Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | September 27, 2012

Foreign Ministers gather in New York to press for ban on nuclear tests, issue joint call

Ministers join UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and CTBTO head Tibor Tóth for the “Family photo” of the Sixth Ministerial Meeting on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Sixth Ministerial Meeting on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) – New York, 27 September 2012

From the press release

Foreign ministers and other high-level representatives met today at the United Nations headquarters in New York to issue a joint call for the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

[See and download photos from the event here.]

In their joint statement, the foreign ministers described the CTBT’s entry into force as “a vital step towards the reduction and eventual elimination of nuclear weapons by constraining the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons…We call upon all States that have not done so to sign and ratify the Treaty, in particular the remaining eight Annex 2 States [these are China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States].”

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon echoed this appeal, telling the States that have yet to sign or ratify the CTBT: “You are failing to live up to your responsibility as a member of the international community.” (Statement)

CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth provided the historical context to the meeting against the background of the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. He called for political leadership to overcome the nuclear danger, stressing that the CTBT is a milestone on the way to a nuclear-weapon free world.

Pulitzer Prize-winner Richard Rhodes, author of the Reykjavik play, reminded delegates that the risk of nuclear extinction is man-made. Thus a man-made solution could be found, as the 1986 Reykjavik summit had demonstrated. In Reykjavik, Reagan and Gorbachev had come close to an agreement to abolish their nuclear arsenals: “A nuclear-weapon free world is not a utopian dream”, Rhodes said. He also invited all delegates to the performance of the Reykjavik play later today, 27 September, at the Baruch Performing Arts Center in New York. See press release for background on the event.

The meeting was co-hosted by the foreign ministers of Australia, Canada, Finland, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands and Sweden.

Related links:

The Joint Ministerial Statement

CTBTO Press Release here.

Freely downloadable set of photos on CTBTO’s official photostream here.

UN chief urges countries to show ‘true leadership’ and join nuclear-test-ban treaty (UN News Centre)

UN Secretary-General’s remarks: Full text here.

UN WEBCAST – Video of the remarks by Ban Ki-moon (04:49)

UN WEBCAST – Video of the entire meeting (47:26)

UN WEBCAST – Video of the media stakeout (12:35)


From left to right: Dutch Foreign Minister, Uri Rosenthal; Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt; Japanese Foreign Minister, Koichiro Gemba; Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon; Canadian Foreign Minister, John Baird; Finnish Foreign Minister, Erkki Tuomioja; Executive Secretary of the CTBTO, Tibor Tóth.  Photo by CTBTO. Click on the pic for the full set of photos.

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