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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 28, July 1998

Brazilian Ratification of CTBT & NPT

Remarks by UN Secretary-General

'Secretary-General Commends Brazil for its Loyal Support of United Nations, Resolve to Meet Domestic Challenges,' United Nations Press Release SG/SM/6637, 13 July 1998

Editor's note: Secretary-General Annan made his remarks during a speech at the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Brasilia.

"With the rest of the region, you have taken a lead in disarmament. This morning, I was privileged to witness the signing by President Cardoso of the Ratification Instruments for Brazil's adherence to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. I welcome wholeheartedly this development.

But let us not forget that Brazil's commitment to disarmament dates back several decades. Last year we celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of the landmark Tlatelolco Treaty that prohibits the testing, use, manufacture, production or acquisition of nuclear weapons over a vast geographic region that is home to tens of millions of people. Just as significantly, the Treaty has served as a guidepost for the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones in other parts of the world. In the South Pacific, in Southeast Asia, in Africa. Though each of these zones has its own regional characteristics and concerns, their creators drew heavily from the experience and example of the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean. More than 110 United Nations Member States are party to these agreements. With Antarctica included, they form a nuclear-weapon-free mantle over a vast, densely populated area of the southern hemisphere.

Your exemplar has recently taken on renewed and momentous significance. At a time when events in South Asia have resurrected the prospect of the nuclear arms race, Brazil and other major Powers of the region have rightly been held up as beacons of maturity for abstaining from vying for membership of the nuclear club. ..."

Statement by President Clinton

'Statement by the President: Brazilian Ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,' The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 13 July 1998

Full text

"Today, Brazil ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). I want to congratulate President Cardoso and the Government of Brazil for taking this historic step.

Brazil's decision renews momentum for the international effort to halt the spread of nuclear weapons and promote disarmament around the world. At a time when actions by India and Pakistan threaten a nuclear competition in South Asia, Brazil has chosen a different course - to invest in its people, not in a costly arms race.

Brazil's action today to ratify the CTBT makes it all the more important for the US to do the same. I call on our Senate to act expeditiously to approve the CTBT - already signed by 149 nations and supported by the Joint Chiefs of Staff - so that the United States can lead in this vital endeavor."

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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