CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo and Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Ryabkov use the current concerns about North Korea’s nuclear weapons as a starting point to remind the international community of the need to strengthen diplomatic efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation. An essential part of this effort with near to universal support is the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) which verifiably bans all nuclear weapon test explosions.
CTBTO has established an effective International Monitoring System (IMS) to verify compliance to the Treaty. The system is already detecting and deterring nuclear explosive tests with its 302 completed detection facilities in over 90 countries. “Certainly, all countries, including the United States and the rest of the remaining states, have benefited from the ban on nuclear testing established by the treaty. But without ratification of the nuclear test ban treaty by Washington and other key states, the door to the resumption of nuclear testing remains open, and the long-term legal and operational basis of the treaty, and international nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime as a whole, cannot be considered complete and effective.”
The CTBTO is also still working under “provisional” operations: “The full capabilities of the verification regime including monitoring system and on-site inspections, are not yet available because the treaty has still not formally entered into force, which requires 44 named countries possessing nuclear technology in 1996 to ratify the Treaty. Eight key states — the United States, China, Egypt, Iran and Israel — still need to ratify the nuclear test ban treaty, while North Korea, India and Pakistan, also need to, but have not yet signed it.” Lassina Zerbo and Sergei Ryabkov point out how the nations who still have to ratify the Treaty would benefit from its ratification, easing regional tensions and demonstrating leadership in nuclear issues. “The nuclear test ban treaty is too important to slowly fade away. The world will be a far more dangerous place if states resume nuclear testing.”
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