30 January 2008
Colombia Ratifies the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Only Nine More Countries Need to Ratify the Treaty to Take Effect
(Re-issued as received)
Vienna, 30 January (UN Information Service) - Colombia ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) on 29 January 2008. This brings the total number of Treaty ratifications to 144.
"This is an extremely important event", Tibor Tóth, the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), said: "Colombia's ratification creates a tipping point and brings the Treaty one step closer to taking effect. We welcome Colombia's move and expect other ratifications from Annex 2 countries to follow suit."
Colombia belongs to the group of 44 countries listed in Annex 2 of the CTBT whose ratification is required for the Treaty to enter into force. These 44 countries participated in the negotiations of the Treaty in 1996 and possessed nuclear power or research reactors at the time. Thirty-five of these States have now ratified the Treaty, including the three nuclear weapon States France, Russian Federation and the United Kingdom. The nine remaining States are China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States of America.
"All peace loving countries must ratify the CTBT", Ambassador Rosso José Serrano Cadena, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Colombia to the CTBTO, added: "We are sure that this will happen. Also the Latin American and Caribbean region are now close to becoming a complete CTBT continent."
"This is in the spirit of the Tlaltelolco Treaty," Tóth said, referring to the first nuclear-weapon-free zone treaty from 1967, now encompassing all of Latin America and the Caribbean: "In the last six months, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Barbados and now Colombia have ratified the CTBT, making 28 out of 33 countries in the region ratifying States." The five remaining States are Cuba, Dominica, Guatemala, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.
The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions. A verification regime is being built to monitor compliance with the Treaty. 337 facilities world wide will monitor the underground, the oceans and the atmosphere for any sign of a nuclear explosion. Today, over 220 facilities, including the Colombian primary seismic station PS14, have been included in the global alarm system.
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