Two new books on the CTBT published

Click for PDF version of book.

Book Launch: “Unfinished Business: The Negotiation of the CTBT and the End of Nuclear Testing”


A new book on the CTBT by Rebecca Johnson, co-founder of the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy, was launched on 9 June in Vienna. Johnson discusses the events leading up to the negotiations of the CTBT and describes how civil society interacted with governments to help the successful adoption of the Treaty. The book has been published by the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR).

Read more here

G8 Leaders at their last meeting in Toyako, Japan, on 7 July 2008

G8 to Call for Early Enactment of Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty

(The Manichi Daily News)

According to Japanese government sources, G8 countries have agreed in principle to incorporate language in support of the CTBT in their joint statement at the upcoming G8 summit in l'Aquila, Italy, in July 2009. The statement is to call for the early enactment of the CTBT. The article points out that G8 statements in support of the CTBT had previously not been possible due to reservations by the former U.S. government.

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The meeting was hosted by the Italian Foreign Ministry.

World Religious Leaders Hold Their Own G8 Summit

(Reuters blog)

Leaders of all major religions met in Rome, Italy, from 16 to 17 June 2009 in the run-up to the G8 meeting in July. They have issued a joint appeal which also addresses nuclear disarmament and the CTBT: "We press for prompt ratifications and entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and commit to take no action leading toward the reintroduction of any form of nuclear weapons testing."

Read the full article here

The Greenpeace Ship "Rainbow Warrior", sunk by the French secret service in 1985, for which the French government later admitted responsibility, apologized and paid compensation.

Nuclear Disarmament Activism in Asia and the Pacific, 1971-1996

(The Asia-Pacific Journal)

Prof. Lawrence Witter, Professor of History at the State University of New York, USA, has written a book titled "Confronting the bomb - a short history of the world disarmament movement". In an article adapted from this book, Witter outlines the formation of the nuclear disarmament movement in the Pacific region following atmospheric nuclear testing there. This development led to the adoption of the Treaty of Rarotonga in 1985 and paved the way for the CTBT in 1996.

Read the full article here

North Korea's Ignoble Blast

(Nature) analyzes the recent North Korean announced nuclear test. While CTBTO seismic measurements indicated a man-made seismic event, no radioactive noble gases were measured. The director of the CTBTO's International Data Centre, Lassina Zerbo (image), is cited: "If we didn't measure it, it's unlikely that anyone outside of North Korea's borders did." According to a former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, Harold Agnew, it is not unusual for underground nuclear explosions not to release noble gases.

Read the full article here

Analyst at the CTBTO's International Data Centre

Bombers Vs Verifiers: A Nuclear Race Worth Winning


Scientists play a crucial role in assuring the verifiability of arms control treaties such as the CTBT, whose verification regime includes "hundreds of seismographs, radionuclide sniffers, infrasound and hydroacoustic monitors". While the CTBT was rejected by the U.S. Senate in 1999 out of fear that small nuclear tests would not be detected, "[l]ast month, that network proved itself by spotting a test in North Korea."

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U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed the Start II Treaty in 1993.

Will the Senate Support New Nuclear Arms Reductions?

(The Bulletin)

John Isaacs and Kingston Reif of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation comment on future U.S. Senate votes on nuclear arms control treaties. The authors see good prospects for a successor agreement to the START Treaty being completed and approved by the Senate. But in order for this to generate the necessary political momentum for Senate approval of other projects on Obama's nuclear disarmament agenda such as the CTBT, the START successor agreement would need to be passed with more votes than just the minimum two-third majority of 67 Senators.

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U.S. Senate building

Is the Koh vote a proxy for future treaty battles in the Senate?

(UN Dispatch)

According to a comment on the UN Dispatch post, the recent nomination of Mr. Harold Koh as the U.S. State Department's top legal advisor by the U.S. Senate could be indicative of future Senate votes on treaties such as the CTBT. The fact that Koh received 65 votes while a treaty ratification requires 67 shows that these votes are likely to be "very, very close."


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It’s in the US interest to ratify nuclear test ban treaty

(The Arizona Daily Star)

Highlighting the increasing bipartisan support for the Treaty, nuclear
disarmament activist Barbara H. Warren says that “U.S. ratification of the
treaty and global leadership on nuclear disarmament will help ensure
that these weapons are never used.”  She says that it is time for U.S.
senators to do their part to address the potential threat of nuclear
weapons and urges them to vote for the ratification of the Treaty when it
comes to the Senate floor next year.


Read the full article here