The Conference on Facilitating
the Entry into Force of the
NOTE TO CORRESPONDENTS
The Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
The Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (also known as Article XIV Conference) will meet at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 21 to 23 September 2005. This will be the fourth such Conference since the adoption of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 September 1996. The Treaty constrains the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons, and constitutes an effective measure of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
This year?s Conference will examine and decide which measures consistent with international law may be taken to accelerate the ratification process in order to facilitate the entry into force of the CTBT. Its main outcome is expected to be the Final Declaration. It is also anticipated that a number of States which have not yet signed or ratified the Treaty will decide to do so prior to or during the Conference, as has been the case with previous Article XIV Conferences.
Representatives of States which have already ratified the CTBT are invited to participate in deliberations. Signatory States, non-signatory States, international organizations and non-governmental organizations are invited to attend as observers.
The President-designate of the Conference is His Excellency Mr. Alexander Downer, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia.
Media representatives in possession of a valid United Nations grounds pass will be allowed to cover the events at the United Nations without any additional accreditation. All other media will need a pass issued by the Media Accreditation Office, upon presentation of a letter of assignment from their bureau or editor-in-chief, together with an accreditation form, addressed to Gary Fowlie, Chief, Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit, and faxed to 1 (212) 963-4642. Two pieces of photo identification (such as a passport, national credentials, police press pass, driver?s license or state ID) are also required. Other credentials, such as bylined articles, may be requested. The form is available from the Unit?s web site at: www.un.org/media/accreditation.
Please refer to this site for details regarding accreditation requirements, media access to the UN Secretariat, liaison services for coverage of open and bilateral meetings, press conferences and briefings, links to web sites and press releases related to events.
Press coverage and public information materials
The Department of Public Information (DPI) will provide press releases (English and French) and audio-visual coverage of the Conference. A press briefing at United Nations Headquarters is planned at the conclusion of the Conference on Friday, 23 September 2005 following the noon briefing of the Spokesman of the Secretary-General in Room S-226 (to be confirmed).
Two days prior to the Conference, the following press materials will be made available to the accredited media at the Media Documents Distribution Counter in the third floor press area of the Secretariat Building:
- Press kit for the Conference (English, French, Spanish);
- CTBTO Basic Facts (English, French, Spanish);
- CTBTO Spectrum Newsletter (English).
Additional information is available on the Internet at: http://disarmament2.un.org/wmd/ctbt/2005-Conference/index.html. During the Conference, this site will also include the coverage page with the following items:
- Statements made at the Conference scanned and uploaded in the language the statement was provided and circulated;
- The live webcast of the proceedings, which will be archived at the end of each session, along with the list of speakers;
- News stories on the Conference from the UN News Centre, and press releases as available;
- Radio News items (audio);
- Photos of the Conference.
For further information on the status of the Treaty, the verification regime, the work of the Preparatory Committee and other issues, you may also wish to consult CTBTO?s home page at: http://www.ctbto.org. This site will also carry the coverage page of the Conference as described above.
Brief background of the Treaty
- The CTBT, which consists of 17 articles, 2 Annexes and a Protocol, prohibits all nuclear-weapons and any other nuclear explosions in any environment on earth. The Treaty also provides for the establishment of a global verification system to monitor compliance with the Treaty?s provisions.
- Article XIV of the Treaty specifies the conditions of its entry into force. This will take place 180 days after the 44 States, whose ratification is required for the entry into force of the CTBT, have all ratified it (for the list of those States, see Annex 2 to the Treaty at: http://www.ctbto.org). As of 9 September 2005, 175 States have signed the Treaty and 123 have ratified it. Of the 44 States that need to have ratified the CTBT for it to enter into force, 41 have signed the Treaty and 33 have ratified it, including three nuclear-weapon States (France, the Russia Federation and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland).
- The negotiators of the CTBT also included a mechanism under Article XIV to accelerate the Treaty?s entry into force, if this had not taken place three years after the anniversary of its opening for signature. Ratifying States can request the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who is the Depositary of the Treaty, to convene a Conference to examine how the ratification process can be accelerated. These Conferences can be convened at subsequent anniversaries until the Treaty enters into force.
- The previous three Conferences on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Treaty were held in Vienna in 1999 and 2003, and in New York in 2001.
For further information on the Treaty and related issues, please contact the Public Information Office, Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO, Vienna International Centre, P.O. Box 1200, A-1400 Austria, tel: +43 1 26030 6200
For media materials, additional information, suggestions for interviews and other related assistance prior and during the Conference, contact the Strategic Communications Division of DPI at tel: 1 (212) 963-6846, email: [email protected], or the Weapons of Mass Destruction Branch of the Department for Disarmament Affairs at tel: 1 (917) 367-2158, email: [email protected].