UN General Assembly Statements and Resolution Supporting CTBT

By Cole Falkner 

On November 26, 2018, the Seventy-Third Session of the UN General Assembly met in New York, where the “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization [CTBTO]” resolution was adopted.  

On the floor of the UN General Assembly, Dr. Lassina Zerbo, executive secretary of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) advocated for the CTBT, mentioned the resolution, and challenged states to invigorate their commitment to the treaty. The adopted resolution renews the international community’s goals of entering the CTBT into force and fostering a world free from nuclear weapons. With the resolution, the international community stresses the importance of cooperation between the UN and the CTBTO to realize these aims.

Dr. Zerbo identified UN efforts to minimize the threats posed by weapons of mass destruction and said, “Multilateral nonproliferation and disarmament instruments, such as the [CTBT] constitute the legal, technical and normative backbone of those efforts.”

Following Zerbo’s remarks, the delegations from Italy, Austria, Iraq, Australia, Spain, Malaysia, Tanzania, and the observer from the Holy See made statements bolstering the CTBT and praising UN-CTBTO cooperation. Furthermore, Zerbo and member states addressed the need for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to ratify the CTBT as part of the denuclearization process on the Korean Peninsula.  

Though the CTBT has yet to enter into force, it boasts near universal support and has been identified by the international community as a pillar in the world’s nonproliferation and disarmament architecture. 

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 26 November 2018: A/Res/73/12 

73/12. Cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization

The General Assembly,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General,

Taking note also of the report of the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization,

Noting with appreciation the establishment of the New York liaison mechanism between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization in June 2017,

Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its seventy-fifth session, under the item entitled “Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations”, the sub-item entitled “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization”.

Further Resources

Transcript of remarks made at the UNGA 73rd session: “United Nations General Assembly Seventy-Third Session: A/73/PV.39 - Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations; Report of the Secretary-General,” United Nations, November 26, 2018.

Assesments of progress on cooperation between the UN and relevant regional organizations: “United Nations General Assembly Security Council: A/73/328–S/2018/592 - Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations,” United Nations, August 17, 2018.