Guinea-Bissau ratifies the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
Vienna, 24 September 2013 The Republic of Guinea-Bissau has ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), bringing the Treaty to the threshold of 160 ratifications. "This important step by Guinea-Bissau brings us closer to the universalization of the Treaty and inspires me to work even harder towards the CTBT's entry into force," Lassina Zerbo, the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), said. "Developing nations are again showing leadership by banning nuclear weapons and their testing. For African countries which have already banned nuclear weapons and their testing from their continent through the Treaty of Pelindaba, embracing the CTBT should come naturally," Zerbo said. The ratification comes on the week of the Article XIV Conference in New York to promote the entry into force of the CTBT. Guinea-Bissau signed the CTBT on 11 April 1997. It has now been signed by a total of 183 States, constituting over 90% of the world’s countries. In Africa only Mauritius, Somalia and South Sudan have yet to sign the CTBT whereas nine countries have yet to ratify: Angola, Comoros, Congo (Republic of), 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 technology holder 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. Guinea-Bissau has ratified the Pelindaba Treaty, which entered into force in 2009. See also the CTBTO’s brochure Africa’s Contribution to Putting an End to Nuclear Explosions ( English / French ). 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, over 85% 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. French translation of the press release can be viewed here .