The following statement was issued by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan on 21 April:
The Secretary-General is deeply gratified to learn of the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) by the Duma of the Russian Federation enhancing the prospects for the entry into force of this important legal instrument against nuclear proliferation and the further development of nuclear weapons.
The action of the Russian Duma, following immediately upon the ratification of the Strategic Arms Limitation and Reduction Treaty II (START II), brings the number of nuclear-weapon States ratifying the CTBT to three along with France and the United Kingdom. Of the 44 States whose signature and ratification is necessary for the entry into force of the Treaty, 41 have signed and 28 have ratified.
The Secretary-General takes this opportunity both as Secretary-General of the United Nations and in his capacity as Depositary of the Treaty to urge those States that have still not signed and/or ratified the Treaty to do so as expeditiously as possible.
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