New Zealand ratifies Comprehensive
New Zealand deposited its instrument of ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) with the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 19 March 1999. New Zealand is the thirtieth State signatory to have ratified the Treaty. New Zealand is also the second State signatory to have signed a facility arrangement with the Preparatory Commission to grant the necessary legal authority to the CTBTO PrepCom to undertake work on New Zealand territory to establish or upgrade the monitoring stations that New Zealand is hosting to implement the CTBT.
New Zealand is hosting six stations (two radionuclide, one infrasound and three auxiliary seismic), as well as one radionuclide laboratory, in the International Monitoring System. New Zealand is also cooperating with the Cook Islands in the installation of a radionuclide station at Rarotonga later this year. Site surveys have been completed for the two radionuclide stations (Chatham Island and Kaitaia) and the one infrasound station (Chatham Island) and equipment will be installed at the two radionuclide stations, and possibly at the infrasound station as well, this year. One of the auxiliary stations (Raoul Island) has already been installed and the other two (Erewhon and Urewera) have been surveyed by the operators, on behalf of the Provisional Technical Secretariat, to determine how they should be upgraded to meet the System´s specifications. The radionuclide laboratory will take part in test analyses that the Secretariat is planning to undertake this year.
The 29 other States that have ratified the Treaty are: Azerbaijan, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Grenada, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Peru, Qatar,
Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Uzbekistan. To date, 152 States have signed the Treaty.
Under the CTBT, an international monitoring system of 321 stations, using four complementary technologies, is being established to record data necessary to verify compliance with the Treaty. The stations will be capable of registering vibrations from a nuclear explosion underground, in the seas and in the air, as well as detecting radioactive debris released into the atmosphere. The monitoring stations will transmit, via satellite, the data to the International Data Centre (IDC) within CTBTO PrepCom in Vienna, where the data will be used to detect, locate and characterize events. These data and other IDC products will be made available to the signatory States for final analysis.
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty bans any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion anywhere in the world. Drafted at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and adopted by the General Assembly on 10 September 1996, the Treaty was opened for signature on 24 September 1996 at the United Nations in New York.