During Monday’s observance of the United Nations’ annual International Day against Nuclear Tests, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on nations which still have not ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) to do so “as a matter of priority.”
In Ban’s message he stated, “We urgently need new progress in achieving a world free of both nuclear tests and nuclear weapons. Current voluntary moratoriums on nuclear weapon tests are valuable, yet they are no substitute for a global ban. This is why it is urgent that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty enters into force as early as possible. It is a major element of the international disarmament and non-proliferation regime, and it deserves the active support of all States.”
Of particular concern are the nine nations out of the 44 listed in Annex 2 to the Treaty; these nations must ratify the Treaty prior to its enactment.
The nine Annex 2 States still awaiting ratification are China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Egypt, India, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, Pakistan, and the United States of America.
Of these, North Korea, Egypt, India, and Pakistan have not even signed the treaty, while China, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, and the United States of America have signed it, but they still have not ratified it.
The 35 Annex 2 countries which have both signed and ratified the treaty are Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly listed as Zaire in the treaty), Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Romania, the Republic of Korea (South Korea), the Russian Federation, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Vietnam.
If all of the required nations ratify the treaty, it will go into effect 180 days after final ratification.
The UN News Center reported that of the world’s 195 nations listed in the treaty, 182 have merely signed the treaty while 154 have signed and ratified it.
According to the Treaty, Annex 2 States is a “List of States members of the Conference on Disarmament as at 18 June 1996 which formally participated in the work of the 1996 session of the Conference and which appear in Table 1 of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s April 1996 edition of “Nuclear Power Reactors in the World”, and of States members of the Conference on Disarmament as at 18 June 1996 which formally participated in the work of the 1996 session of the Conference and which appear in Table 1 of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s December 1995 edition of “Nuclear Research Reactors in the World”
The CTBT was opened for signatures and ratification starting on September 24, 1996.
“I urge all States that have not yet signed or ratified the Treaty to do so as a matter of priority. Achieving that goal would further reinforce the growing movement for a nuclear-weapon free world,” Ban remarked in the closing of his message.
He continued, “Every day, more and more people are viewing both nuclear tests and nuclear weapons as dangerous relics of the Cold War, long overdue for permanent retirement. On this International Day against Nuclear Tests, I call on all States to take a bold step towards a safer and saner world for all.”