Azerbaijani President in Vienna
Calls Nuclear Weapons
'Threat to Mankind'

"Nuclear weapons are a threat to mankind", President Heydar Aliyev of Azerbaijan said this morning. "The main goal of mankind is to stop the production of nuclear weapons, or at least the goal should be to stop testing them". President Aliyev was visiting the Vienna International Centre, where the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) has been working to put in place a global treaty verification regime since March 1997.

As a member of the Preparatory Commission, which meets three times a year, Azerbaijan gives it high political support. It signed the CTBT on 28 July 1997 and ratified it on 2 February 1999.

During President Aliyev´s visit to the Vienna International Centre, Wolfgang Hoffmann, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission, informed the President of the good progress that the Commission is making in establishing the verification regime, and the high-level of financial support that the Commission is receiving (almost 87 per cent of the contributions to the 2000 budget has been paid).

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty prohibits all nuclear weapon test explosions and any other nuclear explosions anywhere in the world. Drafted in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, and adopted by the General Assembly on 10 September 1996, the Treaty was opened for signature on 24 September 1996 at the United Nations in New York.

As at 30 June 2000, the CTBT has been signed by 155 States and ratified by 58 of which 29 belong to the group of 44 States whose ratification is necessary for the Treaty to enter into force.

The 58 States that have ratified the Treaty are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Lesotho, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Uzbekistan. To enter into force, the Treaty has to be ratified by the 44 States named under Article XIV that formally participated in the work of the 1996 Conference on Disarmament and that possess nuclear power or research reactors.

For further information on the CTBTO, please see www.ctbto.org or contact:
Annika Thunborg, Chief, Public Information  
T    +43 1 26030-6375  
E    annika.thunborgping@ctbtopong.org
M    +43 699 1459 6375       
I    www.ctbto.org