tauscher answered questions regarding the START treaty and Nuclear Posture Review, including their roles in building progress towards U.S. ratification of the CTBT.

Read the full interview here.

Restoring the NPT: Essential Steps for 2010

(Carnegie Report)

“The CTBT is a key disarmament benchmark that may do the most thus far to change the terms of debate between nuclear-weapon states and non–nuclear-weapon states that are vocal critics of disarmament efforts,” writes Deeptie Choubey, Deputy Director of the Non-Proliferation Programme at the Carnegie Endowment in an assessment of the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review. “President Obama has invested significant political capital by signaling his desire to see the CTBT ratified. It may not happen before the 2010 Review Conference, but once it does, many analysts predict that China, Indonesia, and possibly Israel will soon follow. If this scenario is accurate, the NAM will face an accountability moment."

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One Year of Test Ban Commitment Cannot Erase a Decade of Dismissal

(Nuclear Threat Initiative)

In discussing the outcome of the 2009 CTBT Article XIV Conference, this Issue Brief for the Nuclear Threat Initiative emphasizes that although the renewed commitment by the U.S. to seek CTBT ratification has given the treaty a greater world wide focus, it is not enough to convince the remaining hold-outs "to move forward with steps of their own."

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The Senate and the START Treaty

(The Washington Times)

"There is widespread concern that the NPT may be unraveling with new nuclear arms races under way in the Middle East and Asia. U.S. ratification of START and the CTBT would greatly strengthen the regime," writes Robert Norris of the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, in an op-ed for the Washington Times. Norris discusses the need for the U.S. Senate to ratify both treaties in order to demonstrate "that the United States is at the forefront of nonproliferation and disarmament efforts."

Read more here.