At a meeting of Member States of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) in Vienna today, Japan and Kazakhstan were unanimously nominated to lead international efforts for the entry into force of the CTBT.
Japan’s Ambassador Mitsuru Kitano said: “This year marks the 70th year after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As the only country that has ever suffered from atomic bombs, Japan will lead the realistic and practical efforts in the international community toward the realization of a world free of nuclear weapons, including efforts towards achieving the early entry into force of the CTBT.”
Kazakhstan’s Ambassador Kairat Sarybay added: “2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty concluded in Semey, Kazakhstan, and the 20th anniversary of the CTBT opening for signature. Having been affected by nuclear tests which were conducted at the Semipalatinsk test site, Kazakhstan voluntarily renounced the possession of nuclear weapons in 1992.”
The foreign ministers of the two countries will co-chair the next Article XIV Conference to facilitate the Treaty’s entry into force, tentatively scheduled for 29 September 2015 in New York. Japan and Kazakhstan will also coordinate international efforts towards the CTBT’s entry into force in the two-year period following the conference.
Japan and Kazakhstan take over the Article XIV Presidency from Hungary and Indonesia, whose foreign ministers chaired the Article XIV Conference in 2013.