CTBT firmly back on the agenda of the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty's
Positive attitude by NPT Member States
The Preparatory Committee for the 2010 Review Conference is currently holding its third meeting from 4 to 15 May 2009 in New York, United States. The meeting is marked by a positive attitude towards the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Almost all delegations - including the United States - emphasized the importance of the CTBT and its early entry into force. This positive approach towards the CTBT contributed to the overall positive atmosphere at the meeting leading to, among other important decisions, the adoption of the 2010 Review Conference agenda.
In his address to the Conference, Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth highlighted the CTBT’s role for strengthening the NPT: “Progress on the CTBT’s entry into force is one of the most important catalysts … progress can be achieved in a relatively short time. The Treaty already exists. It has been signed by 180 and ratified by almost 150 States. Its verification regime is close to completion. And it has been tried and tested.”
USA and China dedicated to CTBT ratification
Tóth also met bilaterally with several delegations to discuss pending ratifications and prospects for entry into force. Nine countries have yet to ratify the CTBT for its entry into force: China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Israel and the United States have already signed the Treaty, whereas the DPRK, India and Pakistan have not yet signed it. United States Assistant Secretary of State for Verification, Compliance and Verification, Rose Gottemoeller, assured Tóth that the Obama administration is making the necessary preparations for the U.S. ratification process. He received a similar assurance about China’s ratification from Ambassador Cheng Jingye, Director-General of Arms Control and Disarmament at the Chinese Foreign Ministry. Tóth also met with Heads of Delegation from Egypt and Indonesia and impressed upon them the urgency of their ratifications.
U.N. Secretary-General to address upcoming CTBT Conference in September
A central theme of Tóth’s statements and bilateral meetings was his emphasis on the importance of the upcoming Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Treaty on 24 and 25 September 2009, which he described as potentially the largest gathering of foreign ministers in the area of nonproliferation and disarmament. In his meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Executive Secretary was assured of the U.N.’s full support for the Treaty. Mr. Ban Ki-moon agreed to convene the September Conference at the highest possible level and confirmed his own interest to make a statement at the meeting.
Support from UN Messenger for Peace, Michael Douglas
Tóth also met with Academy Award winning actor/producer and UN Messenger for Peace, Michael Douglas. Mr. Douglas expressed strong support for the objectives of the CTBT and emphasized his willingness to support initiatives leading to the Treaty’s entry into force.