JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT ON THE CTBT
September 23, 2004
- We, the Foreign Ministers who have issued this statement, reaffirm our Support for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which would rid the world of nuclear weapons test explosions and would contribute to systematic and progressive reduction of nuclear weapons and the prevention of nuclear proliferation.
- The CTBT is a major instrument in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. The Treaty was an integral part of the 1995 agreements by the States parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) allowing the indefinite extension of the Treaty. The early entry into force of the CTBT was recognized at the 2000 Review Conference of the NPT as a practical step to achieving NPT nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation objectives, and has also been reaffirmed as being of central importance by the UN General Assembly.
- We affirm that the CTBT will make an important contribution towards preventing the proliferation of materials, technologies and knowledge that can be used for nuclear weapons, one of the most important challenges the world is facing today. Thus, the entry into force of the Treaty, within the broader framework of multilateral arms control and non-proliferation efforts, is more urgent today than ever before. Progress on this issue would also contribute to a positive outcome of the 2005 Review Conference of the NPT.
- We welcome that the CTBT has achieved near universal adherence with signature by 172 State and ratification by 115 States as of today. However, there are 44 States whose ratification is necessary for the entry into force of the Treaty. Twelve of these have yet to do so. We call upon all States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Treaty without delay, in particular those whose ratification is needed for its entry into force. We commit ourselves individually and together to make the Treaty a focus of attention at the highest political levels and to take measures to facilitate the signature and ratification process. We support the efforts by the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test -Ban Treaty Organization to facilitate such process by providing legal and technical information and advice.
- We call upon all States to continue a moratorium on nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions. Voluntary adherence to such a moratorium is of the highest importance, but does not have the same permanent and legally binding effect as the entry Into force of the Treaty. We reaffirm our commitment to the Treaty's basic obligations and call on all States to refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purpose of the Treaty pending its entry into force.
- We welcome the progress made in building up the verification system, which shall be capable of verifying compliance with the Treaty at its entry into force. We will continue to provide the support required to complete and to operate the verification system in the most efficient and cost-effective way. We will also promote technical cooperation to enhance verification capabilities under the CTBT.
- In addition to its primary function, the CTBT verification system will bring scientific and civil benefits, through civil and scientific applications of waveform and radionuclide technologies and use of the data. We continue to seek ways to ensure that these benefits will be broadly shared by the international community.
- We appeal to all States to make maximum efforts to achieve a major step toward the early entry into force of the CTBT. On our part we dedicate ourselves to realizing this goal.
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