NUCLEAR-TEST-BAN TREATY "PILLAR" OF SYSTEM CONTROLLING WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION,
17 More Speakers Address Treaty’s Value, Needed Ratifications;
NEW YORK, 12 November (UN Headquarters) -- Decades had been spent building an international treaty system to ensure that weapons of mass destruction were not stockpiled or used -- the best protection against those weapons falling into the wrong hands -- and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was one of its pillars, said the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada this morning, at a conference aimed at bringing the Treaty into force.
"This is a good treaty", he said, one of 17 speakers to address the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT. So good, he added, that it had anticipated factors that might slow down its ratification and specifically tasked signatories with continued forward movement in that regard. The Treaty’s operation was urgent and compelling, and halting all nuclear-tests- explosions would dampen aspirations to acquire or further develop nuclear weapons and diminish their political value.
The test-ban Treaty, opened for signature in 1996, requires ratification by a group of States listed in its annex 2, which are believed to possess nuclear research and power reactors. Among the 44 "annex 2" countries, 31 have so far ratified the Treaty. The 13 States who have not yet done so include two nuclear-weapon States –- China and the United States. Three of them have not yet signed the Treaty: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, and Pakistan. The Headquarters Conference has been convened to encourage the needed ratifications.
The representative of China -– an annex 2 State that has not yet ratified the Treaty –- said five years after the Treaty’s opening for signature, the prospect for its entry into force "does not allow for optimism." The CTBT was essential to preventing the horizontal and vertical proliferation of nuclear weapons and promoting nuclear disarmament, and China’s basic position towards it had not changed. The Government had reviewed it and now the National People’s Congress would "deliberate on the Treaty according to the relevant legal procedures", he said.
It was a grave mistake to say that the CTBT was "dead", asserted the representative of Japan, an annex 2 country that had ratified the Treaty. The Treaty should be recognized for the practical role it was already playing in the world, notably the instrumental impetus towards achieving a moratorium on nuclear testing. And, thanks to the steady development of the regime to detect clandestine nuclear tests, the possibility of a country conducting one without being detected by the international community was becoming slimmer.
Indeed, proof of the practical efficacy of the verification system would dispel the remaining doubts about the Treaty’s usefulness, the permanent observer for Switzerland said. Despite strong support for the Treaty, however, it still lacked the necessary number of ratifications by a "significant margin". The CTBT was a pillar of the global regime to control arms of mass destruction, and the Conference should send a firm message to those States that had so far refused to sign and ratify it, as well as to those that had delayed those procedures.
Statements were also made by the representatives of Senegal, Chile (on behalf of the Rio Group), Croatia, Algeria, Portugal, Venezuela, Turkey, Luxembourg, Paraguay, Azerbaijan, Italy, Uruguay (on behalf of the Southern Common Market countries (MERCOSUR)), and Lithuania.
The Conference will meet again at 3 p.m. today to continue its general exchange of views.
The Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) met this morning to continue a general exchange of views among ratifiers and signatories on facilitating the Treaty's operation.
The CTBT commits States parties not to carry out any nuclear-weapon-test explosion or any other nuclear explosion in any environment; and to prohibit, prevent, and refrain from, in any way, participating in the carrying out of such explosions. The Treaty also provides for a complex global verification regime, and measures to ensure compliance and redress a situation contravening it.
With 161 signatories and 85 ratifications (84 in previously issued materials; Singapore ratified on 10 November), the CTBT is now approaching the status of a universal treaty, but, under its article XIV, it must be ratified by the 44 States listed in its annex 2 before it can enter into force. At present, 31 have done so. Thirteen "annex 2" countries that have still not ratified the Treaty include two nuclear-weapon States -– China and the United States. Three of the "annex 2" countries have not signed the Treaty, namely, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, India and Pakistan.
The 31 annex 2 countries that have ratified the Treaty are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
The following States whose ratification is required, but who have not yet done so, are: Algeria, China, Colombia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, United States and Viet Nam.
(For detailed background, including lists of signatures and ratifiers, see Press Release DC/2814 issued 9 November.)
CHEIKH TIDIANE GADIO, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Senegal, said that the opening of the CTBT for signature in 1996 had marked a milestone in the system of collective security. The principles of the Treaty had been hampered by its failure to enter into force, which was due to a lack of political will and political inertia. He appealed to those States that had not yet signed the Treaty -- especially the annex 2 States -- to do so without delay.
