Statement by CTBTO Executive Secretary
Tibor Toth on approval by the United States
of the New START Treaty

Vienna, 23 December 2010

VIENNA – “I welcome the commitment, the tireless effort and the bipartisanship that has resulted in winning passage for the New START Treaty in the US Senate. I congratulate all the players, not the least President Barack Obama, whose steady hand has guided passage of the accord to its successful conclusion,” Tóth said.

“New START has a pivotal role to play in strengthening US-Russia relations. Support for the Treaty also indicates the gravity with which nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament is regarded,” Tóth said.

Background on the CTBT and its verification regime

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) bans all nuclear explosions by everyone, everywhere: on the Earth’s surface, in the atmosphere, underwater and underground. One hundred and eighty-two countries have signed the Treaty, of which 153 have also ratified it. Of the 44 countries that have to ratify the Treaty for entry into force, 35 have already done so. The remaining nine are: China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States. On 3 May 2010, Indonesia stated it had initiated the CTBT ratification process.

The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) is building a verification regime to monitor the planet for compliance with the Treaty. When complete, 337 facilities worldwide will monitor underground, the oceans and the atmosphere for any sign of a nuclear explosion. To date, 80 percent of the monitoring facilities send data to the CTBTO’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria, where the data are processed and analyzed and then transmitted to the 182 Member States. On-site inspections to collect information on the ground in the case of a suspected nuclear explosion complement the verification regime.

For further information on the CTBT, please see – your resource on ending nuclear testing,
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