Press Releases

          24 September 2004

    Entry into Force of Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Would Strengthen Security of States, Peoples Everywhere, Secretary-General Says at Launch of Ministerial Statement

    NEW YORK, 23 September (UN Headquarters) -- Following is Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s message on the occasion of the launching of the second Joint Ministerial Statement of support for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, delivered in New York today by Nobuyasu Abe, Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs:

    I welcome the launching of the Joint Ministerial Statement of support for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

    On 10 September 1996, the United Nations General Assembly, with the support of 158 Member States, adopted the CTBT.  The adoption of the Treaty was a moment of great promise -- and a major step by the international community towards the goal of bringing 50 years of nuclear testing to an end.

    However, eight years later, the promise of that moment has yet to be realized. The Treaty still has not entered into force, as a number of States are still to sign and ratify it. The longer its entry into force is delayed, the more likely that nuclear testing will resume.  Were this to happen, it would be a major setback in non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament efforts.  In the era in which we live, we cannot afford such a setback.

    In my capacity as depositary of the Treaty, I therefore appeal once again to all States that have yet to sign or ratify the Treaty to do so without delay, particularly those States whose participation is required for the Treaty to enter into force. I remind them that the Treaty contains far-reaching verification provisions to ensure full compliance with its provisions, including an international monitoring system, on-site inspections on short notice, and confidence-building measures. Its entry into force would strengthen the security of States and peoples everywhere.

    I also thank the ministers who are represented here today for their continued commitment to the goal of a world free of nuclear testing. I encourage you all to continue your efforts to persuade other States of the clear merits of the Treaty. And I join with you in hoping that this event will help generate renewed momentum to help bring the CTBT into force.

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