Nuclear-weapon States, he continued, still had not shown their will to be bound by the Treaty banning nuclear tests. The situation was alarming, because it showed ambivalence to a very important issue. Bilateral and regional efforts to reduce the number of nuclear weapon and their delivery systems were, of course, welcome, but the same countries that had entered into those agreements should favour multilateral instruments. Nuclear-weapon States and the countries with the capacity to obtain such weapons had a special obligation to work for the adoption of the CTBT.
Senegal rejected the nuclear military option, he said. The Non-Aligned Movement had committed itself to adopting measures for a nuclear disarmament programme. He hoped that, through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a new structure could maintain links with the CTBT to make a multilateral framework for promoting changes in the nuclear area. Senegal had signed the CTBT and was cooperating with the Treaty secretariat on a total test ban. Senegal was also negotiating the establishment in Senegal of a relay station for verification of the Treaty. It had also agreed to organize a November seminar on CTBT awareness, in which 27 countries would participate, in Dakar. He invited Wolfgang Hoffman, Executive Director of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), to attend.
SOLEDAD ALVEAR VALENZUELA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Chile, spoke on behalf of the Rio Group. She said that the Group attached high priority to global efforts to promote nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, including the total elimination of nuclear weapons. While the world was still in the grip of the cold war, the Latin American region had signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco), thereby establishing the first inhabited zone on the planet to be free of nuclear weapons.
Five years after the CTBT had been opened for signature, the current Conference on facilitating its entry into force was an opportunity for States to reaffirm the commitments made when the Treaty was first adopted. While the number of signatories had grown since the last facilitation Conference, the current international situation showed the difficulties in the way of its entry into force, a situation the Rio Group deeply regretted. Careful reflection and political will on the part of States that had not yet signed the Treaty could quickly turn the situation around. She underscored the importance of maintaining a strict moratorium on nuclear testing until the CTBT entered into force and was pleased States had committed themselves to do so.
She urged States to focus their efforts at this Conference on the adoption of measures to expedite the ratification of the Treaty. States of the Rio Group, in accordance with their desire for the Treaty to become universal, had promoted in their region key Organization of American States (OAS) resolutions on "Support for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty". A regional workshop on the subject had been organized in Lima, Peru, with the help of the Provisional Technical Secretariat. The Treaty’s Preparatory Commission should play a more active role in assisting States to promote and complete their ratification processes. Rio Group members would require the greatest possible support in order to fulfil the Treaty’s verification requirements.
The recent ratification of the CTBT by three Rio Group members -- Costa Rica, Uruguay and Paraguay -- represented a concrete contribution to the Treaty and confirmed the consensus within the Group, she said. The Group would, at this Conference, continue to work for the early entry into force of the Treaty and strict compliance with its provisions. Adoptions of non-proliferation measures, nuclear disarmament and the total elimination of nuclear weapons were the responsibility of the international community, as a whole. She urgently appealed to all States to immediately ratify the CTBT. At the same time, she urged States that had already ratified the Treaty to observe its provisions before its entry into force.
JOSEPH DEISS, permanent observer for Switzerland, said that making the CTBT operational was an integral part of the overall objective of eliminating all arms of mass destruction. Together with a progressive reduction of offensive capabilities and measures to promote non-proliferation, the ban on nuclear testing was a crucial step in attaining that goal. The early entry into force of the CTBT was one of the 13 practical steps towards achieving nuclear disarmament agreed upon in the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which underlined its importance.
He said that, despite strong support for the CTBT, it still lacked, by a significant margin, the necessary number of ratifications to permit it to enter into force. His country strongly regretted that fact. Meanwhile, a large number of States were participating in the Preparatory Commission in Vienna and had given top priority to making the verification system operational by the time the Treaty enters into force. Proof of the practical efficacy of the verification system would dispel the remaining doubts about the Treaty’s usefulness. At the same time, those States that had ratified the Treaty must continue their efforts to persuade other governments to do the same. The Conference was an integral part of those efforts.
The test-ban Treaty was one of the pillars of the global regime to control arms of mass destruction, he said. Adoption of the draft final declaration would send a firm message to those States that had so far refused to sign and ratify the Treaty, as well as to those that had delayed those procedures. That appeal was aimed especially at those States whose ratification was required for the Treaty’s operation, which carried a particularly heavy responsibility. He urged them not only to maintain the unilaterally declared moratoriums, but to make all efforts to bring the Treaty into force.
TONINO PICULA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Croatia, said it was encouraging that 161 States had signed the Treaty and 79 had deposited their ratification instruments with the Secretary-General. Croatia had recently ratified the Treaty, and the number of ratifications and signatures since the 1999 Conference clearly showed progress. However, none of the Treaty's aims would be achieved until it became universal and entered into force, he stressed.
