Just Eight States Block Comprehensive Ban on Nuclear Tests

Sheikh Hasina Wajed - Prime Minister of Bangladesh with President Yudhoyono of Indonesia at the Bali Democracy Forum on Wednesday 7th December (Image: Haryanto)

With the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty by Indonesia, there remain just eight more states needed to ratify the treaty before it can enter into force.

The so-called Annex-2 states, blocking the operation of the CTBT are: China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, and the United States. 182 states have signed the treaty to date, but only 156 have ratified it.

Tibor Tóth, head of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) welcomed the move:

“My message is clear: Do not wait for others to move first. Take the initiative. Lead. The time for waiting has passed,” he stated. “We must make the most of existing – and potentially short-lived – opportunities.”

Carl Bildt, the Swedish Foreign Minister called the development “good news” saying:

“The importance of Indonesia’s decision to ratify the CTBT cannot be overstated. This is a golden opportunity for action by the remaining eight countries that have yet to endorse the CTBT before it can take legal effect.”

Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, warmly welcomed the move. Indonesia has recently played host to President Obama and received $600 million from the USA to support sustainable development projects.

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