Eswatini ratifies the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

Vienna, 22 September 2016

VIENNA – Eswatini has ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), becoming the 165th nation to do so. The instrument of ratification was deposited in New York on 21 September 2016.

Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), said: “As an African, it fills me with pride to see yet another African nation rally behind the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. Eswatini is a strong supporter of efforts to rid the planet of nuclear tests and nuclear weapons.”

Eswatini signed the CTBT on 24 September 1996, the day the Treaty opened for signature. The country has regularly shown its support for the Treaty by voting in favour of CTBT resolutions in the United Nations General Assembly. It has also signed and ratified the Treaty of Pelindaba, which effectively makes the entire southern hemisphere a zone free of nuclear weapons.

Adherence to the Treaty is nearly universal, with 183 States having signed and 166 having ratified, Myanmar having also ratified on 21 September 2016. Among the 54 African States, adherence to the CTBT now stands at 51 signatures and 45 ratifications. In Africa, only three countries have yet to sign the CTBT Mauritius, South Sudan and Somalia whereas six countries have yet to ratify: Comoros, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, The Gambia, Sao Tome and Principe, and Zimbabwe.

Among these, only Egypt’s ratification is mandatory for the Treaty to enter into force. Ratification by seven other nuclear technology capable countries is also required for entry into force: China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, and the United States, see interactive map. Of these, only the DPRK continues to ignore the global norm against nuclear testing, having carried out five announced tests this century, two of which this year.

The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions everywhere, by everyone, and for all times. The CTBTO has established an International Monitoring System (IMS) to ensure that no nuclear explosion goes undetected. Currently, 283 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 disaster mitigation such as earthquake monitoring, tsunami warning, and the tracking of the levels and dispersal of radioactivity from nuclear accidents.

For further information on the CTBT, please see - your resource on ending nuclear testing,
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Elisabeth Wächter,
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