India, 8 Other Countries Asked To Ratify CTBT
A conference on disarmament on Thursday pressed nine countries, including India, which have not yet signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) to ratify the agreement to ensure that it can come into force.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who co-chaired today's session, appealed to the nine states which have yet to ratify the pact to do so, so that the treaty can come into force.
"With their ratification, they will send a message of hope by strengthening the international non-proliferation regime and collective security," he said.
In a statement, the 150 countries which have ratified the CTBT said they reaffirm that the ultimate objective of the efforts of states in the disarmament process is general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.
"We call upon all states which have not yet done so, to sign and ratify the Treaty without delay, in particular, those States whose ratification is needed for entry into force," the statement said.
North Korea, India and Pakistan have not signed the treaty, which bans any nuclear blasts for military or civilian purposes, while six countries -- the United States, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, China and Egypt have signed but not ratified the pact.
Speaking at the conference, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the CTBT is an integral part of US' non-proliferation and arms control agenda.
"We will work in the months ahead both to seek the advice and consent of the United States Senate to ratify the treaty, and to secure ratification by others so that the treaty can enter into force," she said.
A test ban treaty that has entered into force will permit the United States and others to challenge states engaged in suspicious testing activities including the option of calling on-site inspections to be sure that no testing occurs on land, underground, underwater, or in space, Clinton said.
"CTBT ratification would also encourage the international community to move forward with other essential nonproliferation steps," she said.
UN chief Ban ki-Moon said there is a new momentum for a world free of nuclear weapons. "There is a new drive for peace. The momentum is rare, and we must seize this momentum. This is what we did," he said. PTI