September 15, 2016
The text of the following statement was issued jointly by the Governments of China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Our commitment to nuclear disarmament extends to efforts to bring the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) into force at an early date. We welcome that 183 States have signed the treaty and 166 States have ratified the Treaty, including several nuclear weapons States. We pledge to strive for the Treaty’s early ratification and prompt entry into force and urge all states that have not done so to sign and ratify the treaty. We take this opportunity to reaffirm our own moratoria on nuclear weapons test explosions or any other nuclear explosions pending the CTBT’s entry into force, as such moratoria are an example of responsible international behavior that contributes to international peace and stability, while stressing that such moratoria do not have the same permanent legally binding effect as entry into force. We call on other states to do likewise, recognizing that a nuclear-weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion would defeat the object and purpose of the CTBT.
The CTBT constrains the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons and thereby provides an effective disarmament and nonproliferation measure. We further note that our nuclear stockpile maintenance and stewardship programs are consistent with NPT and CTBT objectives. We emphasize the very substantial efforts made in achieving the cessation of the nuclear arms race as called for in Article VI of the NPT and affirm our intention never to engage in such an arms race.
We are working closely with the Preparatory Commission for the CTBT Organization in Vienna on the development of the Treaty’s verification regime, including its International Monitoring System, International Data Centre, and On-Site Inspection, while recognizing the high effectiveness and reliability of this regime to date, the Preparatory Commission is currently operating the IMS and IDC, and their respective means of communication, on a testing and provisional basis. We continue to contribute extensively to the development of the Treaty’s on-site inspection element, supplying personnel, equipment, and research. This has been in addition to our long standing efforts to reinforce the organization’s detection capability through contributions in-kind, equipment transfers, and expert participation in Working Groups. We also call for all signatories to support efforts to complete the necessary preparation for the effective implementation of the CTBT’s verification regime, on its entry into force.