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Statement by the Secretary-General

On the urgency of the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

The conclusion of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) more than a decade ago was an important milestone in norm-setting and marked a significant achievement in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation. But for too long, it has not been brought into force. The price is high. There is no doubt that the longer the Treaty is delayed, the greater the risks and consequences that nuclear weapons will again be tested.By outlawing all nuclear tests, the CTBT in force would greatly contribute to global efforts to curb the proliferation of nuclear weapons while advancing nuclear disarmament.

The recent nuclear test by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has reminded the international community of the urgency of bringing the Treaty into force without further delay. In this regard, I welcome the fact that Security Council resolution 1874, adopted on 12 June 2009, has called upon the DPRK to join the Treaty as soon as possible.

Let me reiterate my strong appeal that all States that have not yet done so sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty as promptly as possible. I have publicly advocated the importance of the entry into force of the Treaty whenever possible, including in multilateral and bilateral settings. The international community should seize the current moment. I particularly commend the new administration for its pledges to work toward U.S. ratification of the Treaty, which I believe would add greater impetus in this endeavour.

As the Depository of the Treaty, I reaffirm the commitment of the United Nations to continue working together with the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) in facilitating the entry into force of the Treaty, including through the 2009 Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT.

New York, 15 June 2009

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