The prospects were far from promising, he said. While the Conference had been expected to be a turning point for the Treaty's early entry into force, all States must now work together to make it work, because the threat of nuclear terrorism, which could become a reality in the future, could end the world. Urging unity, he said the developed and developing countries, working together, could make possible all the ratifications necessary for the Treaty's early entry into force.
As the world was decisively uniting into an anti-terrorism coalition, the non-proliferation of, and an end to, nuclear testing should be part of that effort, he said. He called on all States that had not yet done so to sign and/or ratify the Treaty without delay. Besides providing an opportunity to ban all nuclear-weapon-test explosions forever, and to add momentum to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, the Treaty provided a chance to enhance regional and international confidence and stability.
ABDELAZIZ BELKHADEM, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Algeria, commended bilateral and multilateral negotiations as appropriate measures to achieve disarmament. The CTBT, which was the product of lengthy and patient efforts, was one such example, as well as a major contribution to nuclear disarmament efforts. That Treaty, by banning nuclear testing in all physical environments, had sought to strengthen legal tools, as well as global efforts to eliminate the nuclear threat, once and for all.
He said that the Conference was a perfect opportunity to do some serious and fruitful thinking on speeding up the Treaty’s entry into force. The measures proposed in the draft final declaration, covering mainly the need to speed up signature and ratification of the Treaty by those States that had not yet done so -- and the maintenance of unilateral moratoriums in the meantime -- seemed relevant and realistic and merited full encouragement. However important those measures might be, questions of entry into force would be strengthened if it took place within a global approach that was linked to nuclear disarmament, the elimination of nuclear arsenals, and implementation of related commitments.
Downgrading policies based on power and military supremacy and adopting confidence-building measures would strengthen the Treaty, he continued. Giving that Treaty real power meant striving towards the following conditions: universalizing the NPT and implementing its article VI, notably the commitment by nuclear-weapon States to totally eliminate their nuclear arsenals; and revitalizing the Conference on Disarmament by enabling it to begin negotiations on a legally binding instrument linked to nuclear disarmament and the prevention of an arms race in outer space.
He said that Algeria’s accession to various disarmament and non-proliferation instruments had been prompted by its major concern with nuclear disarmament, due to the threat of those weapons posed. That undermined economic and social development, which today represented the foundation of collective security. He reiterated Algeria’s willingness to ratify the test-ban Treaty soon, and expressed, once again, his full interest in cooperating with the CTBTO.
JAIME GAMA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Portugal, said he associated himself with the statement made on behalf of the European Union. The world could not afford to lose momentum towards a nuclear-test-ban system that was reliable and verifiable, and ensured free access to the collected data. That was the "inner force" that embodied the fundamental goals of the Treaty and the rationale behind the creation of the Organization. The CTBT and CTBTO were fundamental instruments in that regard, although their fundamental goals would not be achieved unless the international community brought the Treaty into force.
He said that the Conference must adopt a strong final declaration sending a clear message to all States, in particular the annex 2 States, of the imperative for them to adhere to the CTBT. The entry into force of the CTBT was indispensable for achieving the nuclear disarmament commitments of the 2000 NPT Review Conference. The new threats should strengthen the resolve of States to transform without delay the broad international consensus on the Treaty into concrete measures to achieve its universality.
LUIS ALFONSO DAVILA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Venezuela, said he fully agreed with the statement made on behalf of the Rio Group. The attacks of 11 September demonstrated that peace and security were threatened, and that the threat must be combated through a coalition of States. Actions against terrorism must be done in a manner consistent with international law and human rights to prevent a spiral with unpredictable consequences.
The CTBT prevented the proliferation of nuclear weapons and sought to guarantee that succeeding generations could live free from the fear of a nuclear attack, he continued. In the new century, Venezuela did not want any more wars, especially those in which chemical or biological weapons could be used. If anything, war should be waged against death, hunger and extreme poverty. In the current context, there was an opportunity to think more deeply about the world and to focus on the root causes of profound problems. The United Nations was the appropriate place to look for the causes of terrorist actions and extremism.
