United Nations Secretary-General
issues invitation to 2003 Conference
on Facilitating the Entry into Force
of the Comprehensive Nuclear-
Test-Ban Treaty

PI/2003/23

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, has issued an invitation to all States to attend the 2003 Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. The Conference is called for under Article XIV of the Treaty, for the purpose of examining ways and means to accelerate the Treaty's entry into force. It will take place in the Austria Centre at Vienna, Austria, from 3 to 5 September 2003.

The Secretary-General's invitation letter advises that he, as Depositary of the Treaty, has been requested to convene the Conference by a majority of States which have already deposited their instruments of ratification of the Treaty. The letter also advises that it is the wish of these States that the Conference be attended at a high level. All States, both Signatories and those which have not yet signed, are invited to attend the conference, as are specialized agencies and intergovernmental organizations which have been granted observer status. Non-Governmental Organizations are also invited to attend.

Article XIV of the Treaty states that if the Treaty has not entered into force three years after the date of the anniversary of its opening for signature, a conference may be held upon the request of a majority of ratifying States. Such a conference is held to examine to what extent the requirements for entry into force have been met, and to decide on measures to accelerate the ratification process. Previous Conferences on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Treaty have been held in Vienna in 1999, and in New York in 2001.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty bans all nuclear weapon test explosions in any environment. Drafted at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, and opened for signature on 24 September 1996, the Treaty must be ratified by 44 named States before it can enter into force. The Treaty has been signed by 167 States and ratified by 102. 31 of the 44 named States have so far ratified the Treaty.

Regularly updated information on the 2003 Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is available through the web site of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization at www.ctbto.org

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