59 Foreign Ministers issue Joint Ministerial Statement in support of CTBT

Foreign Ministers from 59 countries issued a statement on 20 September 2006 calling on all States to make maximum efforts toward the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). This third Joint Ministerial Statement in support of the CTBT comes at the time that the tenth anniversary of the opening for signature of the Treaty on 24 September 1996 is being marked.

In their statement, the Foreign Ministers "affirm that the CTBT will make an important contribution towards preventing the proliferation of materials, technologies and knowledge that can be used for nuclear weapons, one of the most important challenges the world is facing today. Thus, the entry into force of the Treaty, within the broader framework of multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation efforts, is more urgent today than ever before."

Welcoming the Treaty's near universality with 176 signatures and 135 ratifications, the Foreign Ministers call on all States that have not yet signed or ratified the Treaty to do so. This call was particularly addressed to the ten of the 44 States whose ratification is necessary for entry into force of the CTBT but who have not yet ratified the Treaty.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed the launch of the Joint Ministerial Statement and expresses his concern that the Treaty has not yet entered into force. Stating that each additional signature would "bring the world closer to achieving its longstanding goal of outlawing all nuclear tests", he urged those States that had not yet signed or ratified the Treaty to do so.