The support shown for the Treaty was a clear-cut example of cooperation, showing that the international community wanted to make the world safe from the threat of nuclear weapons. Venezuela supported principles of disarmament in all multilateral forums. The 1995 Review Conference of the NPT had encouraged the negotiation at the Conference on Disarmament of the CTBT in 1996. His country had signed the CTBT in 1999 and its National Assembly was now considering ratification. Venezuela had made two seismic stations available to the verification regime in cooperation with the Provisional Technical Secretariat. He appealed to all States -- especially those whose ratifications were required for the Treaty to enter into force -- to take steps to make the Treaty a reality.
JOHN MANLEY, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada, said that the threats faced by the world community today were complex, diverse and unpredictable. Since 11 September, governments had taken a wide range of domestic measures, political actions and, for some, military commitments. But, those were only part of the required global framework. There was no doubt from the statements of Osama bin Laden that weapons of mass destruction formed a part of his terrorist agenda. It hardly need be said that there existed a real threat from nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
An international treaty system with effective mechanisms to ensure that those weapons were not stockpiled or used was the best protection against having those weapons fall into the wrong hands, he continued. What was needed was a strong disarmament and non-proliferation regime that was governed by clear and universally held norms. Decades had been spent building such a regime, and the CTBT was a pillar of that global security architecture. Clearly, its universal adherence was needed and its entry into force was urgent and compelling. Moreover, halting all nuclear-test explosions would dampen enhancement of existing nuclear arsenals and diminish the political value of nuclear weapons.
The benefits of the Treaty were clear to Canada and to the 161 countries that had signed the Treaty, he said, including the 85 that had ratified it. "This is a good treaty", he said, so good that it anticipated the factors that might slow down its own ratification. Annex 2 specifically tasked signatories with continued forward movement towards the entry into force. The Treaty would enhance individual and collective security, as its verification provisions were both complete and effective and based on the very best scientific and technical expertise and analysis.
His country had welcomed the announcement that the United States would maintain its voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing, but it was disappointed that the United States was not also proceeding with ratification. He urged that country to reconsider that decision. For his part, he said he had written to his counterparts in each of the remaining 13 countries whose ratification was still needed, and he would continue both bilateral and multilateral efforts in that regard. Citizens were now asking their governments to make the world a safer place and not to engage in a new arms race that would pit States in competition rather than cooperation, which was so urgently needed. The universalization and entry into force of the CTBT would enhance the safety and security of all people and of the planet.
KURTULUS TASKENT (Turkey), aligning himself with the European Union statement, said that while the Treaty was approaching universal status, the record of signatures and ratifications still fell short of ensuring its entry into force. In view of Turkey's geographical proximity to regions where nuclear proliferation was a tangible threat, it closely followed developments in that field and participated actively in collective measures aimed at reversing that trend.
Turkey appreciated the efforts of the Preparatory Commission to establish a global verification regime, he said. That was unprecedented in the history of arms control. As host to one of the primary seismic stations that would function as part of the International Monitoring System (IMS), Turkey played a significant role within the context of the verification network.
He emphasized that the credibility of the whole non-proliferation regime would be influenced by whether, and how effectively, the CTBT would also strengthen the NPT, by giving impetus to nuclear-weapon States for the fulfilment of their obligation under article VI. In order to achieve a more peaceful and safer world, no effort should be spared in ensuring the Treaty’s early entry into force.
FRANÇOIS PILOT (Luxembourg) said that he fully endorsed the statement that had been made on behalf of the European Union. The Secretary-General should be thanked for convening the Conference at such a difficult time, and all those who had worked to assure that the Conference took place should be praised. He thanked the governments of Japan and Mexico for their efforts before the Conference, in keeping with article XIV. It should also be mentioned that the European Union had taken steps to create a plan of action for the Conference, and many of its States had made bilateral agreements after the last facilitation Conference.
The Conference was a way for the international community to show its support for the CTBT and nuclear disarmament, he said. The goal of the disarmament regime was total and complete disarmament. Thirteen ratifications were still necessary for the CTBT to enter into force, but that should not overshadow the fact that 161 had signed the Treaty. That high level of support was reflected in the determination to put in place a verification regime. He emphasized that the objective of the Conference was to promote the universalization of the CTBT. He called on all States that had not yet done so to ratify the Treaty without delay.
Complete and verifiable renunciation of all nuclear testing was an important part of multilateral security, he continued. No State could guarantee security for its citizens on its own, a fact that underscored the importance of the provisions of the CTBT. He reiterated his call to States to ratify the Treaty without delay and said that the international community had to provide the means for establishment of the Treaty’s verification regime. The final document adopted at the Conference would confirm the broad support of the international community for the CTBT.
