Conference on Facilitating the
Entry into Force of the CTBT
to be held in September in New York

The United Nations Secretary-General, in his capacity as Depositary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), has issued an invitation for the second Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, to be convened at UN Headquarters in New York from 25 to 27 September 2001.

Under Article XIV, "If this Treaty has not entered into force three years after the date of the anniversary of its opening for signature, the Depositary shall convene a Conference of the States that have already deposited their instruments of ratification upon the request of a majority of those States. This process shall be repeated at subsequent anniversaries of the opening for signature of this Treaty, until its entry into force."

All States, both Signatories and non-signatory are invited to attend the Conference. The conference will also be open to specialized agencies, intergovernmental organizations, and entities that have been granted observer status in the United Nations General Assembly, as well as non-governmental organizations.

The first Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty was held in Vienna, 6-8 October 1999. Its Final Declaration called, inter alia, upon all States that had not yet signed the Treaty, to sign and ratify it as soon as possible and refrain from acts which would defeat its object and purpose in the meanwhile.

The CTBT was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10 September 1996. It prohibits all nuclear explosions in any environment. Since its opening for signature at the United Nations in New York on 24 September 1996, the Treaty had been signed by 160 States and ratified by 74 States, including three nuclear-weapon States. For the CTBT to enter into force, a further 13 of the 44 States listed in Annex 2 to the Treaty need to ratify it.

Since 1997, the Vienna-based Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty Organization (CTBTO Preparatory Commission) has focused on the establishment of a global verification regime, which needs to be operational when the Treaty enters into force. The build-up of the International Monitoring System (IMS) poses an engineering challenge unprecedented in the history of arms control. The global network of 321 monitoring stations supported by 16 radionuclide laboratories will be capable of registering vibrations from possible nuclear explosions underground, in the seas and in the air, as well as detecting radioactive debris released into the atmosphere. Some 100 stations are already transmitting data to the International Data Centre (IDC) in Vienna, via satellite-based global communications infrastructure, where the data are used to detect, locate and characterise events. The data and IDC products are made available to the States Signatories for final analysis.

The upcoming conference in New York is expected to be attended at a high level. It provides an excellent opportunity for States to take all possible steps to ensure the early entry into force of the CTBT and thus contribute to making the world safer and more secure.

CTBT status as at 7 March 2001

Signatures (160 States):

Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Holy See, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Ratifications (74 States):

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guyana, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mali, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Peru, Philippines, 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 Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.

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