International leaders rally in support
for entry into force of
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
“After a ten year absence from this conference, America stands ready to renew its leadership role in the non-proliferation regime,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared at a conference to promote the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). It is the first time in ten years that the United States has participated at the conference. “We are happy to be back,” Clinton told the gathering.
The high level attendance at the conference is unprecedented. Representatives from the 150 ratifying States, a large number at the Foreign Minister level, as well as representatives from Signatory States and from non-signatory States, have gathered at the UN Headquarters in New York to find ways to accelerate the process of entry into force of the CTBT.
Clinton: Work on U.S. ratification
Clinton expressed the United States’ commitment towards the Treaty: “We will work in the months ahead both to seek the advice and consent of the United States Senate to ratify the treaty, and to secure ratification by others so that the treaty can enter into force,” she stressed.
The conference was opened early in the morning by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in the presence of the two Co-Presidents of the conference, the Foreign Ministers of France and Morocco, Bernard Kouchner and Taib Fassi Fihri, as well as the UN Messenger of Peace, Michael Douglas.
UN SG: Seize the momentum
Referring to the new political momentum in support of the CTBT, the Secretary-General stressed that “the momentum is rare, and we must seize this momentum. This is what we did.” He also promised to devote all his time and energy to ensure the early entry into force of the CTBT qualifying it “as the right path to a world free of nuclear weapons.”
Kouchner: Treaty never so close to entry into force
Co-President of the conference, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, said that the Treaty “was never before so close to entry into force.” He called on all those States that have not yet signed or ratified to do so.
Kouchner commended the U.S. President for his decision to secure his country’s ratification of the Treaty. He made a special appeal to the other eight States whose ratification is needed for the Treaty’s entry into force to “take that decisive step towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.” “They would send a message of hope,” Kouchner emphasized.
Fassi Fihri: Treaty important for peace and security
Reinforcing the call by Kouchner for hold-out States to sign and ratify the Treaty, Moroccan Foreign Minister Taib Fassi Fihri said that “a voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing cannot replace ratification of the CTBT.”
The remaining States will be asked to join the Treaty, which he said is a key aspect of the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and important for peace and security. “We and our children want to live in peace and security,” Fassi Fihri declared.
Douglas: new wind blowing
“The CTBT – when fully brought into force – will be a pillar of peace,” emphasized Michael Douglas, UN Messenger of Peace. Douglas stated that he was honoured to work together with UN Secretary-General Ban on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. “There is a new wind blowing,” Douglas said, quoting the UN Secretary-General, adding that he was honoured “to be part of this and to speak on behalf of those people who are not diplomats and who can feel this momentum.”
Final Declaration adopted in consensus
Participating States - including ratifying States and signatory States - issued an urgent call on hold-out States to sign and ratify. This appeal comes as part of a strongly worded Final Declaration, which was adopted in consensus on the first day of the conference. Non-signatory States, who also participated in the conference, associated themselves with the final document.
In the Final Declaration (PDF), States expressed their shared concern about nuclear testing and the delay in the CTBT’s entry into force. They said that international developments since the last conference in 2007 “make entry into force of the Treaty more urgent than ever before.” Countries stated their conviction that “entry into force of the Treaty will enhance international peace and security.”
States reiterated their commitment to establishing a verifiable comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty, calling it a “major instrument in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.” They commended the progress made in the build-up of the CTBT verification regime that will monitor the globe for nuclear explosions. Almost 250 facilities of the verification regime have been certified and send data to the International Data Centre.
For further information on the CTBTO, please see www.ctbto.org – your resource on
ending nuclear testing, or contact:
Annika Thunborg, Chief, Public Information
T +43 1 26030-6375
M +43 699 1459 6375