On 26 July 2010 the European Union Council (EU) provided a contribution of €5,280,000 to the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) for the purpose of strengthening the CTBTO’s monitoring and verification capabilities.
The financial contribution is the largest ever voluntary donation by the EU to the CTBTO. “At a time when governments are tightening their belts and implementing difficult austerity measures, the EU’s decision is a strong manifestation of its unwavering political support for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and its verification regime,” said Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary of the CTBTO.
The contribution is a part of the EU Strategy against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. As such it is a means of advancing the EU’s fight against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The buildup of the CTBTO’s verification regime, which will make sure that no nuclear explosion goes undetected, is a crucial element of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. The EU stated in their decision that “The nuclear tests announced by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in October 2006 and May 2009 not only demonstrated the importance of a universal ban of nuclear tests, they also underscored the need for an effective verification regime… A fully operational and credible CTBT verification regime will provide the international community with reliable, independent means to ensure that this norm is respected.”