The Republic of the Congo ratifies the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
Vienna, 4 September 2014
The Republic of the Congo has become the 163rd State to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). The total number of State Signatories to the Treaty stands at 183.
“I congratulate Congo on its ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. This is a positive step forward for the Treaty, for Africa and for the vision of a nuclear-weapon-free world,” said Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).
Congo signed the CTBT on 11 February 1997, shortly after the Treaty opened for signature. It has also signed the Treaty of Pelindaba, which effectively makes Africa a zone free of nuclear weapons. The country has regularly shown its support for the CTBT by voting in favour of resolutions in the United Nations General Assembly and hosting a regional CTBTO workshop in 2010.
Congo is the third African country to have ratified since February 2013. In Africa, only three countries have yet to sign the CTBT – Mauritius, Somalia and South Sudan - whereas eight countries have yet to ratify: Angola, the Union of the Comoros, The Gambia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
Among these, Egypt’s ratification is mandatory for the Treaty to enter into force. Egypt is one of the remaining nuclear technology capable countries (listed in Annex 2) whose ratification is required for the CTBT to enter into force. Seven other Annex 2 States have yet to ratify the Treaty, namely China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States. Click here for an interactive map of the Treaty’s status.
The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions everywhere, by everyone. The CTBTO is building an International Monitoring System (IMS) to make sure that no nuclear explosion goes undetected. By the time the Treaty enters into force, 337 facilities will monitor the oceans, underground and the atmosphere for any sign of a nuclear explosion. To date, nearly 300 facilities in 85 countries have already been established, including 34 in 22 African countries and a further three planned for the continent. The data registered by the IMS can also be used for disaster mitigation such as earthquake monitoring, tsunami warning, and the tracking of the levels and dispersal of radioactivity from nuclear accidents.
French version here