Broad support for the CTBT at the NPT PrepCom

Importance of CTBT Stressed at the NPT PrepCom


The Preparatory Committee for the 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is currently in its third session from 4 to 15 May 2009 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States. In the general debate during the first three days, most of the countries taking the floor emphasized the importance of the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) for strengthening the NPT.

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Statement by CTBTO Executive Secretary to the NPT PrepCom


"I am convinced that the CTBT represents one of the key elements on which effective international consensus can be built in advance of the 2010 NPT Review Conference. Its entry into force and full implementation are achievable and doable. It means progress on each of the three main pillars. It bridges the divide between the different emphases placed on each of the three pillars by the NPT's different parties."

Read the full statement here

Powerful EU Council Statement in Support of the CTBT


The Council of the European Union - meeting in the format of the 27 EU Member States' Foreign Ministers - has issued a powerful statement in support of the CTBT: "The EU strongly believes that world's peace and security must be further strengthened. Therefore, the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty... at the earliest possible date is at the top of the EU priorities in the field of non-proliferation and disarmament."

Read the full statement here

Tremendous Progress in the Build-up of the Verification Regime


The International Monitoring System was able to detect the 2006 DPRK nuclear test, despite of its low yield and the fact that only half of the system had been established. Many new stations have joined the network since then; the noble gas systems have more than doubled. We are highly confident today that any militarily relevant nuclear test could be detected. Image: Average detection capability of the International Monitoring System’s primary seismic network today on the Richter scale; a magnitude of four is roughly equivalent to a one kiloton explosion.

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We now provide real-time updates, videos, photos and articles on the social networking website, Facebook. Show your support for outlawing nuclear tests by joining the CTBTO Facebook page (account required - free-of-charge)!

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North Korea to Strengthen Nuclear Deterrent


The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has announced plans to conduct a second nuclear test: "The DPRK will bolster its nuclear deterrent as it has already clarified," a DPRK spokesperson is cited by AFP, "the US hostile policy toward the DPRK (North Korea) remains unchanged". According to the article, U.S. Nuclear Envoy Steven Bosworth has urged the DPRK not to conduct another nuclear test. The first DPRK nuclear test on 9 October 2006 was immediately detected by CTBTO seismic stations (image) and later by the noble gas system.

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The Logic of the Test Ban Treaty

(The Arms Control Association)

Daryl Kimball, Executive Director of the Arms Control Association, discusses how the CTBT is an essential part of a common-sense strategy to reduce nuclear dangers.  In Kimball’s view, the leadership of President Barack Obama (image), bipartisan support from opinion leaders, and significant improvements in the ability of the U.S. to maintain a nuclear arsenal without nuclear test explosions makes the case for the CTBT the strongest it has ever been.  

Read the article here.

Final Report of the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States

(United States Institute of Peace)

"The Commission has no agreed position on whether ratification of the CTBT should proceed. But recognizing that the President has called for the Senate to reconsider U.S. ratification, the Commission recommends a number of steps to enable Senate deliberation, including preparation of a comprehensive net assessment of benefits, costs, and risks that updates arguments from a decade ago." The Commission was chaired by former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry, who emphasised his support for the CTBT.

Read the full report here (CTBT chapter: pg 102 - 108)

The War On Obama's Nuclear Agenda

(The New Republic)

"Bolton [image] and his ideological brethren wanted to create a world in which the United States would never limit its sovereignty through any negotiated agreement." This article describes the traditional opposition of U.S. conservatives to arms control treaties, in particular to the CTBT, which according to Senator Jon Kyl "is unverifiable" [wrong: we will detect any militarily relevant nuclear test - CTBTO].

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U.N. General Assembly Supports Rehabilitation of Former Semipalatinsk Test Site

(U.N. Department of Public Information)

The U.N. General Assembly adopted a draft resolution titled “International cooperation and coordination for the human and ecological rehabilitation and economic development of the Semipalatinsk region of Kazakhstan”. The draft was introduced by Kazakhstan and adopted unanimously on 24 April 2009. According to a press release by the U.N. Department of Public Information, the representative of Kazakhstan said her country had "every reason to argue vociferously for the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty since its land had for 40 years been a testing ground for deadly weapons and today its people were experiencing the dire consequences of those tests."

Read the full press release here

Infrasound Detection of North Korea's Launch

(Carnegie Endowment)

Data from the CTBTO's International Monitoring System (IMS) can be used by Member States for a host of applications. In this case, data from the infrasound network were used to detect the DPRK rocket launch on 5 April 2009. The article points out that this "demonstrates the effectiveness of the IMS and emphasizes how it can be useful in the verification of other nonproliferation related agreements."

Read the article here.