Marshall Islands ratifies Comprehensive
The Marshall Islands has ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), becoming the 151st country to do so.
The ratification of the CTBT by the Marshall Islands is highly symbolic. A total of 67 atmospheric nuclear tests were conducted by the United States at the Bikini and Enewetak Atolls between 1946 and 1958. Following negotiations between the United States and the Marshall Islands, the U.S. agreed in 1983 to reward compensation payments to those affected by its nuclear testing programme.The Marshall Island Nuclear Claims Tribunal founded in 1988 continues to represent the interests of those affected by the nuclear testing programme.
The Marshall Islands was one of the 71 countries that signed the CTBT on 24 September 1996, the day it opened for signature. Of the 15 Pacific Island States, 12 States have signed and 10 have ratified the CTBT. The remaining three non-signatories are Niue, Tonga and Tuvalu. Overall, the Treaty enjoys near-universality with 182 States having signed and 151 having ratified it.
The CTBT and its entry into force enjoy renewed political prominence. The 106 States that gathered in September in New York for a conference to promote the Treaty’s entry into force called on all outstanding States to sign and ratify the Treaty. The CTBT´s entry into force was also supported at the September United Nations Security Council summit meeting at Heads of State level on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.
The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions. 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, close to 250 facilities have been certified and send data to the International Data Centre at the CTBTO in Vienna, Austria.