Support for the CTBT from the NAM Heads of State

Non-Aligned Heads of State Call for Universal Adherence to the CTBT


At its 15th Summit from 15 to 16 July 2009 in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) stressed the significance of achieving universal adherence to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Many of the NAM’s 118 Member States were represented by their respective Heads of State or Government.

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My Plan to Stop the Bomb

(The Guardian)

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon discusses the many efforts under way to achieve a world without nuclear weapons. Ban emphasizes his five-point plan towards zero nuclear weapons, of which the CTBT's entry into force is a vital element: "If the CTBT can enter into force, and if the NPT review conference makes progress, the world would be off to a good start on its journey to a world free of nuclear weapons...President Barack Obama's support for US ratification of the CTBT is welcome – the treaty only needs a few more ratifications to enter into force."

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Influential Republicans Could Throw Weight Behind CTBT

(Global Security Newswire)

Republican U.S. Senator John McCain has declared that he would consider voting for the CTBT's ratification, which would bring the U.S. Senate one important vote closer to the 67 votes needed for the Treaty's ratification. Daryl Kimball, Executive Director of the Arms Control Association, commented: "Because McCain is so influential in his party, his vote could attract others... John McCain is one of the only Republican senators who is independent-minded enough to break out of the partisan dividing lines on this issue. He has the gravitas to influence others in the caucus."

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CTBT Scope Note

(Arms Control Wonk)

Jeffrey Lewis discusses the lingering question concerning Russia's definition with regards to the scope of nuclear tests banned by the CTBT. Lewis does not agree with allegations that Russia has a different definition, leaving room for a certain type of nuclear tests, and quotes a recent statement by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (image) allowing the conclusion that "Russia believes zero [yield] means zero."

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Remarks to U.S. Strategic Command Deterrence Symposium

(U.S. State Department)

Ellen Tauscher, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, has detailed more of President Obama's agenda for ridding the world of nuclear weapons: "Beyond the new START treaty, there is no step that we could take that would more effectively restore our international standing and nonproliferation leadership than to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty." With regards to concerns over the maintainance of U.S. nuclear stockpiles, she added: "Simply put, the world has changed, technology has changed and circumstances have changed since 1999. We are better able to detect cheating and ensure confidence in the reliability of the U.S. stockpile without testing."

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Pro-Nuclear Pundits Debunked

(Huffington Post)

The New America Foundation's Arms and Security Initiative comments on the categoric opposal of U.S. neoconservatives to the concept of arms control: "[They] are far outside of the growing consensus on the need for decisive action to curb nuclear proliferation, and they have been on the wrong side of history for too long." The article argues that "the only way to avoid uncontrolled proliferation that could result in terrorists obtaining such weapons is to aggressively pursue a step-by-step effort" including "entry into force of the CTBT."

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Test Ban Monitoring: No Place to Hide

(Science Magazine)

Researchers gathered at the International Scientific Studies (ISS) Conference in Vienna, Austria, 10-12 June, issued a positive report card for the functioning of the CTBTO's global alarm system. It was pointed out that the International Monitoring System (IMS) is capable of detecting even the smallest nuclear explosions anywhere on the planet, ruling out the possibility that a future Treaty violation will go unnoticed.

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Nuclear and Present Danger

(The Geological Society)

George Tuckwell, Vice President of the U.K. Geological Society, describes his experience in participating in the Integrated Field Excercise (IFE08), as "one of the most ambitious projects in the history of nuclear non-proliferation." He describes how geophysical methods can be used to identify telltale signs of a clandestine nuclear test. Using for example ground-penetrating radar, exercise participants were trained in detecting tunnels dug in preparation of a nuclear test or changes in the underground structure from the explosion itself.

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DPRK: Drilling for Nuke Verification

(Arms Control Wonk)

With regards to the DPRK's recent nuclear test, former U.N. inspector Geoffrey Forden suggests that "it is at least plausible that the latest test was a conventional explosion", explaining that 2500 tons of conventional explosives could have been used to mimic a nuclear explosion. However, most fellow bloggers seem to disagree, dismissing such a scenario as "highly unlikely". It is also pointed out that the remaining uncertainty could have only been removed through a CTBT on-site inspection. These, however, will only be possible after the Treaty has entered into force.

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