Angola ratifies the CTBT

Vienna, 20 March 2015 Angola has become the 164th State to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). The instrument of ratification was deposited in New York on 20 March 2015. 
Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), applauded the step: “I congratulate Angola on its ratification of the CTBT. It is a powerful message of peace to Africa and to the world. This development is an unequivocal reminder of Angola’s commitment towards creating an Africa free of nuclear weapons, as an essential component of a nuclear-weapons-free world.” 
Angola signed the CTBT on 27 September 1996, just three days after it opened for signature. Today’s ratification follows the announcement by Angola at the September 2013 Article XIV Conference that the Angolan Council of Ministers had transmitted the CTBT to the National Assembly for its consideration of the ratification in April 2013. Angola has also shown its support for the Treaty by regularly voting in favour of the CTBT at the United Nations General Assembly. 

With a population of almost 21 million, Angola’s ratification is significant. Adherence to the Treaty is almost universal, with 183 States having signed the Treaty to date. In Africa, only three countries have yet to sign the CTBT Mauritius, South Sudan and Somalia whereas seven countries have yet to ratify: the Comoros, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, The Gambia, Sao Tome and Principe, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. 
Among the remaining African States, only Egypt’s ratification is mandatory for the Treaty to enter into force. Ratification by seven other nuclear capable countries from outside Africa is also required, namely: China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States; see interactive map. 
African States have already banned nuclear weapons on their continent though the Pelindaba Treaty, which established a nuclear-weapon-free zone on the continent. Angola has signed the Pelindaba Treaty, which entered into force in 2009. 

The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions everywhere, by everyone. The CTBTO is building an International Monitoring System (IMS) to make sure that no nuclear explosion goes undetected. Currently, around 90% of this network has been established, including 31 facilities in 22 African countries. CTBTO monitoring data also have non-verification uses such as earthquake monitoring, tsunami warning, and the tracking of radioactivity from nuclear accidents.

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