Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | September 27, 2011

UN Conference on CTBT successfully adopts declaration, calls upon all states to adhere

At the 7th UN Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT, held on 23 September 2011 at the UN headquarters in New York,  foreign ministers and high-level representatives from 155 countries that have ratified the Treaty adopted by consensus a Final Declaration. The Declaration strongly urges all States that haven’t done so yet to sign and ratify the Treaty. The call, in particular, addressed the nine remaining holdout States whose ratification is required for the CTBT to enter into force. The Declaration was also endorsed by those Signatory States whose ratification is still pending.

The Statement by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, attracted much attention. Ban Ki-moon reminded participants that he served as Chairman of the CTBTO in 1999 and then made a pun on his family name, which was greeted with a round of applause. “My name has a very clear, firm determination — nuclear test ban. I will ban these nuclear tests. You have my personal commitment,” he said. His message to the nine holdout states was strong and clear. “Do not wait for others to move first. Take the initiative. Lead. The time for waiting has passed,” said the Secretary-General.

In their statements, State representatives expressed in broad agreement the following positions:

  • Reaffirmed their commitment to the principles and provisions of the CTBT that prohibit all types of nuclear tests, anywhere, by anyone.
  • Recognized that the CTBT embodies a well established universal norm against nuclear testing.
  • Called upon all States that haven’t done so to sign and ratify the CTBT and to refrain from any acts that would defeat the object and the purpose of the Treaty.
  • Acknowledged the moratoria on nuclear testing declared by those States possessing nuclear weapons, but pointed out that moratoria can never substitute or supersede a firm legal barrier that only the entry into force of the CTBT can put in place.
  • Welcomed the recent ratifications by Ghana and Guinea.
  • Congratulated the CTBTO on its work so far in establishing and operating its monitoring system which is now more than 80% complete and expressed their confidence that the system will be complete and fully operational when the Treaty enters into force.
  • Recognized the effectiveness and value of the CTBTO’s monitoring system both for verification purposes as demonstrated by the 2006 and 2009 tests by the DPRK and for scientific and civil uses.
  • Thanked the CTBTO for its expedient response and contribution of valuable data to Member States and international organizations in the aftermath of the 11 March disaster in Japan.
  • Some States made specific reference to CTBTO initiatives to train scientific and technical personnel particularly from developing countries in optimizing the use of the CTBTO data they receive.
  • Many States supported an increase in financial and technical assistance to the CTBTO.
  • Thanked CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth and CTBTO personnel for their work.
  • Thanked the outgoing co-presidency of the Conference by France and Morocco and congratulated the new co-presidents – the Foreign Ministers of Mexico and Sweden, Patricia Espinosa Cantellano and Carl Bildt.

At the end of the proceedings, representatives of civil society delivered an NGO Statement with a series of proposals and recommendations to the States. The entire conference was live-streamed by UN TV and received broad media coverage worldwide.

Read the latest press release by the CTBTO here.

Watch the press briefing at the UN Press Stake Out by the Co-President of the conference Carl Bildt and by CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth here.

Watch the video recordings of the entire conference on UN Webcast. Watch the morning session here, and the evening session here.

Find all resources related to the conference here.

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