CTBTO Executive Secretary Toth honours
memory of former U.S. disarmament
negotiator Ledogar

Former U.S. chief disarmament negotiator Stephen Ledogar passed away on 3 May 2010 at the age of 80.

Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), paid tribute to Stephen Ledogar, a principal negotiator of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), who passed away on 3 May 2010.  Tóth spoke on the fourth day of the 2010 Review Conference of the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), dedicating his statement to the memory of Stephen Ledogar.

Devoted to arms control and non-proliferation


“I am deeply saddened by the passing away of one of the Treaty’s principal negotiators and dear friend on the very day this Review Conference started.  Ambassador Stephen Ledogar, the U.S. chief negotiator, was deeply devoted to the establishment of the Treaty and to arms control and non-proliferation in general, even in the final months of his life,” Tóth said.

During the CTBT negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1995. From left to right: Michael Weston, British Ambassador to the CD; Wolfgang Hoffmann, German Ambassador to the CD; and Stephen Ledogar, U.S. Ambassador to the CD.

“CTBT should stand on its own”

“In a recent interview with the Organization’s publication Spectrum, which is available to delegations of this Conference, he reflected on the importance of the Treaty for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. It is tragically serendipitous that he said ‘Quite frankly, I don't think that we're going to get to zero nuclear weapons in the world in my lifetime, but I think that people should continue working towards that goal. I think the CTBT should stand on its own and that should be done as soon as possible,’” Tóth quoted Ledogar from his interview.

Stephen Ledogar worked for the U.S. Foreign Service for nearly forty years, from 1959 to 1997.  He served as Head of the U.S. Delegation to the Conference on Disarmament from 1990 to 1997.  He was also the chief negotiator of a number of key arms control treaties including the CTBT. After his retirement he continued to work as a consultant for the U.S. Department of State on national security matters.

Optimistic about CTBT’s future

In the Spectrum interview Ledogar shared his insights on the CTBT negotiations from 1993 to 1996, including on the discussion about a definable threshold for nuclear tests. “I explained that the CTBT, as its name suggests, imposes a comprehensive ban on all nuclear explosions, of any size, in any place,” he said.

In view of the recent political momentum in support of the CTBT, Ledogar gave an optimistic outlook: “With the CTBT now firmly back on the U.S. political agenda, the implications of ratification are greater than ever. Approval by the Senate will act as a catalyst for remaining Annex 2 States such as China and Indonesia to ratify as well as providing the United States with greater leverage over countries of concern.”