Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation
Ninth Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of the
Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)
H.E. Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Senator the Hon. Ms. Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia, co-chaired the ninth Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of the CTBT held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on September 27. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
(1) Approximately 70 countries participated in the ninth Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of the CTBT, including about 30 Foreign Ministers from co-hosting Friends of the CTBT (Japan, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada and Finland), Belgium and Iraq, which are co-coordinators for facilitating entry into force of the CTBT.
(2) As a Co-chair, Japanese Foreign Minister Kono made the opening remarks (PDF) and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted the urgent need to realize early entry into force of the treaty in video message. Thereafter, Mr. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), H.E. Mr. Timo Soini, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, H.E. Mr. Stef Blok, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, as well as H.E. Dr. Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq, H.E. Mr. Didier Reynders, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs of Belgium, H.E. Mr. Virasakdi Futrakul, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, H.E. Ms. Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission, delivered statements. Many countries stressed the importance of the facilitation of early entry into force of the CTBT, the universalization and the reinforcement of its verification regime. There were also remarks urging remaining eight States listed in Annex 2 of the Treaty, especially North Korea, to sign and ratify the treaty. Furthermore, the Kingdom of Thailand ratified and Tuvalu signed the treaty (which increases number of ratifying states to 167 and number of signing states to 184).
(3) Finally, Australian Foreign Minister Payne, as a co-chair, adopted the Ministerial Joint Statement on the CTBT (PDF) and delivered her closing remarks.
(1）High-level political commitments from a wide range of countries for early entry into force of the CTBT was confirmed through participation by Foreign Ministers from approximately 30 countries and their statements. On this occasion, the momentum towards early entry into force of the CTBT was increased, such as through ratification and signature of the Treaty by two countries.
（2）The international community reconfirmed its firm commitment on the promotion of early entry into force, the universalization and the reinforcement of verification regime of the CTBT, and the strong will to urge the remaining eight States listed in Annex 2 of the Treaty, especially North Korea, to sign and ratify the CTBT. Such a strong message was also expressed by the Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of the CTBT through adopting the Joint Ministerial Statement.
（3）As a co-chair of the CTBT Friends and as a leading country on nuclear disarmament, Japan demonstrated its contribution to advancing the CTBT.
（Note）The Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of the CTBT
(1) The Meetings have been held biennially since 2002 in order to maintain and strengthen the momentum towards the entry-into-force of the CTBT even in the years when an Article XIV conference is not held The Meetings issue a Ministerial Joint Statement as a meeting outcome. The First Meeting of the Friends of CTBT took place in 2002, co-hosted by Japan, Australia, and the Netherlands, being held 8 times.
(2)The Friends of the CTBT is a group of nations initiated by Japan, Australia, and the Netherlands, aiming to coordinate and promote efforts to facilitate entry into force of the CTBT mainly in Vienna where the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) is located. The group currently consists of six countries including the three above-mentioned plus Canada, Finland, and Germany.