The Project for the CTBT supports the work of NGOs and experts to build public and policymaker understanding of the CTBT.

U.S. Government Officials Continue CTBT Tour

Senior U.S. government officials have been touring different states to deliver addresses explaining the national security benefits of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty since October, with Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller and Special Representative of the President for Nuclear Nonproliferation Ambassador Adam Scheinman taking the lead.

Scheinman’s keynote address at the "Deterrence & Assurance Academic Conference and Workshop” at the University of Nebraska-Omaha on March 4 was covered in the Omaha World-Herald.

As part of her speaking tour in New Mexico, Gottemoeller was interviewed on Feb. 4 by the Albuquerque Journal on the CTBT.  In that article, New Mexico Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich went on the record in support of the treaty’s ratification.

Below is a compilation of remarks of key remarks released by the Department of State as the Obama administration works to reintroduce the CTBT:

Japan Presses Egypt on the CTBT

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe welcomed Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi for an official visit to Japan from Feb. 29-March 2. According to a joint statement issued Feb. 29, they discussed a range of bilateral and international issues, including nuclear nonproliferation, disarmament and the CTBT. On these issues, the statement says:

NGOs Urge Reinforcing the Norm Against Nuclear Testing

Noting that CTBT entry into force is, unfortunately, still many years away, a number of U.S.-based NGOs are actively pursuing a campaign aimed at UN Security Council members and other “Friends of the CTBT” states to pursue a non-binding UN Security Council resolution and a parallel UN General Assembly measure to reinforce the norm against testing.

On Feb. 11, the Arms Control Association and the Stimson Center co-hosted an event to explain the rationale for such an initiative. At the event (video and transcript of which is available online) they recommend support for a non-binding resolution that:

Japanese Prime Minister and Kazakh President Sign Joint Statement

On Oct. 27, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed and adopted a joint statement in support of the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Japan and Kazakhstan were selected to be the Co-Chairs of the 2015 Article XIV Conference on facilitating the entry into force of the CTBT and to lead the international efforts to implement the CTBT for the following two years.

A PDF of the full statement is available here, in Japanese, English, and Russian.

The press statement by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization is available here.

Group of Eminent Persons (GEM) Meets in Seoul June 25-26

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) reported that the Group of Eminent Persons (GEM) met in Seoul on June 25 and 26 to “rally support for the for the Treaty’s entry into force and to highlight the threat posed by nuclear weapons testing.”

The Group of Eminent Persons was established on September 26, 2013, and its members include current and former foreign ministers, prime ministers, defense ministers, and diplomatic leaders from all over the world. As previously reported by the Project for the CTBT, the GEM met in Stockholm on April 10-11, 2014.

The South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se opened the meeting by discussing how “it is crucial to prioritize the entry into force of the CTBT.” Byung-se also indicated that South Korea would host a “special high-level meeting to mark the 20th anniversary of the CTBT in 2016,” to promote entry into force of the CTBT.

Pakistan Reiterates Pledge to Not Resume Testing

According to a June 3 joint statement by U.S. and Pakistan at the seventh round of the U.S.-Pakistan Security, Strategic Stability, and Nonproliferation (SSS&NP) Working Group, Pakistan reaffirmed it’s support for Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) related resolutions in the United Nations General Assembly, and confirmed the stance that Pakistan will not be the first nation in the region to conduct a nuclear test.

To date, Pakistan has conducted two nuclear tests, on May 28 and May 30, 1998. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif later affirmed that the tests had been carried out in reaction to India’s nuclear tests earlier that month.

NNSA Experiments With New Nuclear Test Detection Tools

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) recently led an experiment designed to improve the United States’ ability to detect underground nuclear explosions using conventional and advanced detection technology. This experiment was the fourth in a series of experiments conducted since 2011.

The experiment tested many detection tools, such as: high-resolution accelerometers, infrasound, seismic, explosive performance, electromagnetic, ground-based LIDAR (light detection and ranging), digital photogrammetry data, and satellite-based interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR).

NPT States Parties Express Support for Entry Into Force

On April 27, the States Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) began their month-long review of the treaty since the 2010 NPT Review Conference.

Over the first few days of the conference, dozens of states and groups of states expressed their strong support for the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and of the full development of the verification regime. Excerpts are available online.

Multinational Workshop in Israel Evaluates IFE14 Results

Following the CTBTO's Nov. 3 to Dec. 9, 2014 Integrated Field Exercise (IFE14) in Jordan's Dead Sea region, experts from around the world and across the Middle East gathered in Ramat-Gan, Israel from April 12-16 for the first of two workshops to evaluate the results.

Around 100 experts specializing in nuclear physics, geophysics, seismology, communication, health, safety, and verification-related areas from 30 countries participated.

Japan and Kazakhstan to Co-Chair Next Article XIV Conference

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Erland Idrissov will lead the next Article XIV Conference to take place September 29, 2015 in New York. Japan and Kazakhstan were unanimously nominated at a meeting of member states to lead the international efforts to implement the CTBT for a period of two years, beginning with the September Article XIV Conference.

Article XIV of the CTBT stipulates that if the CTBT has not entered into force three years after the date of the anniversary of its opening for signature (1996), member states may request to hold a conference every two years to discuss what measures can be undertaken to accelerate the ratification process to facilitate the entry into force of the CTBT. This year's conference will be the ninth Article XIV conference to be held since the first one in 1999.

Japan and Kazakhstan take over the Article XIV Presidency from Hungary and Indonesia, whose foreign ministers chaired the Article XIV Conference in 2013.

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