JOSE ANTONIO MORENO RUFFINELLI (Paraguay) said that it was significant that the second facilitation Conference for the entry into force of the CTBT was taking place at a time when mankind was threatened by weapons of mass destruction. Chemical, biological and nuclear weapons threatened all of mankind. The constant, uncontrolled transfer of the elements necessary for making weapons of mass destruction was a new danger, adding to the threat already posed by States that possessed those weapons. The problem would be even worse if weapons of mass destruction were available to terrorists.
The events of 11 September gave a new urgency to the CTBT, he continued. Paraguay had ratified the Treaty on 4 October, concluding its small part in promoting the Treaty’s universality. He fully supported the statement made on behalf of the Rio Group, which had also called for universality. The Rio Group was committed to making itself free of nuclear weapons. The progress made in one part of the world could, however, be compromised by failure to make progress elsewhere. The threat of nuclear-weapon tests was dangerous to many areas, and particularly dangerous to the environment. The complete ban on nuclear testing was an essential step to end the proliferation and development of those weapons. He urged States that had not yet signed or ratified the Treaty to intensify their efforts to do so. The ominous signs of the terrorist attack showed that the international community could not afford to wait.
VILAYAT GULIYEV, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, said combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction was a priority of his country's foreign and security policy. Azerbaijan had signed and ratified major international, legally binding documents and contributed to the international community's efforts in that field, at both the multilateral and bilateral levels. Azerbaijan had undertaken all necessary measures, including legislation, to prevent possible transfers through its territory of components, material and technology related to weapons of mass destruction, as well as the means of delivery.
Given the geo-strategic importance of the region and ongoing conflicts within it, he said, the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the South Caucasus would be important in enhancing security at the regional and international levels. Unfortunately, the occupation by Armenia of 20 per cent of Azerbaijan's territory was a major hurdle to the establishment of such a zone. The occupation increased the danger of illegal trafficking of nuclear materials in an unstable region.
He stressed that unresolved regional conflicts eventually provoked an arms race and increased trafficking and accumulation of armaments. That, in turn, created a potential proliferation of nuclear materials and technologies. Access to such materials and technologies and apparent possibilities for their illegal trafficking could cause the most unfavourable consequences for the security of Azerbaijan and the region as a whole. All those factors underscored the urgent need to strengthen the international monitoring regime in the region.
TULLIO GUMA (Italy), reading a statement on behalf of Foreign Minister Renato Ruggiero, said the unprecedented dimensions of the international terrorist threat could only strengthen determination to send an unequivocal signal encouraging the countries that had not yet ratified the Treaty to do so as quickly as possible. International terrorism was a challenge of global scale, and the response to it must also be global.
He welcomed the First Committee's approval of a draft resolution on "multilateral cooperation in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation and global efforts against terrorism". Existing instruments for fighting terrorism must obviously be strengthened, he said. It was important not to underestimate the risk that weapons of mass destruction might fall into the hands of those who placed themselves both outside international law and outside the basic values of peaceful coexistence among peoples.
Signing the CTBT was the culmination of the international community's determination to stop all nuclear tests, he said. The Treaty should also be viewed in the context of other legal instruments on nuclear disarmament. But, the time for statements in support of the moratorium on nuclear testing was past. The time had come for incontrovertible commitments. States must say nuclear testing was no longer necessary, and act accordingly. A revived arms race was neither what the world needed, nor the outcome that the international community expected.
DIDIER OPERTTI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Uruguay, speaking on behalf of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), associated himself with Chile's statement on behalf of the Rio Group. He said the terrorist attacks of 11 September had made it more necessary than ever to strengthen international peace and security through prevention of nuclear weapons proliferation and the achievement of nuclear disarmament.
He said MERCOSUR was committed to perfecting instruments and mechanisms for the non-proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction with the ultimate objective of achieving a nuclear-weapon-free world. The MERCOSUR countries -- Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay -- as well as the associated countries of Bolivia and Chile -- had adopted confidence-building measures in keeping with their commitment to achieve the objective of the Political Declaration of MERCOSUR as a Zone of Peace, signed in Ushuaia, Argentina, on 24 July 1998.
With the deposit of the instruments of ratification by Paraguay and Uruguay, he said, MERCOSUR and its associated States had become the first institutionally organized subregion to formally become party to the CTBT. The MERCOSUR became the first subregion in which nuclear testing was prohibited. With that, it had joined the vanguard of those seeking to ensure that all the countries of the Latin American and Caribbean region signed and ratified the Treaty.
