Joint Ministerial Statement on the CTBT
September 27, 2012
- We, the Foreign Ministers issuing this statement, reaffirm our strongest support for the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). This would establish a legally-binding, comprehensive prohibition on nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions. It would mark a vital step towards the reduction and eventual elimination of nuclear weapons by constraining their development and qualitative improvement, and would therefore strengthen the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. We recall that the 2010 NPT Review Conference reaffirmed the vital importance of the early entry into force of the Treaty.
- We welcome that the CTBT has achieved near universal adherence with signature by 183 States and ratification by 157 States as of today. We also welcome the ratification of the Treaty by Indonesia, which is one of the States listed in Annex 2 of the Treaty, the ratifications by Guinea, Ghana and Guatemala, and the signature of the Treaty by Niue since the last meeting.
- More than 15 years have passed since the CTBT was opened for signature. We call upon all States that have not done so to sign and ratify the Treaty in particular the remaining eight Annex 2 States(note) to ratify the Treaty as soon as possible. In this regard, we fully support the Article XIV process, which seeks to facilitate entry into force, and we remain committed to the declarations issued at Article XIV Conferences.
- With the exception of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), which announced that it had conducted nuclear tests on 9 October 2006 and on 25 May 2009, the voluntary nuclear test moratorium has become a de facto international norm in the 21st Century. Pending the CTBT's entry into force, which remains our urgent goal due to its legally-binding effect, we call upon all States to continue the moratorium on nuclear weapon test explosions. We reaffirm our commitment to the Treaty’s basic obligations and urge States to refrain from acts which would defeat the objective and purpose of the Treaty. We demand that the DPRK refrain from any further nuclear tests, and recognizing the importance of commitments made by the Six Parties, call upon the DPRK to fully comply with the 2005 Joint Statement as well as relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, including Resolutions 1718 and 1874.
- We welcome the advances made by the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO in building the Treaty’s verification regime, including the International Monitoring System, International Data Centre and On-Site Inspection elements, and reiterate the importance of the capacity building activities relating to National Data Centres. We note that the substantial progress in strengthening the CTBT’s verification regime is being increasingly recognized by members of the scientific community, including in states yet to ratify. We reaffirm our commitment to support the completion of the verification regime and urge all States Signatories to do likewise.
- While bearing in mind the Treaty’s purpose, we are encouraged that the CTBT verification regime has also demonstrated its utility in providing accurate real-time data relating to major earthquakes, tsunamis and nuclear accidents, as well as other civil scientific applications to all States Signatories.
- We appeal to all States to make the utmost effort to achieve the early entry into force of the CTBT. We dedicate ourselves individually and jointly to realizing this goal by raising awareness of this matter at the highest political level.
(note) China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Israel, Pakistan and United States of America
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