France's Foreign Minister Bernard
Kouchner and Sweden's Foreign Minister
Carl Bildt underline the importance
of the entry into force of the
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
The Foreign Ministers of France and Sweden, Bernard Kouchner and Carl Bildt, call for the earliest possible entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Their appeals come just two weeks before high-level representatives from over 100 countries gather at a conference in New York on 24 and 25 September 2009 to promote the Treaty’s entry into force.
French Foreign Minister Kouchner: Calls on nine remaining States to ratify CTBT
Kouchner, who is one of two presidents of the upcoming conference, emphasizes that “thirteen years after it opened for signature, it is time the Treaty came into force.”
Underlining that the Treaty and its entry into force are the responsibility of every State, Kouchner makes a particularly strong appeal to Annex 2 States: “The nine States whose ratification is necessary for its entry into force bear a special responsibility: China, the DPRK, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States. I solemnly call upon them to ratify the Treaty and to strengthen, in so doing, the international non-proliferation regime and collective security.”
Sweden’s EU presidency: CTBT is top priority
Sweden assumed the Presidency of the European Union in July 2009. Foreign Minister Carl Bildt explains that, as President of the EU, “promoting the CTBT’s entry into force at the earliest possible date will be one of our top priorities in the field of non-proliferation and disarmament.”
Stressing the particular responsibility of the Annex 2 States for the entry into force of the CTBT, Bildt believes that “ratifications by key States such as the United States and China could potentially spark a positive chain reaction.” In this regard, he recalls a recent and “encouraging” statement by Indonesia “explaining its clear intention to ratify the CTBT once U.S. ratification has taken place.”
Morocco’s Foreign Minister Fassi Fihri: CTBT in force would boost NPT
“The CTBT, once in force, would be a significant boost for the NPT [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] and reinvigorating for the wider nuclear non-proliferation regime,” says Morocco’s Foreign Minister Taib Fassi Fihri. Morocco shares the presidency of the upcoming conference with France.
Fassi Fihri further explains that “the CTBT complements and strengthens the Non-Proliferation Treaty” as it “prevents the development of new nuclear weapons as well as the spread of such weapons.”
Latest Spectrum reflects new political prominence of CTBT
The full remarks by Kouchner, Bildt and Fassi Fihri can be found in the latest issue of Spectrum magazine, which is published biannually by the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). The new issue of Spectrum reflects the new political prominence of the CTBT and the strong international push for its entry into force. It is packed with articles by high-profile international political figures, senior political analysts and well-respected scientists.
Philippines’ Foreign Minister Romulo: Need for legally-binding commitments
Alberto G. Romulo, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, demands firm commitment from nuclear weapon States. “Voluntary testing moratoria are simply not enough,” he declares. “These moratoria need to be enshrined into permanent and legally-binding commitments that give a clear message that the world does not accept the acquisition of development of nuclear weapons. This requires nuclear weapon States to take more decisive steps towards disarmament.”
Shen Dingli: China’s ratification before U.S. not impossible
Chinese nuclear arms control expert Shen Dingli presents what he calls China’s traditional view that “all countries should stop nuclear weapons testing.” He underlines that “China is the only nuclear weapon State to advocate a total prohibition and thorough destruction of all nuclear weapons.” Speaking about Treaty ratification, Shen Dingli is convinced that “it is not impossible that Beijing will ratify before Washington – as was the case with ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997.”
Goodby: No alternative to a fully ratified CTBT
Former U.S. diplomat and nuclear non-proliferation expert, James Goodby, calls for comprehensive efforts to revitalize and restore the troubled credibility of the non-proliferation regime. “A CTBT must be part of it,” he declares.
Considering the CTBT as a key element in a network of barriers against proliferation, Goodby argues that “a test ban treaty would be a higher barrier for Iran, for example, to jump over than is a moratorium. Probably the same is true for North Korea.” Summing up his arguments in support of the CTBT, Goodby stresses that “there is no real alternative to a fully ratified CTBT.”
Drell: CTBT ratification in U.S. national security interest
Sidney Drell, physicist and long-time adviser to the U.S. Government on arms control issues, assesses the important technical progress made in the U.S. under the umbrella of the Stockpile Stewardship Program. He concludes that “technically, in terms of maintaining confidence in our nuclear stockpile, there is no barrier to ratifying the CTBT.”
In closing, Drell expresses his belief that “it is now clearly in the national security interest of the United States to ratify the CTBT and lead a global effort to bring it into force.”
Hafemeister: Evasive testing not probable
Physicist and verification expert, David Hafemeister, examines the conditions under which detection of an underground nuclear explosion by the CTBT verification system can be evaded. Examining a range of technical and logistical issues of the most discussed evasion scenario, i.e. the explosion of a nuclear device in an underground cavity, Hafemeister points out that “evasive cheating is possible but not probable.”
He concludes that “without a CTBT the probability of a nuclear test would be considerably higher because of reduced monitoring without the IMS [International Monitoring System] and a diminished global norm against testing.”
Data sharing for disaster migitation
Monitoring stations of the CTBTO’s global network have been providing data to an ever increasing number of tsunami warning institutions since November 2005. The Northwest Pacific Tsunami Advisory Center is one of them. Yohei Hasegawa of the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) looks at the institution’s history and role in light of Japan’s recurrent exposure to tsunami disasters. He particularly highlights the cooperation between the CTBTO and Japan, who signed a tsunami warning arrangement in August 2008.
Technical analysis of North Korea’s announced nuclear test
Lastly, CTBTO experts provide an insight into their analysis of the announced nuclear test by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on 25 May 2009. Their detailed account of the detection and analysis of this event illustrates how far the CTBTO has come in the build-up of the verification regime since the first test conducted by the DPRK in October 2006.