Mexican Foreign Minister, Affirming Support for CTBTO, Calls for World Free of Nuclear Weapons

"As true believers in a world free of nuclear weapons, we support the work of the Preparatory Commission because it ensures peace on this earth and a future for our children," Mexico´s Foreign Minister declared here this morning.

Rosario Green Macias, in a meeting with the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), said "All our achievements count for nothing unless we create structures for lasting peace." Ms. Green was visiting the Vienna International Centre where the Commission has been working since March 1997 to put in place a global treaty verification regime.

Mexico is hosting five of the 321 stations of the international network of monitoring facilities that the Preparatory Commission is establishing or upgrading to verify adherence to the Treaty. Surveys have been completed for all five stations to determine the suitability of the sites designated in the Treaty and the equipment the stations need to meet the stringent criteria of the verification regime. Two of the auxiliary seismological stations require only minor upgrading to meet the Commission´s specifications and the third auxiliary station has to be relocated and newly built. The radionuclide station is due to be installed later this year and the hydroacoustic station is scheduled for installation next year.

Mexico was one of the first States to sign the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which it ratified on 5 October 1999, and has contributed much to its success. Currently, the Mexican Ambassador, Olga Pellicer, is the Chairperson of the Preparatory Commission.

Under the CTBT, the network of monitoring stations - known as the International Monitoring System (IMS) - will record data using four technologies. The stations will be capable of registering vibrations from a possible nuclear explosion underground, in the seas and in the air, as well as detecting radioactive debris released into the atmosphere. The stations will transmit the data via satellite to the International Data Centre (IDC) within the Preparatory Commission in Vienna, where the data will be used to detect, locate and characterize events. The IMS data and IDC products will be made available to the signatory States for final analysis.

The 59 States that have ratified the Treaty are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Lesotho, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Uzbekistan. To enter into force the Treaty has to be ratified by 44 States named under Article XIV that formally participated in the work of the 1996 Conference on Disarmament and that possess nuclear power or research reactors.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty bans any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion anywhere in the world. Drafted in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and adopted by the General Assembly on 10 September 1996, the Treaty was opened for signature on 24 September 1996 at the United Nations in New York.

For further information on the CTBTO, please see www.ctbto.org or contact:
Annika Thunborg, Chief, Public Information  
T    +43 1 26030-6375  
E    annika.thunborgping@ctbtopong.org
M    +43 699 1459 6375       
I    www.ctbto.org