Statement by CTBTO Executive Secretary
Tibor Toth welcoming ratification
by Russian Parliament of the
New START Treaty

Vienna, 27 January 2011

VIENNA – “The ratification of the New START Treaty by the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation fulfills tireless effort on two continents and across the political spectrum that commits the Russian Federation and the United States to a new course in pursuing nuclear arms reductions,” said Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). “I pay tribute to President Dmitry Medvedev and President Barack Obama, who commenced this journey in Prague in April last year when they signed the Treaty. The finish line was in the Russian parliament on 26 January 2011.” “This is a salutary achievement, an important step forward towards broader nuclear disarmament and I also welcome President Medvedev’s call for further reductions in stockpiles of strategic weapons.”

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 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.

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