CTBTO commended for swift reaction
to announced DPRK nuclear test

This year’s first regular meeting of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the decision-making organ of the Organization’s 180 Member States,  took place in the light of the nuclear test announced by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) some two weeks earlier on 25 May 2009. The meeting was chaired by Ambassador Peter Shannon of Australia.

Emphatic calls for early entry into force

CTBTO Member States unanimously reiterated their strong condemnation of the DPRK’s action. Delegations stated that this reconfirmed the urgency of the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). The Treaty can enter into force only after all 44 States listed in Annex 2 of the Treaty have ratified, of which nine have yet to do so: China, DPRK, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States.

“U.S. President Barack Obama remains dedicated to achieving U.S. ratification of the CTBT by the U.S. Senate. We urge other Annex-2 States in joining us in signing and ratifying the CTBT”United States Ambassador Gregory Schulte

Ratifications by Malawi and Lebanon welcomed

Recent ratifications by Lebanon and Malawi were welcomed and the need for all States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Treaty without delay was emphasized.

“The 6th Article XIV conference (AFC) [Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT in September 2009] will come at a very important moment. Therefore the EU, in a Council State- ment of 27 April, appealed to the CTBT ratifiers and signatories to participate at the AFC at ministerial level or higher.”Statement by the Czech Republic on behalf of the European Union

CTBTO commended for swift reaction to announced DPRK nuclear test

Member States expressed their satisfaction at the CTBTO’s rapid reaction to the recent DPRK event. The CTBTO had distributed precise seismic data to Member States hours before the event was officially announced and presented its initial findings to Member States through technical briefings conducted on the day of the event and after.

“The DPRK nuclear test deals a serious blow to international efforts towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. It undermines the norm established by the CTBT.” Statement by Russian Ambassador Alexander Zmeyevskiy

Verification regime found to have reconfirmed its effectiveness

Member States commended the CTBTO for the functioning of its verification regime, which had reliably detected seismic waves from the event, as was also the case for the 2006 DPRK nuclear test.  As a result of the build-up of the International Monitoring System (IMS) stations since 2006, almost three times as many seismic stations registered the event this time.

“Further progress has been made towards bringing the CTBT to its much-desired universal status, with the ratification by Lebanon and Malawi, thus elevating the number of ratifying States to 148, within a total number of 180 States Signatories.”Statement of the G-77 and China

Budget

The meeting discussed the 2010 budget proposal and ways to use late payments in a more efficient way for the build-up of the verification regime. Ambassador Shannon stressed the importance of countries meeting their financial obligations on time and in full for the CTBTO to carry out its mandate effectively. It was positively noted that 15 States Signatories had paid their arrears partially or in full. In particular, Member States commended Georgia for signing an individual payment plan and decided to restore the country’s voting rights.