Nuclear-free world is possible, test-ban treaty chief says |
The journalists were asked by Robert Floyd, Executive Secretary of the watchdog body the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty) (CTBT), opened for signature 25 years ago but has not yet entered into force as it requires ratification by several important, nuclear-capable states.
“Once effective, the CTBT will act as essential element of a world without nuclear weapons. To achieve this world we all aspire, an effective universal and verifiable ban on nuclear testing is a fundamental necessity“I said.
The world is at risk
Mr. Floyd is speaking amid the latest nonproliferation conference, which begins this week at United Nations Headquarters after two years of pandemic-related delays.
Countries are reviewing the progress of 50 years old implementation Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
Opening on Monday, UN Secretary General António Guterres warn that the world has “Only one misunderstanding, one miscalculation, will avoid nuclear annihilation”.
“Until we fully comply with the CTBT, nuclear testing and nuclear proliferation will continue to pose an unacceptable risk to humanity,” Mr. Floyd said.
Skip the test
Mr. Floyd said the CTBT complements the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and it has made a difference in the world.
“We went from more than 2,000 nuclear tests conducted between 1945 and 1996, with less than 12 tests since the treaty entered into force,” he said. “Only one country has tested this millennium.”
The treaty also received near-universal support. To date, 186 countries have signed the CTBT and 174 countries have ratified it, four in the last six months alone.
Entry into force, however, requires the treaty to be signed and ratified by 44 countries possessing specific nuclear technology, eight of which have not yet ratified: China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel , Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Pakistan and the United States.
When asked about these countries, Mr. Floyd replied that “they have their own strategic calculations and goals and geopolitical considerations about whether they feel free to move forward.” time added that they all support CTBT and its goals.
Help the countries
Mr. Floyd also reported on the activities of the organization that promotes the treaty, which he heads.
CTBTO, as it is known, has built a state-of-the-art verification system to detect nuclear explosions, with 24/7 monitoring capabilities.
Staff also trains inspectors from Member States so that they are ready to conduct on-site verifications when the treaty comes into force. Furthermore, countries use CTBTO data for civil and scientific applications, such as tsunami warning systems and other university studies.
Mr. Floyd said: “Even before it took effect, CTBT has helped save many lives in countries around the world. “Even countries that have not yet ratified the treaty benefit from this global cooperation and technological expertise.”