THE GAMBIA RATIFIES THE COMPREHENSIVE NUCLEAR-TEST-BAN TREATY
The Republic of The Gambia has ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), raising the total number of ratifying states to 171 and bringing the Treaty another step closer to universality.
The West African nation signed the CTBT in 2003 and is a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the Pelindaba Treaty, which established the African Nuclear Weapons Free Zone. Its ratification of the CTBT further underscores the country's unwavering commitment to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
The move was marked on 24 March 2022 in a Treaty ceremony at United Nations Headquarters in New York, attended by the Permanent Representative of The Gambia to the UN, Lang Yabou, and David Nanopoulos, Chief of the Treaty Section of the UN Office of Legal Affairs.
"By ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), The Gambia is bringing the promise of a world free of nuclear weapons tests one step closer to fulfilment, while playing a central role in ensuring long-lasting peace and security in Africa and the rest of the world,” Yabou said. “By this action we are also reaffirming our commitment to multilateralism and a peaceful world order."
Robert Floyd, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), expressed his highest appreciation for The Gambia’s leadership and underlined Africa’s essential role in global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
“The Gambia’s commitment to ending nuclear testing is demonstrated by the fact that they made ratification of the CTBT a priority. This is a significant achievement for the African region and the world as we celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary year of the Treaty,” Floyd said.
A total of 48 African countries have now ratified the CTBT, including all members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
"The CTBT is one of the most widely supported treaties, not just in the disarmament and arms control field but in multilateral diplomacy, and is recognised as an essential element of nuclear disarmament and a building block for a world free of nuclear weapons – the United Nations’ highest disarmament priority,” said Izumi Nakamitsu, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs.
The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions everywhere, by everyone, and for all time. Adherence to the Treaty is nearly universal, but it has not yet entered into force. To do so, it must be signed and ratified by all 44 States listed in the Treaty’s Annex 2, for which eight ratifications are still missing.
The CTBTO has established an International Monitoring System (IMS) to ensure that no nuclear explosion goes undetected. Currently, 303 certified facilities – of a total of 337 when complete – are operating around the world. The data registered by the IMS can also be used for a wealth of civil and scientific purposes, including disaster mitigation measures such as tsunami warnings and the tracking of radioactive releases from a nuclear accident.
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