Malawi ratifies the Comprehensive
ratifications now at 147
On 21 November 2008, Malawi ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) which bans all nuclear explosions on Earth. This brings the total number of Treaty ratifications to 147. Malawi signed the CTBT on 9 October 1996, shortly after it had opened for signature.
Tibor Tóth, the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), welcomed Malawi’s ratification. Malawi has shown political support for the Treaty by participating in past conferences aimed at promoting the entry into force of the Treaty (so-called Article XIV conferences) and by voting for the CTBT resolutions at the United Nations General Assembly’s First Committee. Malawi has also hosted a national workshop on the CTBT in its capital Lilongwe in February 2006.
The adherence to the CTBT is almost universal. 180 countries have already signed the Treaty. To enter into force, however, the Treaty must be signed and ratified by the 44 States listed in Annex 2 to the Treaty. These States participated in the negotiations of the Treaty in 1996 and possessed nuclear power or research reactors at the time. Thirty-five of these States have ratified the Treaty, including the three nuclear weapon States France, Russian Federation and the United Kingdom. The nine remaining States are China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States.
A verification regime is being built to monitor compliance with the CTBT. 337 facilities world-wide will monitor the underground, the oceans and the atmosphere for any sign of a nuclear explosion. Today, over 230 facilities have been certified and incorporated into the network, and can send data to the International Data Center at the CTBTO in Vienna.