NOBUYASU ABE (Japan) said the terrorist attacks had clearly demonstrated that science and technology, which should contribute to the development and prosperity of humankind, could also be abused by those who intended to destroy civilization. The use of science and technology must be controlled, so they did not cause mass destruction and suffering. When the threat of vicious terrorist groups was as real as it was today, strengthening the NPT regime was more urgent than ever.
It was a widely shared view, he said, that the CTBT underpinned the international nuclear non-proliferation regime founded on the NPT, and that the CTBT was a practical and concrete measure for realizing a nuclear-weapon-free world. Unfortunately, there was no prospect at the moment for the early entry into force of the CTBT, due in part to the hesitation of some major States to ratify it.
He emphasized that while some claimed the CTBT was dead, it was the embodiment of the international community's strong desire to ban all nuclear tests. It had played an important role by helping to make the prohibition of nuclear testing a universal norm of the international community and had been instrumental in achieving a moratorium on nuclear testing. All States possessing nuclear weapons, including those that had conducted tests after its adoption, had now declared a moratorium.
Thanks to the steady development of the IMS for the detection of clandestine nuclear tests, he pointed out, the possibility of testing undetected by the international community was becoming slimmer every year. As the only country to suffer from a nuclear bomb, Japan had a particularly strong hope for a nuclear test ban. To the Japanese people, the CTBT was a significant cornerstone of nuclear disarmament: it put an end to nuclear testing and was the first step towards the elimination of nuclear weapons from the world. Backed by the strong desire of its people, Japan would continue to make every effort to achieve the Treaty's early entry into force.
SHEN GUOFANG (China) said that international terrorism was a "malignant tumor" in today’s world, directly threatening the security and stability of all countries. His Government opposed all forms of terrorist activities and called for enhanced international cooperation in the fight against it. The CTBT was of great significance to the maintenance of international security. Despite the large number of signatories and ratifications and the various preparations under way to verify the Treaty, there was still a long way to go before the world was free of nuclear arms. It had been five years since the CTBT opened for signature, yet the prospect for its entry into force "does not allow for optimism".
He recalled that the first Conference to facilitate the Treaty’s entry into force had barely concluded when a country explicitly refused to ratify the Treaty. More recently, it had even asserted that it would participate in the work of the Preparatory Commission only selectively. The CTBT was essential to preventing the horizontal and vertical proliferation of nuclear weapons and promoting nuclear disarmament. A negative attitude towards it would seriously adversely affect its entry into force and the international nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament process. His Government’s basic support for the Treaty had not changed. It would honour its commitment to pursue a moratorium on nuclear-test explosions and continue to actively support and participate in preparations.
The Chinese Government had completed its CTBT review and presented the Treaty to the National People’s Congress, he said. He believed that the Congress would "deliberate on the Treaty according to the relevant legal procedures". The Conference under way would exert positive influence on promoting the entry into force and ratification process. His delegation stood ready to fully cooperate with all participants to contribute to the meeting’s success.
GEDIMINAS ŠERKŠNYS (Lithuania) said that he associated himself with the statement made on behalf of the European Union by Belgium. The adoption of the CTBT in 1996 had established an international norm prohibiting all nuclear-test explosions. Ever since, the CTBT had been one of the essential elements in the global disarmament and non-proliferation architecture. Together with the NPT, it contributed to the enhancement of international peace and security.
The events of 11 September had shocked the world and had been a reminder of the need for international cooperation in meeting the challenges of the new century, he continued. All international legal instruments should be used to prevent nuclear materials from ending up in the wrong hands. There was a need for improved import and export controls. The disarmament process needed to be revitalized, and the commencement of negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty would be very helpful in that regard. Bringing the CTBT into force was urgently needed to prevent the erosion of the non-proliferation regime.
Lithuania had been among the first States to sign the CTBT and had ratified the Treaty in 2000, he continued. He welcomed the signature of the Treaty by Yugoslavia and was pleased that all annex 2 States in the Eastern European Group had ratified it. Active dialogue with countries slow to ratify should be encouraged. To facilitate those efforts, all States parties should be able to benefit from the IMS.
His country had approached the Conference with mixed feelings, he said. The amount of progress made by the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO was encouraging, but three of the 44 States whose ratifications were required for the Treaty to enter into force had not even signed. The CTBT was not in force despite 161 signatures and 85 ratifications. The real success of the CTBT depended on its universal application. The Treaty was an historic opportunity to ban all nuclear explosions forever and to add momentum to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. All States -- including nuclear-weapon States -— that have not done so should ratify the Treaty without delay.
* *** *