The United Nations has called for the entry into force of a multilateral treaty that bans all nuclear explosions, for both civilian and military purposes, in all environments.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that a prohibition on all nuclear testing will boost momentum for other disarmament measures and build confidence for other regional security measures, including a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction.
Ban also noted that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).
To date, 183 countries have signed the treaty and 164 have ratified CTBT. For the treaty to enter into force, ratification is required from the so-called Annex 2 States. Of these, China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States, have yet to ratify it.
“Those States whose ratification is required to bring the treaty into force should not wait for others. Even one ratification can act as a circuit breaker,” Ban said.
Ban said the success in preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction offers some comfort but he also pointed out that the challenges to the disarmament and non-proliferation architecture are growing. He noted that technological advances have made means of production and methods of delivery of these weapons easier and more accessible.
“Vicious non-State actors that target civilians for carnage are actively seeking chemical, biological and nuclear weapons,” he stressed.