Building Blocks Towards a Successful NPT Review Conference

Building Blocks Towards a Successful NPT Review Conference

The leaders of 47 nations came together in Washington on 12-13 April 2010.

“The successful Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, the conclusion of the new strategic arms reduction treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States (New START), and the release of a revised U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) seeking to reduce the number and role of nuclear weapons are three substantial building blocks towards a successful Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT),” said Tibor Tóth, the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).


Read the CTBTO press release here and watch Tibor Tóth, CTBTO Executive Secretary, discussing the recent developments here.

New interactive maps offer glimpses into the history of the Treaty and the CTBTO.

New Google Map Feature on the CTBTO homepage

The CTBTO website now displays updated and enhanced timelines on the history of nuclear testing, the history of the Treaty adherence, and the history of the build-up of the global alarm system designed to detect all nuclear explosions on Earth.


Read the Highlight here and view the new maps here.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union held its 122nd Assembly in Bangkok, Thailand, 27 March - 1 April 2010.

Inter-Parliamentary Union Meeting in Bangkok

“The moment has come to aim for the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT),” said Philippine’s Ambassador Antonio Rodriguez  on behalf of Alberto Romulo, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, in a statement. “Banning the testing of nuclear weapons […] is integral to building the confidence necessary to secure a world without nuclear weapons,” said Harry Jenkins, the Speaker of Australia's House of Representatives.


Read the CTBTO Highlight here

The CTBT is a critical step on the road to nuclear disarmament

“There are very few areas in which a positive difference can be made in the next couple of years. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is probably the only one meaningful enough substance-wise and close enough to be delivered” said Tibor Tóth, CTBTO Executive Secretary, in Dublin 23 March 2010.


Read the CTBTO Highlight here and watch the video.

Surveillance of nuclear weapons test improves

A new method for surveillance of nuclear weapons tests was developed at the accelerator laboratory of the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. Underground nuclear detonations can also be revealed by measuring quantities of xenon isotopes released in detonation to the atmosphere. This verification mechanism can be improved through the fabrication of clean isometric samples of xenon, a process that has not been possible earlier. “This is an excellent example of a method developed for basic research that proves something that used to be considered impossible not so impossible after all,” says Dr. Tommi Eronen from the Department of Physics at the University of Jyväskylä.


Read more here.

US to seek CTBT ratification, says no N-tests

"The United States will not conduct nuclear testing and will pursue ratification and entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)," the Obama administration said in its new Nuclear Posture Review.


Read more here and the find the Nuclear Posture Review text here.

Michael E. O'Hanlon is the Director of Research and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC.

Obama's New Nuclear Policies: A Step in the Right Direction

“The administration's commitment to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is unsurprising, and its view that no new nuclear warheads will likely be needed in the foreseeable future is technically and strategically compelling. Yet some limited options are preserved for future years and future presidents, in terms of ensuring the reliability of the U.S. arsenal,” writes Michael E. O'Hanlon, the Director of Research and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, on the new U.S. Nuclear Posture Review.


Read more here.

A comprehensive nuclear arms strategy

“We can achieve these objectives while upholding this country's nearly two-decade moratorium on nuclear tests and continuing our efforts to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. And although we will not develop new warheads or add military capabilities as we manage our arsenal for the future, we will pursue needed life-extension programs so the weapons we retain can be sustained,” wrote the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, in an op-ed in support of the new Nuclear Posture Review.


Read more here.

Trade unions ask India, Pakistan to sign NPT, CTBT

At a conference organized by the International Trade Union Confederation of the Asia Pacific Region in Singapore on 7 and 8 April 2010, trade union leaders of India and Pakistan have urged the two countries to sign the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the CTBT and use the trillions of rupees they spend on bomb-making and arms trade for poverty eradication and the welfare of their people.


Read more here.

Foreign Ministers Smith (Australia) and Okada (Japan)

Australia-Japan Joint Package on Nuclear Disarmament

As part of a package of practical nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation measures, Japan and Australia proposed that “all states that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) at the earliest opportunity with a view to its early entry into force, and emphasize the importance of maintaining the moratorium on nuclear weapons testing pending the entry into force of the CTBT.”


Read the press release here.

Right time for building global nuclear security

Nursultan Nazarbayev has served as the President of Kazakhstan since 1991.

"Kazakhstan is proud to cooperate with the CTBTO to develop an international system of on-site inspections. We regret that some influential countries still refrain from signing and ratifying this treaty. This allows recognized nuclear states to continue to test nuclear weapons, as well as near-nuclear states to pursue missile and nuclear programs without consequences. Kazakhstan is convinced that nuclear arms reductions will not lead to complacency and that U.S. ratification of this historic document will encourage other countries to follow its example," wrote Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan's president, in an op-ed.


Read more here.


Guido Westerwelle is a German liberal politician, currently serving as the Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of Germany.

Disarmament – a key German foreign policy task

When presenting the German Federal Government’s Annual Disarmament Report to the German Bundestag, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle appealed to those states that must still accede to the CTBT for it to enter into force to finally take this long overdue step.


Read more here.

A Season for Disarmament

“The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty has not entered into force because the United States, China and a number of other states have not ratified it,” wrote Hans Blix, a former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and former chief U.N. arms inspector for Iraq, when outlining the benefits of the New START and proposing a new way forward. “For the moment, however, there is only a hopeful start on a long journey.”


Read more here.