Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
becomes 150th country to have
ratified the Comprehensive
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) on 23 September 2009. The instrument of ratification was deposited with the United Nations Secretary-General in New York by Louis Straker, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Commerce and Trade.
With this latest ratification, the Treaty has now reached the hallmark figure of 150 ratifications. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines signed the CTBT less than three months ago, on 2 July 2009.
Today’s ratification was preceded by U.S. President Obama’s statement at the United Nations General Assembly in which he specifically referred to the Treaty and its entry into force: “We will move forward with ratification of the Test-Ban Treaty, and work with others to bring the Treaty into force so that nuclear testing is permanently prohibited”, Obama said. He also confirmed that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be the first senior representative of the United States at the conference to promote the entry into force of the Treaty.
Foreign ministers from among over 100 countries will gather at the UN Headquarters in New York on 24 and 25 September 2009 to discuss measures that would pave the way for the Treaty´s entry into force. Participants at the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT will call on those nine States whose ratifications are needed for the Treaty to become legally binding to ratify: China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States.
There is currently unprecedented high-level attention on the CTBT and its entry into force. On 24 September 2009 the United Nations Security Council is to meet at Heads of State level at the UN Headquarters in New York to discuss nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, including the CTBT and its entry into force. It is the first such high-level meeting since 1992.
Of the 33 States in Latin America and the Caribbean, 30 States have signed and 29 have ratified it. The remaining three non-signatories are Cuba, Dominica and Trinidad and Tobago. Overall, the Treaty enjoys near-universality with 181 States having signed it.
The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions on Earth. 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.