Statement by Brazil


Date:   7 October 1999

Delivered by: H.E. Ambassador Sergio De Queiroz Duarte, Permanent Representative to the CTBTO PrepCom

At the outset, I would like to express the satisfaction of my Delegation at seeing you, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, presiding over this Conference. Your distinguished presence here testifies to the importance of accelerating the process of entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty for the international community. I would also like to express our gratitude to the Government of Austria for rendering available to us these beautiful and charming facilities at the Hofburg.

Please allow me to fully associate myself with the statement delivered by His Excellency the Ambassador of Peru, honorable Vice-President of this Conference, on behalf of the States Signatories from Latin America and the Caribbean.

In July 1998, Brazil ratified the CTBT in tandem with its accession to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, thereby becoming a member of all relevant international instruments in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. By doing so, we sought to contribute to an overreaching, longstanding effort by the international community to rid the world of the threat of nuclear weapons.

As a significant token of the importance attached by Brazil to the advancement of the international agenda on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, in June 1998 Brazil subscribed, together with seven other countries, to the Ministerial Declaration entitled "Towards a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: the Need for a New Agenda". Predicated on the idea that the disarmament agenda only stands to gain from the confluence of mutually reinforcing measures at the bilateral, plurilateral and multilateral levels, the New Agenda Declaration proposed a series of interim measures that, if addressed by the nuclear weapon States and other members of the international community, would contribute significantly to reducing the nuclear threat and de-emphasizing the role of nuclear weapons in security strategies. The Declaration subsequently inspired a 1st Committee Resolution that was co-sponsored by 32 delegations and enjoyed wide support at the 53rd UN General Assembly. Brazil hopes that the international community’s manifest commitment to nuclear disarmament will be reflected in even greater support for a follow-up draft resolution on the New Agenda which is being tabled at this year’s Session of the UN General Assembly.

Consistent with the New Agenda Initiative, we add our voice to those who rightfully demand the early entry into force of the CTBT as one of the concrete and significant steps toward the achievement of a universal and effectively verifiable nuclear-test-ban. We therefore call upon States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the CTBT unconditionally and without delay and, pending its entry into force, to observe a moratorium on nuclear tests. Bearing in mind the special responsibilities of those States that produced, tested and presently hold nuclear arsenals, we specially urge the three nuclear weapon States that are yet to ratify the Treaty, to reinforce their commitment to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation by bringing to a successful close their respective ratification processes. The world expects stronger signals from these nations toward the full implementation of the commitments contained in Article VI of the NPT.

The reaction of the international community against the nuclear tests conducted after the CTBT was opened for signature was a clear indication of the fundamental role that the Treaty is already playing in the international non-proliferation regime, discouraging any such events in the future and contributing to make the nuclear disarmament issue an even more pressing one. We reiterate our call on those States that have tested and those that may consider the possibility to do so, to abandon such path and to sign and ratify the CTBT without delay.

Mr. President,

It is important that the participants in this Conference bear in mind what the Treaty is meant to accomplish within the greater framework of the nuclear disarmament agenda. Being the NPT a keystone of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime, we hope that the results of this Conference will not only elicit a renewed sense of urgency regarding the CTBT ratification process, but will also be brought to bear on the results of the NPT Review and Extension Conference to be held next year.

My Delegation is of the view that the final declaration to be adopted by this Conference should go beyond a mere exhortation to those who have not yet signed or ratified the CTBT. In any case, we believe that this Conference, and its follow-up process, will act as a reminder of the importance attached by the international community to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation in all its aspects, and of the special responsibilities incumbent on the nuclear weapon States in this regard.