Entry into Force of Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Brought Closer by Indonesia’s Ratification - CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor TóthBy Ctbto, PRNE
Monday, December 5, 2011
VIENNA, December 6, 2011 -
Tibor Tóth, head of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), today congratulated Indonesia’s parliamentarians for bringing the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) “a significant step closer to becoming global law.”
“I welcome today’s outcome of the vote in the Indonesian Parliament to ratify the Treaty,” Tóth said. “By this historic decision, the gap keeping the Treaty from entering into force has been narrowed down to eight countries.”
The decision is “about game-changing efforts on our part to try to create new momentum so that the other countries in a similar position to Indonesia can also follow suit in beginning their ratification process,” Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said in September 2011. “We believe that [the] CTBT is one of the main instruments for nuclear disarmament.”
“Countries must encourage one another to do the right thing. And on nuclear disarmament we are truly at a crucial junction right now in creating new momentum and new possibilities for a world free of nuclear weapons,” he said.
“Indonesia will use its good relations to promote the Treaty in Asia and the Middle East and beyond and at the highest political level,” Hemly Fauzy, the Indonesian Parliament’s coordinator for the CTBT ratification process said during a recent visit by an Indonesian parliamentary delegation to the CTBTO headquarters in Vienna.
“We want our country to be at the vanguard of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation,” said Fauzy. “We intend to extend our involvement in the CTBT beyond the Treaty’s ratification.” Support for the Treaty in the Indonesian Parliament was unanimous across its nine parties, he said.
Indonesia’s endorsement of the Treaty will receive official recognition when it is presented to the United Nations. One hundred and eighty-two countries have signed the Treaty, of which 156 have also ratified it.
The CTBT’s stringent entry-into-force provision proscribes that all 44 designated nuclear technology holder countries must sign and ratify the Treaty in order to bring it into law. With Indonesia’s ratification, 36 have now done so. The remaining ones are China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States.
Indonesian support for the CTBT global alarm system
Indonesia currently chairs the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), whose 10 Member States have also concluded the Bangkok Treaty establishing the most comprehensive nuclear-weapon-free zone on Earth. The CTBT has been signed by all ASEAN Member States. Three - Brunei, Myanmar, and Thailand - have still to ratify as do Indonesia’s neighbours Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Timor Leste.
Indonesia also hosts six seismic stations which are part of the CTBT’s global alarm system monitoring the planet for any evidence of nuclear explosions. Seismic data from the network of facilities are also playing a growing role in providing warnings about tsunamis and can be used for other civil and scientific applications. After the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in Japan in March 2011, CTBT radionuclide monitors tracked fallout around the planet.
Background on the CTBT and its verification regime
The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions. To verify compliance, the CTBTO, the organization tasked with bringing it into force, is building a global verification regime. When complete there will be 337 facilities monitoring the planet, underground, the oceans and the atmosphere for any sign of a nuclear explosion. To date, 85 percent of the monitoring facilities send data to the CTBTO’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria, where they are processed and analyzed and then transmitted to the 182 Member States. On-site inspections to collect information on the ground in the case of a suspected nuclear explosion will complement the verification regime once the Treaty enters into force.
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