I.P.O. Information Service


Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty -- IPO supports NGO appeal for ratification by twelve "hold-out" states

Vienna, 5 September 2003//P/RE/18295c-is

In a statement delivered at the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty in Vienna (3-5 September 2003), international non-governmental organizations have called for the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) without further delay. The organizations appealed to the remaining states listed in Annex II to the Treaty to ratify the Treaty as soon as possible so that it can enter into force in conformity with the provisions of Art. XIV.

In the preamble to the statement, the international NGOs emphasize that "the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is an integral part of our global efforts to achieve international security for all, free from the threat of weapons of mass destruction.  All states should recognize that action on the CTBT is all the more important in light of the rising  hostilities across the globe." The NGOs further stress that "a ban on testing is an essential step towards nuclear disarmament because it helps to block dangerous nuclear competition and new nuclear threats from emerging.  However, it must be recognized that technological advances in nuclear weapons research and development mean that a ban on nuclear test explosions by itself cannot prevent qualitative improvements of nuclear arsenals.  Efforts to improve nuclear arsenals and to make nuclear weapons more useable in warfare will jeopardize the test-ban and non-proliferation regimes.  We call on all states possessing nuclear weapons to halt all qualitative improvements in their nuclear armaments, whether or not these improvements require test explosions."

The international NGOs appealed to the states participating in the Conference to exercise all their influence to bring about the prompt ratification of the CTBT by the "hold-out states": "It is the fundamental responsibility of this meeting to send an urgent and strong message to the remaining 12 CTBT hold-out states and urge their prompt signature and ratification without conditions or reservations. States Parties must also endorse the continuation of the current global nuclear test explosion moratorium until such time as the CTBT enters into force. On these points, there is no room for compromise."

  The statement was delivered by Dr. Klaus Renoldner (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War) on behalf of the Forum of Representatives of international NGOs accredited at the United Nations in Vienna.

The International Progress Organization is one of the co-sponsors of the statement. A three-member delegation of the I.P.O., headed by the organization's President,  participated in the CTBT conference in Vienna. Commenting on the results of the conference, the President of the I.P.O., Dr. Hans Koechler, criticized the rather weak Final Declaration which was adopted by consensus. Because of the obstinate resistance of one Middle Eastern State, itself not a State Party to the CTBT, the Declaration makes no reference to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Dr. Koechler recalled the earlier statement of the I.P.O. on the linkage between the NPT and the CTBT (18 March 2002) and emphasized that a comprehensive nuclear test ban is rendered meaningless if that task is not related to the overall task of nuclear non-proliferation.

Full text of the NGO statement of 5 September 2003
NGO delegations at the conference

CTBT Challenges to implementation and verification (I.P.O. news release of 18 March 2002)
North Korea Nuclear Weapons Crisis - Message to World Leaders (14 July 2003)
India/Pakistan/United Nations Nuclear Non-proliferation (I.P.O. news release of 2 June 1998) 
Middle East Peace -- Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (I.P.O. news release of 16 January 1995)

End/Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty -- IPO supports NGO appeal for ratification (5 September 2003)/2003-09-05/18295c-is