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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 55, March 2001

Preparations Underway for CTBT Entry-into-Force Conference

On March 12, the United Nations Department of Disarmament Affairs (DDA) announced details of preparations for a 'Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty', scheduled for September 25-27 this year at UN Headquarters in New York. The CTBT will enter into force following its ratification by 44 nuclear-capable states, listed in Annex 2 of the Treaty. By mid-March, 41 of these states had signed the treaty - the exceptions being India, Pakistan, and North Korea - and 31 - including three nuclear-weapon states, France, Russia, and the UK - had ratified. The DDA statement noted:

"The Conference is being convened by the Secretary-General, in his capacity as Depositary of the Treaty, following a request made by a majority of states that have ratified the CTBT. Accordingly, the Secretary-General has circulated communications inviting the states that have ratified and the states that have signed the Treaty to participate in the Conference. He has also invited the states that have not yet signed the Treaty to attend the Conference. Attendance at the Conference is expected to be at a high level. The Conference will also be open for attendance of specialised agencies, related organisations, intergovernmental organisations and entities that have been granted observer status in the United Nations General Assembly, as well as non-governmental organizations. The purpose of the Conference is to examine the extent to which the requirement for entry into force set out in article XIV, paragraph 1, of the CTBT has been met and to consider and decide by consensus what measures may be undertaken to accelerate the ratification process... The first conference was convened from 6 to 8 October 1999 in Vienna...[and] resulted in the adoption of a final declaration. The forthcoming Conference is convened pursuant to article XIV, paragraph 3, of the Treaty, which stipulates that unless otherwise decided by the first or subsequent conferences, the process [of holding entry-into-force meetings]...shall be repeated at subsequent anniversaries of the opening for signature of the Treaty, until its entry into force."

Report: Conference on facilitating entry into force of Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty at Headquarters, 25-27 September, United Nations Press Release DC/2754, March 12.

© 2001 The Acronym Institute.