1999-2004: CTBT's expanding role

Page 1: 1999-2004: CTBT's expanding role

1999: The First Article XIV Conference

Due to the US Senate’s decision to proceed with the debate and scheduled vote in mid-October, the First Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (Article XIV Conference) was affected by the political atmosphere in Washington. At the time of the Conference, 154 States had signed the Treaty and 51 States had also ratified it. Of the countries whose ratification was necessary for entry into force, 41 had signed and 26 had ratified the Treaty, including the two nuclear weapon States, France and the United Kingdom.

Many States expressed grave concern over the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan in 1998. Others referred to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its connection to the CTBT. The decision adopted at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference highlighted the important role of the CTBT in the nuclear non-proliferation regime. Acceleration of the ratification of the CTBT would contribute to the success of the 2000 NPT Review Conference.

The non-signatory States were urged to refrain from
acts that could defeat the Treaty’s objective and purpose.

The 92 countries attending the Conference adopted a consensus declaration on the closing day, calling on all States that had not signed or ratified the Treaty to do so without delay. The non-signatory States were urged to refrain from acts that could defeat the Treaty’s objective and purpose. India and Pakistan had expressed their willingness not to delay the entry into force of the Treaty. They were called upon to fulfill those pledges. The DPRK had not indicated its intentions towards the Treaty. It was called upon to sign and ratify it. India and the DPRK did not attend the Conference, whereas Pakistan did so and also delivered a statement.

To learn more about this Conference, click here.

2000: The 2000 NPT Review Conference

Although the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference (1995 NPTREC) successfully negotiated an indefinite extension of the NPT in exchange for a set of Principles and Objectives on Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, many NNWS remained apprehensive about whether the NWS intended to follow through with their commitments.

Moreover, in the years following the 1995 NPTREC, events in South Asia and the failure of the US Senate to ratify the CTBT posed critical challenges to the credibility of the international nonproliferation regime. Many States were eager to reassert the legitimacy of the NPT in the wake of India and Pakistan’s nuclear tests.