Press Release - Myanmar ratifies the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

Vienna, 22 September 2016

VIENNA – Myanmar has ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), becoming the 166th 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: “State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi has sent a clear signal today that Myanmar supports nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. It is also fitting that a Nobel Peace Prize laureate should deposit the ratification instrument – a first for the Treaty.”

Myanmar signed the CTBT on 25 November 1996, only two months after the Treaty opened for signature. The country has shown its support for a nuclear weapons free world and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy from 1992 when it became a non-nuclear weapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). It also reaffirmed its commitment not to develop nuclear weapons by ratifying in 1996 the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Treaty.

Adherence to the Treaty is nearly universal, with 183 States having signed and 166 having ratified. Swaziland became the 165th ratifying state, having deposited their ratification at the same event as Myanmar.

Myanmar’s ratification means that nine of the ten ASEAN countries have now ratified the CTBT. Among the group of South East Asian and Pacific States, as defined by the Treaty, adherence to the CTBT now stands at 29 signatures and 24 ratifications. The eight countries that have yet to ratify in this region are China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, and Tuvalu, of which the latter two, as well as the DPRK have also not yet signed. The DPRK is the only country which continues to ignore the global norm against nuclear testing, having carried out five announced tests this century, two of which this year.

China and the DPRK are among the remaining eight nuclear-technology-capable states whose ratification is required for the entry into force of the CTBT. The others are Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, and the United States, see interactive map.

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,
Chief of Public Information
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