VIENNA, 8 October - An international conference aimed at speeding up the entry into force of a landmark nuclear test ban treaty ended in Vienna today with a call for early signing and ratification of the accord by all States that have not yet done so. CTBT bans all nuclear explosions.
Ninety-two ratifying and signatory States of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) unanimously adopted a Final Declaration that also called on the non-signatory nations to refrain from acts that could defeat the Treaty's "object and purpose in the meanwhile."
The purpose of the three-day meeting was to examine the extent to which the requirement for the entry into force of the 1996 Treaty had been met and to agree on measures consistent with international law to accelerate its ratification.
The CTBT, which do date has been signed by 154 States and ratified by 51 signatory States, bans all nuclear explosions in all environments. To enter into force, the Treaty has to be ratified by 44 nuclear-capable States listed in the Treaty. So far, 41 of them have signed the Treaty and 26 have deposited instruments of ratification.
Recalling that two non-signatory States whose ratification was needed for the Treaty's entry into force had expressed their willingness not to delay the entry into force, the Final Declaration called on them to fulfil those pledges.
The Declaration also noted the ratification by two nuclear weapon States and called on the remaining three to accelerate their ratification process "with a view to their early successful conclusion." The final document urged all States to sustain the momentum generated by the Conference by continuing to deal with the entry-into-force issue at the highest political level.
In over 50 statements made during the meeting by ratifying and signatory States, speakers emphasized the urgent necessity for early entry into force of the CTBT as a way of giving fresh impetus to the process of nuclear disarmament and efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.