3 November, Nagasaki, Japan
At the 61st Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs in Nagasaki, Japan, from 1 to 5 November 2015, a panel discussion on how to advance the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was held on 3 November. Two members of the CTBT Group of Eminent Persons (GEM) actively participated: former UN Under-Secretary General Jayantha Dhanapala and former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Sérgio de Queiroz Duarte.
The message by CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo was delivered by Bozorgmehr Ziaran, Secretary to the Secretary to the Preparatory Commission, the CTBTO’s Member States’ highest decision-making body:
“The venue and theme of this Pugwash Conference highlights the risks and catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons.
Seventy years after nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we have yet to rid the world of threats of nuclear weapons.
As we seek the noble goal of a world free of nuclear weapons, it is important to note the significance of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
Since its opening for signature in 1996, the Treaty’s crucial role in reducing nuclear dangers through ending an era of uninhibited nuclear testing has been undeniable. Today, our worldwide monitoring system comprising of over 300 installed facilities, using four verification technologies, are working round the clock to detect events much smaller than what was anticipated earlier by the scientists.
However, regrettably almost twenty years since its signature date and with 164 ratifications, the Treaty has not entered into force. We still need to secure the ratification of eight remaining Annex 2 States so as to ensure the future of the Treaty as a firm legal barrier against a return to nuclear testing and to the nuclear arms race.
Reaching that objective demands political determination and leadership on the part of the eight remaining Annex 2 and active support of the civil society.
We have a number of initiatives to engage these Annex 2 States. The Treaty provides for a series of Article XIV Conferences to advance its entry into force. The ninth such Conference took place in New York in September. Japan and Kazakhstan are coordinators of the process for the next two years. During this period, they will employ a targeted approach to reach out to key decision-makers in the Annex 2 States. I am grateful for the commitment of Japan and Kazakhstan to the cause of the Treaty and its entry into force. In this respect, I should refer to the joint statement adopted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Nazarbayev on 27 October 2015.
In 2013, I established a Group of Eminent Persons (GEM), made up of serving and former senior leaders, diplomats and opinion-setters in disarmament and non-proliferation. The GEM has had significant success in ensuring that the CTBT is raised in a variety of high-level settings. Two members of Pugwash, Ambassador Dhanapala and Ambassador Duarte, also serve as members of the GEM.
The twentieth anniversary of the CTBT next year presents a unique opportunity to take stock of our achievements, including the installation and operation of the verification regime of the Treaty, and to reflect on how to advance its entry into force and universalization.
Preparations for the twentieth anniversary is underway and events are being planned. Among these events will be a Ministerial-level meeting in Vienna in June 2016.
To start our twentieth anniversary commemorations, a seminar-style symposium entitled “Diplomacy and Science for Peace and Security, will be held in Vienna from 25 January to 5 February 2016. The symposium will focus on the key strength of the CTBT, namely the nexus between science and diplomacy.
With the twentieth anniversary of the CTBT in mind, and in the spirit of the Russell-Einstein Manifesto, I hope that Pugwash Conference will support entry into force of the CTBT, thereby putting an end to all nuclear explosive testing for all time.
I look forward to exploring additional areas of cooperation between the CTBTO and Pugwash, not only in our preparations for 2016, but also in the further development of the CTBT verification regime, as well as our mutual goal of achieving a world free of threats of nuclear weapons.”