Embassy Press Releases

Joint Ministerial Statement of Friends
of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)
(New York, September 23, 2010)

1. We, the Foreign Ministers who have issued this statement, reaffirm our strong support for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which would rid the world of nuclear weapons test explosions and would contribute to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

2. In this year marking the 14th anniversary of the Treaty's opening for signature, we emphasize that the CTBT is a major instrument in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. The Treaty was an integral part of the 1995 agreements by the States parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) allowing the indefinite extension of the Treaty. The 2010 NPT Review Conference reaffirmed the vital importance of the early entry into force of the CTBT as a core element of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime.

3. We recall that the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (Article XIV Conference) in September 2009, with its unprecedented attendance at the Ministerial level, adopted under the successful co-presidency of France and Morocco a declaration by consensus outlining measures consistent with international law to encourage further signature and ratification of the CTBT. The entry into force of the Treaty is vital to the broader framework of multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation. We also recall that the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 64/35 of 2 December 2009 declared 29 August as the International Day against Nuclear Tests.

4. We affirm that the CTBT will make an important contribution by constraining the development and qualitative improvements of nuclear weapons and ending the development of advanced new types of nuclear weapons, as well as preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons in all its aspects.

5. We welcome that the CTBT has achieved near universal adherence with signature by 182 States and ratification by 153 States as of today. We welcome the ratifications that have occurred since the Article XIV Conference last year, notably of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Trinidad and Tobago and the Central African Republic. Of the 44 States whose ratification is necessary for the entry into force of the Treaty, nine have yet to do so.

6. We call upon all States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Treaty without delay, in particular those whose ratification is needed for its entry into force. While appreciating the positive development initiated in some of the Annex 2 States toward ratification, we strongly encourage all the Annex 2 States to ratify the Treaty as soon as possible. We recognize the extensive range of bilateral and joint outreach efforts by signatories and ratifiers to encourage and assist States which have not yet signed and ratified the Treaty. We commit ourselves individually and together to make the Treaty a focus of attention at the highest political level and to take measures to facilitate the signature and ratification process as recommended in the 2010 NPT Review Conference 2010 Final Document. We support the efforts by the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization to facilitate such process by providing legal and technical information and advice.

7. We call upon all States to continue a moratorium on nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions. Voluntary adherence to such a moratorium is a welcome step, but does not have the same permanent and legally binding effect as the entry into force of the Treaty. We reaffirm our commitment to the Treaty's basic obligations and call on all States to refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purpose of the Treaty pending its entry into force.

8. The nuclear tests announced by the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea on 9 October 2006 and 25 May 2009, internationally condemned as in UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 (2006) and 1874 (2009), highlight the urgent need for the entry into force of the Treaty as soon as possible. Underlining the need for a peaceful solution of the nuclear issues through successful implementation of the Joint Statement agreed upon in the framework of the Six-Party Talks, and recalling the importance of the full compliance with the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, including Resolutions 1718 and 1874, we demand that the DPRK not conduct any further tests and fulfill its commitment to the complete and verifiable abandonment of all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs in accordance with the Joint Statement. We note that the CTBT verification regime successfully detected the aforementioned nuclear tests.

9. We welcome the progress made in building up all elements of the verification regime, which will be capable of verifying compliance with the Treaty at its entry into force. We will continue to provide the support required to complete the verification regime in the most efficient and cost-effective way. We will also promote technical cooperation to enhance verification capabilities under the CTBT.

10. In addition to its primary function, the CTBT verification regimes International Monitoring System provides scientific and civil benefits for States, including for tsunami warning systems and possibly other disaster alert systems, through civil and scientific applications of waveform and radionuclide technologies and other uses of the data. We will continue to seek ways to ensure that these benefits will be broadly shared by the international community, in conformity with the Treaty.

11. We appeal to all States to make maximum efforts towards achieving the early entry into force of the CTBT. We dedicate ourselves to realizing this goal.