Nobel Peace Laureates urge remaining nine countries to bring the CTBT into legal force

Nobel Peace Laureates urge remaining nine countries to bring the CTBT into legal force

"We call on China, the United States, Egypt, Iran, Israel and Indonesia to ratify, and on India, Pakistan and North Korea to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, that has already been ratified by 153 nations, so that the Treaty can be brought into full legal force," said a final declaration from the 11th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. The three day summit held in Hiroshima, Japan, November 12-14, 2010, was organized by the Permanent Secretariat of Nobel Peace Laureates Summits and the City of Hiroshima. Attendees included the Dalai Lama, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, and Frederik Willem De Klerk, former South African President. Mikhail Gorbachev, former Soviet Union President, signed the declaration via teleconference.

Read the Summit declaration here.

Read the CTBTO press release here.

EU Contributes EUR 5.3 million to CTBTO

The Council of the European Union and the CTBTO signed an agreement covering the EU's contribution of €5.3 million.  Earlier this year in July, the EU had announced its largest ever voluntary financial contribution to the CTBTO to strengthen its monitoring and verification capabilities. The agreement was signed in Vienna, Austria, 17 November, by Juha Auvinen, on behalf of the European Commission, and by CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth.

Watch the YouTube video clip here.

Read the CTBTO Press Release here.

Parliamentarians from 25 Mediterranean countries address political, socio-economic and environmental issues of common concern.

The important role of parliamentarians in bringing the CTBT into force

Your action is needed to bring the CTBT into force, CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth said at the 5th session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM), held in Rabat, Morocco. Coinciding with the PAM session, senior representatives of African States gathered at a regional workshop on 28 and 29 October 2010 in Rabat to discuss the prospects of all countries on the continent joining the CTBT. To date, 51 of 53 African countries have signed and 38 have ratified the Treaty. Representatives of eight non-ratifying countries took part in the workshop.

Read the CTBTO highlight here

Spectrum 15 available online

Spectrum 15 is now available online. Setting a new precedent for the publication, the articles in this issue of Spectrum represent a diversity of voices from the United States, China, India, Pakistan, and the Central African Republic. Spectrum 15 also covers various verification-related issues.

Read full issue here.

Experts conduct a mock inspection of a simulated nuclear test site near the Dead Sea on Monday (Photo by Nader Daoud)

Exercise to inspect a simulated nuclear test site – Jordan, 1 to 12 November 2010

“Jordan is an ardent supporter of the CTBT and the efforts of the CTBTO to ensure that the testing of nuclear weapons is banned in all its forms,” said Princess Sumaya, in a speech delivered at the opening ceremony of the simulated on-site inspection in Jordan which was held from 1 to 12 November 2010, beside the Dead Sea in Jordan. A team of more than 35 international experts was assembled by the CTBTO to determine whether a nuclear test explosion was conducted by a fictitious country in violation of the CTBT that outlaws all nuclear explosions.

Read CTBTO press release here.

Read more here.
Jordan hosts simulated nuclear test site inspection (Jordan Times)

The Ultimate Nuclear Test – an op-ed by Tibor Tóth and Sergio Duarte in 'Project Syndicate'

It is absolutely vital to international peace and security to sustain and reinforce the current momentum for nuclear disarmament, said Sergio Duarte, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, and Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary of the CTBTO. This requires extending the rule of law to disarmament – a goal that will receive a boost when the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty enters into force, Tóth and Duarte said. “The CTBT is needed because of the role of nuclear tests in the development and improvement of nuclear weapons. Such tests are also political symbols that have no place in a world determined to eliminate these abhorrent weapons of mass destruction. On an issue as important as this, voluntary promises not to test are simply not enough,” they stressed.

Read article here.

Also read interview with Tibor Tóth in InDepthNews here.

CTBTO's International Monitoring Stations

A Decade of “Remarkable Achievements” in advancing the CTBT, says CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth

Remarkable achievements have been made in advancing the CTBT and its verification regime, achievements that are being driven by “a vision to bring an end to the era of nuclear weapons,” Tóth told a meeting of CTBTO Member States. The meeting approved extra funding to pay for the replacement of hydroacoustc facilities at Juan Fernandez Island in Chile, which were severely damaged by a tsunami in February. It also supported expenditure to invest in the development of an integrated computer-based management system known as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) for the CTBTO, to provide the organization with an upgraded, state-of-the-art accounting and management tool.

Read the CTBTO press release here.

CTBT: Science and Technology 2011

A newly designed webpage dedicated to “CTBT: Science and Technology 2011 (S&T2011)” can be viewed on the public website. The webpage outlines the goals of S&T 2011 and the five themes that will be covered during the conference, which will take place at the Hofburg in Vienna from 8 to 10 June 2011. The webpage, which will be updated regularly, also includes information about online registration, the submission of abstracts, the schedule and other administrative details. Through this multidisciplinary scientific conference, the CTBTO aims to build and strengthen its relationship with the broader scientific community in support of the CTBT. 

View webpage here.

Russia and United States support CTBT early entry into force in a joint draft resolution on New START submitted to the UN General Assembly First Committee

United Nations General Assembly

“The entry into force of the CTBT represents another essential step on the path toward a world without nuclear weapons,” said the U.S. statement delivered to the UNGA First Committee. “The United States has reaffirmed its commitment to this treaty, and has increased its level of participation in all of the activities of the CTBTO’s Preparatory Commission in preparing for the entry into force of the CTBT. We believe that the United States, and all states, will be safer when the test ban enters into force, and we are preparing actively for the reconsideration of the treaty by the United States Senate,” said the statement,” said the statement.

