CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Toth
welcomes the report of the International
Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation
“The report’s recommendations on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) are very timely. It is indeed of utmost importance that “all states that have not already done so should sign and ratify the CTBT unconditionally and without delay”, said Tibor Tóth, the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).
It is also of crucial importance that “all signatories should provide the necessary financial, technical and political support for the continued development and operation of the CTBTO, including completing the global coverage of its monitoring systems, facilitating on-site inspection when warranted, and establishing effective national data centres and information gathering systems”, he said.
The report of the International Commission on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament was presented in Tokyo, Japan, earlier today, on Tuesday 15 December, to the Prime Ministers of Australia and Japan by the Commission Co-Chairs, former foreign ministers Gareth Evans and Yoriko Kawaguchi.
The report emphasizes that it “is difficult to overstate the importance of the CTBT as a crucial building block for both non-proliferation and disarmament. It sets, in effect, a qualitative cap on the capacity of both existing weapons possessors and potential new ones to develop new nuclear weapons.”
The report also underlines that a “U.S. ratification would be a circuit-breaker, having an immediate impact on the other CTBT hold-out states, and creating much new momentum in itself for the broader non-proliferation and disarmament agenda.”
It also recommends that the Nuclear Suppliers Group “should develop a criteria-based approach to cooperation agreements with states outside the NPT, taking into account factors such as ratification of the CTBT, willingness to end unsafeguarded fissile material production, and states’ record in securing nuclear facilities and materials and controlling nuclear-related exports.”
The International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament was initially proposed by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd following his visit in July 2008 to the Hiroshima peace memorial, and launched in New York in September 2008 by him and Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda as a joint initiative of the Australian and Japanese Governments.
The Commission’s stated aim was to reinvigorate, at a high political level, global debate on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, in the context both of the forthcoming 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, and beyond.
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) bans all nuclear explosions. To date, 182 countries have signed the Treaty, and 151 have also ratified it. For the Treaty to enter into force, it has to be ratified by 44 identified nuclear holder States. 35 of these have already ratified the Treaty whereas nine remain: China, Egypt, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, and the United States.
The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) is building a verification regime to monitor the planet for compliance with the Treaty. When complete, 337 facilities worldwide will monitor underground, the oceans and the atmosphere for any sign of a nuclear explosion. To date, 250 facilities have been certified and send data to the International Data Centre at the CTBTO in Vienna, Austria.