Project News

State Department Makes Case for CTBT (Again)

Following up on the May 10 address on "The Case for the CTBT" by Under Secretary of State Ellen Tauscher, Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance Rose Gottemoeller spoke on June 9 in Chicago on the importance of the treaty and on June 14 in Vienna to the CTBT Preparatory Commission.

Obama Administration to Begin Effort to Engage Senate on CTBT

In the most detailed and substantive address by a senior Barack Obama administration official to date, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ellen O. Tauscher (to the left) spoke at the Arms  Control Association's May 10 annual meeting on "The Case for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty."

She made it clear that the administration would soon engage with Republican and Democratic Senators on the CTBT and provide updated information on the key technical issues that gave some Senators reason for pause during the 1999 debate on the treaty.

Tauscher explained in detail why prompt U.S. approval is in the United States national security interests. She said:

"... we are in a stronger position to make the case for the CTBT on its merits. To maintain and enhance that momentum, the Obama Administration is preparing to engage the Senate and the public on an education campaign that we expect will lead to ratification of the CTBT."
 
"In our engagement with the Senate, we want to leave aside the politics and explain why the CTBT will enhance our national security. Our case for Treaty ratification consists of three primary arguments:

"One, the United States no longer needs to conduct nuclear explosive tests, plain and simple. Two, a CTBT that has entered into force will obligate other states not to test and provide a disincentive for states to conduct such tests. And three, we now have a greater ability to catch those who cheat."

What Does the Approval of New START Mean for the Prospects of the CTBT?

On December 22, by a margin of 71-26, a bipartisan coalition of senators recognized that U.S. and international security is stronger when the United States takes the lead to reduce the size of world's two largest nuclear arsenals and to limit the ability of other states to improve their nuclear capabilities. The New START vote suggests it is possible for the Obama administration encourage the Senate to reconsider and come together around the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

U.S. and Russia Submit Resolution to UN General Assembly Calling for CTBT Ratification

On Monday, October 15th, the United States and Russia submitted a joint draft resolution to the United Nations General Assembly, which called for the swift entry-into-force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

Marcie B. Ries, a member of the U.S. delegation to the UN General Assembly, told the First Committe of the General Assembly that:

This draft resolution expresses the hope that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty will enter into force at an early date, recalls that both the Russian Federation and the United States have stopped the production of fissile materials for use in nuclear weapons, and supports the early commencement of negotiations for the conclusion of a verifiable treaty to end the production of fissile materials for use in nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices.

AP: Foreign Ministers Urge U.S. to Ratify CTBT

The Associated Press reports on vocal international support for U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

Advocates said approval by the U.S. Senate, in particular, would encourage some of the other eight governments whose ratification is required to bring the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) into force, to outlaw all nuclear test explosions.

"I believe the national security interests of the United States are enhanced by ratification of the CTBT," Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd told reporters after chairing the two-hour meeting to promote the treaty on the 2010-11 General Assembly's opening day.

Ban Ki-moon Asks Governments to "Be Courageous" and Ratify CTBT

At the fifth biennial ministerial meeting in support of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon delivered a passionate statement in support of the CTBT.

Nuclear testing has left a legacy of devastated and uninhabitable landscapes and lasting health and economic effects on local and downwind populations.

More troubling, nuclear testing has still not been consigned to history. Two tests have been conducted in the past five years.

Until we have universal adherence to a legally-binding global norm against nuclear testing, there is no guarantee that nuclear tests will not recur.

Developing new nuclear weapons and modernizing existing weapons are incompatible with our collective non-proliferation and disarmament efforts.

Fifth Biennial Ministerial Meeting in Support of the CTBT Produces Joint Statement

Yesterday, foreign ministers from many different countries assembled at the United Nations to discuss the future of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. They released a Joint Ministeral Statement (PDF) reaffirming their "strong support" for the CTBT.

Here are some of the highlights of the Statement:

The CTBT is Necessary

The entry into force of the Treaty is vital to the broader framework of multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation.

Test ban will help preserve the nonproliferation regime

[T]he CTBT will make an important contribution by constraining the development and qualitative improvements of nuclear weapons and ending the development of advanced new types of nuclear weapons, as well as preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons in all its aspects.

Fifth CTBT Ministerial Meeting to Take Place Sept. 23

On September 23rd, Foreign Ministers from a range of countries will meet at the UN headquarters in New York City to hear a statement from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and to promote the CTBT's eventual entry into force.  According to a CTBTO media advisory:

The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions. Although already signed by 182 countries and ratified by 153, the Treaty can only enter into force once it is signed and ratified by 44 ‘Annex 2’ States. Nine have yet to do so: China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States. In order to raise political momentum for the early entry into force of the CTBT, the Ministers will issue a Joint Ministerial Statement.

Attendees will hear a statement from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, as well as opening remarks from the foreign ministers of Japan and Morocco. For more information about meeting, click here (PDF).