Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO)
Twenty-third Session of the Preparatory Commission
Vienna, 25 November 2004/P/RE/18949c-is
In a briefing for representatives of international NGOs, held this morning at the United Nations Office at Vienna, the Executive Secretary of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission, Ambassador Wolfgang Hoffmann, explained that the Commission has almost succeeded in setting up a network of monitoring stations for verification purposes of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty covering all regions of the globe. He expressed his confidence in the transparency, reliability and scientific objectivity of the data collecting system set up by the CTBTO Preparatory Commission in co-operation with States Signatories of the CTBT.
The Executive Secretary informed the NGO delegates that, as of today, 173 States have signed and 119 States have ratified the Treaty; so far, 33 of the 44 States whose ratification is required for the entry into force of the Treaty, have deposited their instruments of ratification. This state of affairs implies that the work of the Preparatory Commission will have to go on indefintely until such time when all remaining "Annex 2" States will have ratified the Treaty – while the technical arrangements and installations for a global monitoring system allowing the verification of compliance with the obligations under the CTBT are already in place.
Ambassador Hoffmann also informed the delagates on a Joint Ministerial Statement on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty issued by 42 Foreign Ministers at their meeting in New York on 22 September 2004. In Para. 5 of their declaration, the Foreign Ministers stated: "We call upon all States to continue a moratorium on nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions. Voluntary adherence to such a moratorium is of the highest importance, but does not have the same permanent and legally binding effect as the entry into force of the Treaty. We reaffirm our commitment to the Treaty's basic obligations and call on all States to refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purpose of the Treaty pending its entry into froce." The Joint Declaration was signed, among others, by the Foreign Ministers of Japan, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, but not by those of France or the United States.
In the course of the twenty-third session of the Preparatory Commission (15-19 November 2004), the Member States of the CTBTO elected Ambassador Tibor Tóth (Hungary) as new Executive Secretary for the period starting on 1 August 2005.
The NGO briefing session was attended by the International Progress Organization and other members of the NGO Committee on Peace accredited at the United Nations Office at Vienna.
END/Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization/2004-11-25/P/RE/18949c-is