Zimbabwe Ratifies the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

Vienna, 13 February 2019

Zimbabwe has deposited its instrument of ratification for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty with the United Nations Secretary-General, becoming the 168th State to ratify the Treaty.

Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty organization (CTBTO) hailed the decision.

“The world needs Africa’s participation to build peace and safeguard itself against the threats posed by the most devastating kind of weapons by adopting the legal arrangements and technical mechanisms offered by the non-proliferation regime of which the CTBT is an integral part,” Zerbo said.

Zimbabwe hosts an auxiliary seismic station and was the 155th State to sign the CTBT in 1999. Africa plays a key role in the CTBT verification regime as the region with the most States hosting monitoring facilities. There are 30 stations already operating and there will be 38 stations in 24 African States when the system is complete. In 1963, three years after France initiated a series of atmospheric and underground nuclear tests in the Algerian Sahara, African leaders adopted a resolution on “General Disarmament,” for a nuclear-weapons-free world. The commitment led to the opening for signature in 1996 of the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone Treaty, the Pelindaba Treaty.

“Zimbabwe was one of the driving forces behind the African nuclear free zone. As one of the first countries to sign and ratify the Pelindaba Treaty, Zimbabwe’s ratification of the CTBT is a further confirmation of its commitment to peace and security, and sends a strong message to the international community- particularly to those countries that have yet to ratify the Treaty," Zerbo said.

Announcement of Zimbabwe’s ratification preceded a national seminar on the CTBT in Harare. 

Adherence to the CTBT is nearly universal, with 184 States having signed and 168 having ratified. However, despite near-universal adherence, the CTBT has not yet entered into force. To do so, it must be signed and ratified by all 44 States listed in the Treaty’s Annex 2. These so-called Annex 2 States participated in the negotiations of the Treaty in 1996 and possessed nuclear power or research reactors at the time. Thirty-six of these States have already ratified the CTBT. The remaining eight are China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States.

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 297 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 CTBTO, please see www.ctbto.org your resource on nuclear testing, or contact:
Kirstie Gregorich Hansen
Public Information Officer
T   +43 1 26030 6375
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