2002: First Joint Ministerial Statement

Sustaining momentum

Alexander Downer, Foreign Minister of Australia

Not to lose momentum in a year in which the Article XIV Conference did not take place, Japan, in cooperation with Australia and the Netherlands, took the initiative to organize a “Friends of the CTBT” Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York. Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi emphasized in her opening remarks the need for nations to share a common understanding of the vision of the CTBT and to cooperate on activities promoting the entry into force of the Treaty and building the International Monitoring System.

The meeting was attended by ten foreign ministers; subsequently more than 50 foreign ministers, including those from France, Russia and the United Kingdom, associated themselves with the Joint Ministerial Statement.

“I have heard a lot of excuses, but I have yet to hear a convincing argument against the CTBT." Australia's Foreign Minister, Downer

CTBT central to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation

The Statement identified the CTBT as central to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. It called on all States that had not yet signed and ratified the CTBT – in particular those whose ratification is needed for entry into force – to do so as soon as possible. The Ministers committed themselves to making the Treaty “a focus of attention at the highest political levels.”

The Ministers also stressed that it was vital to maintain momentum in establishing the verification regime. They appealed to all States Signatories to make available the financial resources needed to build and operate the regime as soon as possible, through the full and timely payment of assessed contributions.