Representatives of Austria
and Costa Rica express
optimism about upcoming
conference to promote CTBT
The two Coordinators of the upcoming Conference to promote the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) voiced their optimism about the conference's outcome. Ambassador Ana Teresa Dengo of Costa Rica and Ambassador Thomas Stelzer of Austria shared their expectations towards the
Conference with the media in a press briefing in Vienna today. Mr. Tibor Toth, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, was also present.
Ambassadors Dengo and Stelzer drew particular attention to the fact that the Conference was going to be co-chaired by the Foreign Ministers of their two countries, H. E. Ursula Plassnik, Minister for European and International Affairs of Austria, and H.E. Bruno Stagno Ugarte, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica. They said that the shared presidency would demonstrate the global ownership of the Treaty. 'This is not an issue about North and South, but it's important to the whole world', Ambassador Dengo said.
The Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT is expected to conclude with the adoption of a Final Declaration. This document will reflect on the status of the Treaty and lay out measures on how to enhance the Treaty's early entry into force. 'The Conference is supposed to keep the momentum and to show that there is a strong will to put the Treaty into force', Ambassador Stelzer said at the press briefing.
The Conference will take place on 17 and 18 September 2007 in the former imperial palace Hofburg in Vienna, Austria. Its aim is to promote the CTBT, to call upon States that have not yet done so to sign and/or ratify the Treaty without delay, and to find additional ways to promote the Treaty's entry into force. To date, 177 countries have signed and 140 have ratified the Treaty. Out of the 44 so-called Annex 2 States whose ratification is needed for the Treaty to enter into force, 34 have ratified it.
Banning all nuclear explosions, the CTBT is one of the most important instruments in promoting international peace and security. It is as important as ever in hampering the development, production and proliferation of the most devastating weapons ever made by man.