Read statement here.

Experts anticipate grim prospects for arms control agreements in aftermath of 2010 US midterm elections

“Obama will hit roadblocks on those foreign policy issues that require congressional approval… the New START Treaty on reducing U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear arms is in intensive care, and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty remains in its political grave,” says James M Lindsay, CFR Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair. While acknowledging that the road to U.S. ratification of the new START and the CTBT will be challenging, Ernie Regehr, co-founder of Project Ploughshares, says that we can be certain if the new START and the CTBT are not ratified, “things nuclear will get a whole lot uglier.” The 2010 U.S. midterm elections resulted in giving control of the House of Representatives to the Republicans.

Read more here:

New Congress: How Foreign Policy Shifts, by James M. Lindsay (CFR)

Nuclear disarmament can be a very messy business, by Ernie Regehr (Guelph Mercury)

Obama's Political Obstacle Course, Richard N. Haass interview (CFR)

Tomas Graham: Obama will be pressed to walk back from reset with Russia (RIA Novosti)

Our Chance on New START Is Slipping Away, by Rizwan Ladha (Huffington Post)


India signals possible change in position on CTBT, if U.S. and China ratify

"There has been a slightly modified position on CTBT wherein the prime minister has stated India will consider signing the treaty provided the US and China ratify it,” said Rajeswari Rajagopalan, senior fellow in security studies at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi. While the ongoing negotiations on a civil nuclear accord between New Delhi and Tokyo remain at an impasse over the inclusion of a clause banning nuclear testing, media reports have cited sources saying that Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh “observed that a new environment would be created if the U.S. and China ratifies the CTBT.”

Read more here:

As Manmohan heads for Japan, nuclear deal stuck on CTBT link (Hindu)

As India pushes east, so China worries, by Peter J Brown (Asia Times)

Obama’s loss can be India’s gain (Deccan Chronicle)

Can Prime Minister Singh push through a Nuclear Deal with Japan? By Rajaran Panda (Institute for Defense Studies & Analysis)

Talks on civil nuclear pact with India will continue: Japan (Hindu)

India-Japan N-deal runs into hurdles (Hindustan Times)

India ready to seal nuclear deal with Japan: PM (AFP)

Nuclear issues unresolved in India-Japan partnership (Xinhua)

The Japan Roadblock to Nuclear Cooperation, by Harsh V. Pant (WSJ)

Germany hopeful India is willing to sign CTBT

Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle meets his Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna

After meeting with his Indian counterpart S. M. Krishna on 18 October, Guido Westerwelle, Germany’s Foreign Minister, said Germany was encouraged by signs that India was willing to sign the CTBT. "We acknowledge India's efforts to support non-proliferation. We would like to encourage her to move even closer to international non-proliferation system. We are encouraged by signs that India could be prepared to sign the CTBT. That will be a very important step forward to our position," said Westerwelle.

Read more here:

India's `willingness' to sign CTBT enthuses Germany (Times of India)

Germany hopeful India will sign CTBT (Indian Express)

Movements detected of North Korea preparing for a possible third nuclear test

This image taken on 16 October, 2006 by South Korea's multipurpose satellite Arirang No. 2 shows Punggye-ri in North Hamgyong Province, believed to be the site of North Korea's nuclear tests. /Courtesy of Korea Aerospace Research Institute

South Korea’s major daily Chosun Ilbo reported that U.S. reconnaissance satellite has detected signs of North Korea preparing for a nuclear test in North Hamgyong Province, where it had conducted its two earlier tests in 2006 and 2009. "Hectic movements of personnel and vehicles have recently been detected in Punggye-ri," Chosun quoted an unidentified government source as saying. However South Korean government officials said there was no concrete evidence that the communist state was preparing for such a test, saying Seoul and its allies are closely watching developments. “It’s possible that they are going to test a uranium bomb—not a plutonium bomb, which was tested, but a uranium bomb,” Russian historian and North Korea expert Andrei Lankov said in an interview with Radio Free Asia.

Read more here:

Is N.Korea Preparing for Another Nuke Test? (Chosun Ilbo)

N.Korea may be planning nuclear test: report (AFP)

US says another NKorean nuclear test would be provocative (AFP)

US Warns North Korea Over Nuclear Brinkmanship (RTT)

Nuclear test could be a fanfare for N Korea's new leader (Daily Telegraph)

S.Korea cannot rule out N.Korea nuclear test (AFP)

N. Korea unlikely to restart nuclear tests, by Zhang Muhui (

Dead End for Nuclear Talks? (Interview with Andrei Lankov, RFA)

'The Worst Kept Secret,' by Avner Cohen

Avner Cohen’s new book about Israel’s nuclear weapons programme argues that it is time for Israel to become transparent about its nuclear weapons. While conceding that deception and ambiguity have benefited Israel mainly by allowing the United State to quietly endorse the Israeli fait accompli without straining its relations with the Arabs or its nonproliferation efforts elsewhere, Cohen argues that Israel has paid a steep price in terms of its democracy. Cohen’s book includes many historical details such as the one-on-one meeting in 1969 between Nixon and Golda Meir who agreed on the terms of opacity: in exchange for America’s tacit endorsement, Israel would neither test its weapons nor disclose their existence.

Read more here:

Why Israel Should Declare Itself a Nuclear Power (Newsweek)