Progress in the Middle East: Lebanon
ratifies the Comprehensive
On 21 November 2008, Lebanon ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) which bans all nuclear explosions on Earth. This newest ratification, which was published today by the Journal of the United Nations, brings the total number of Treaty ratifications to 148. Lebanon signed the CTBT on 21 September 2005.
Tibor Tóth, the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), welcomed Lebanon's ratification.
Lebanon has shown its political support for the CTBT by participating in past conferences aimed at promoting the entry into force of the Treaty (so-called Article XIV conferences), by voting repeatedly for the CTBT resolutions at the United Nations General Assembly’s First Committee, and through participation in CTBTO workshops.
In the Treaty-defined region of Middle East and South Asia, the ratification by Lebanon brings the number of countries that have ratified to 15 out of 26 States. 21 countries in the region have signed the CTBT, the only non-signatories being Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Syria.
On a global scale, 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.