The last few steps to achieving the CTBT's
entry into force require "a massive and
coordinated grassroots effort" - CTBTO
Executive Secretary Tibor Toth
Vienna, 15 November 2010
VIENNA – The last few steps to bring the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) into force require “a massive and coordinated grassroots effort,” Tibor Tóth, head of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) informed a summit meeting of Nobel Peace Laureates.
“Help to bring this Treaty into legal effect,” Tóth told the Nobel prize winners attending the 2010 World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Hiroshima, Japan, from 12 to 14 November 2010. “This will be a giant leap on the road to a world without nuclear weapons,” he added.
In their final declaration issued on Sunday, the Nobel Laureates urged China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Indonesia, Pakistan and the United States, to endorse the Treaty so that it can become international law.
They also called for ratification without delay of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) between the United States and Russia and for follow-on negotiations for deeper cuts in all types of nuclear weapons.
The Hiroshima Declaration called on nations to start work on a universal treaty to abolish nuclear weapons, in partnership with civil society. It praised the atomic bombing survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the hibakusha, who have "dedicated their lives to teaching the rest of the world about the horrors of nuclear war."“Nuclear weapons cannot be disinvented, but they can and must be outlawed, just as chemical and biological weapons, landmines and cluster munitions have been declared illegal,” said the Hiroshima Declaration.
“The use of nuclear weapons against any people must be regarded as a crime against humanity and should henceforth be prohibited,” continued the Declaration.
A defining global issue
Earlier Tóth informed the Nobel Laureates that “nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation is and will remain one of the most defining global issues of our time.”
In 2010 the international community reaffirmed its resolve to move forward in pursuit of a nuclear-weapon-free world, he said.
Achieving such a world would not happen easily or quickly and would “require many steps and patience,” Tóth told the Laureates and the steps to achieving it are not new, nor are there shortcuts.
For more than five decades, the CTBT has been aspired to and promised over and over again, he said. In today’s security environment it has a key role to play, offering confidence-building measures in complex regional contexts and a verifiable final barrier to nuclear weapons capability – of vital importance for a systemic approach to addressing the challenges of the nuclear non-proliferation regime, he said.
Yet time is of the essence, Tóth added. “The good will and momentum generated over the last two years need to be met with equally good action. There is no time for sitting on the fence.”
The three-day summit was organized by the Permanent Secretariat of Nobel Peace Laureates Summits and the City of Hiroshima. Attendees included the Dalai Lama, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, three of the co-founders of the Nobel Women’s Initiative, and Frederik Willem De Klerk, former South African President. Mikhail Gorbachev, former Soviet Union President, signed the declaration via teleconference.
Background on the CTBT and its verification regime
The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions by everyone, everywhere: on the Earth’s surface, in the atmosphere, underwater and underground. One hundred and eighty-two countries have signed the Treaty, of which 153 have also ratified it. Of the 44 countries that have to ratify the Treaty for entry into force, 35 have already done so. The remaining nine are: China, the DPRK, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States. On 3 May 2010, Indonesia stated it had initiated the CTBT ratification process.
The CTBTO is building a verification regime to monitor the planet for compliance with the Treaty. When complete, 337 facilitiesworldwide will monitor underground, the oceans and the atmosphere for any sign of a nuclear explosion. To date, 80 percent of the monitoring facilities send data to the CTBTO’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria, where the data are processed and analyzed and then transmitted to the 182 Member States. On-site inspections to collect information on the ground in the case of a suspected nuclear explosion complement the verification regime.
For further information on the CTBT, please see www.ctbto.org – your resource on ending nuclear testing,