VIENNA, 24 September 1999 - The UN Secretary-General, in his capacity as Depositary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, at the request of States that have ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), is to convene a Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, at the Vienna Hofburg from 6 to 8 October 1999. Its purpose is to consider and decide on measures, consistent with international law, to facilitate the early entry into force of the CTBT. Under Treaty Article XIV paragraph 2, if the CTBT has not entered into force three years after the anniversary of its opening for signature, the Depositary shall convene such a Conference at the request of a majority of States that have already deposited their instruments of ratification. Attendance at the Conference is expected to be at the ministerial level.
As at 23 September 1999, 154 States have signed the CTBT, 45 of which have ratified it. Opened for signature on 24 September 1996, the CTBT will enter into force when it has been ratified by 44 nuclear-capable States listed in the Treaty. So far, 41 of these 44 States have signed the CTBT, and 21 of them have deposited instruments of ratification with the Secretary-General. More ratifications are expected before the Conference opens. All States Signatories will be invited. The Conference will also be open to non-signatory States as well as specialized agencies, related organizations, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations.
Under the CTBT, States Parties undertake not to carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion and establish a global verification regime which shall be capable of meeting the verification requirements of the Treaty. Prior to the entry into force of the Treaty, State Signatories are expected to refrain from acts that could defeat the object and purpose of the Treaty.
The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive
Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO Preparatory Commission) has
been at work in Vienna since March 1997 to carry out the necessary
preparations for the effective implementation of the CTBT. Since its
inception, CTBTO Preparatory Commission has concentrated work on the
establishment of the global verification regime envisaged in the Treaty.
The regime will consist of an International Monitoring System (IMS) of 170
seismological, 60 infrasound, 11 hydroacoustic and 80 radionuclide
stations, supported by 16 radionuclide laboratories, to be upgraded or
newly established in some 90 countries around the world. The purpose of
the network of monitoring stations is to detect and locate possible
nuclear explosions, prohibited under Article I of the Treaty, by providing
continuous monitoring data - generated by the four verification
technologies - to the International Data Centre (IDC) which is also being
established in Vienna. Here the data will be processed and made available
to States Parties for their review and final analysis. Ambiguous events
will be subject to consultation and clarification, and where so decided,
to an on-site inspection (OSI). About 100 monitoring stations, from an
envisaged network of 321, are already transmitting data to the IDC on a
Status of CTBT as at 23 September 1999