Sommaire: 24 September 2009, New York - Statement on behalf of the European Union by H. E. Mr Carl Bildt, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, at the Sixth Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, 24-25 September 2009
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA country Iceland member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia associate themselves with this statement.
The European Union would like to congratulate you, Co-Presidents, on your election to the Presidency of the sixth Article XIV Conference, we fully support you and wish you every success in the task with which you have been entrusted. The EU would also like to express its appreciation for the work carried out by Austria and Costa Rica in their previous role as Article XIV coordinators. The EU further wants to express its gratitude to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for convening this Conference. We thank you, Mr. Secretary-General, and all Ministers for being present here today.
The high profile accorded to this meeting is further testament to the universally recognized importance of the CTBT as a pillar of the international security architecture. The Summit of the UN Security Council convened earlier today further highlights the renewed sense of a shared vision in international nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament policy.
The Member States of the European Union and all the countries of the European continent, have demonstrated their commitment to the CTBT by signing and ratifying the Treaty. The participation of many EU Member States at ministerial level at this Conference is an expression of our conviction that the time has come for the world to end all nuclear explosions for good and for the Treaty to - once and for all - enter into force.
Since the last Conference in 2007, six States have ratified the CTBT, including one Annex 2 State, Colombia, and eight more States have signed the Treaty. In total, 181 States have now signed and 150 States have ratified the Treaty. The near-universality of the CTBT, although not yet in force, has resulted in the Treaty establishing a strong global norm against nuclear test explosions. The EU continues to appeal to the States that have not yet signed and ratified the Treaty to do so without further delay and in particular to the nine States listed in Annex 2 to the CTBT whose ratification is necessary for its entry into force.
Pending the entry into force of CTBT, the European Union welcomes the moratorium on nuclear test explosions voluntarily observed also by several States that have not yet ratified the Treaty. The EU further calls on all States to comply with such a moratorium and to refrain from conducting any action contrary to the obligations and provisions of the Treaty.
The nuclear test by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in May 2009 was a grave violation of the international non-proliferation regime. The EU strongly condemns recent actions by the DPRK and urges the DPRK to renounce nuclear weapons and abide by its obligations under Security Council resolutions 1695 (2006), 1718 (2006) and 1874 (2009). The EU calls upon the DPRK to return to the Six-Party-Talks without preconditions.
The universal condemnation of the DPRK's nuclear test is a further affirmation of the international community's strong commitment to the establishment of a legally binding universal prohibition of nuclear test explosions. This commitment was underpinned by the clear and unanimously adopted condemnation by the UN Security Council of every nuclear test conducted after the CTBT's opening for signature. In this sense the EU recognises the intrinsic value of the CTBT in setting a global norm against any kind of nuclear explosion, and enabling the international community to respond immediately to any challenges to this norm.
This sixth Article XIV Conference takes place at a time when the CTBT is gaining significant political momentum, in particular within some Annex 2 States, and the global debate on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament is being reinvigorated. The EU welcomes the announcement by the President of the United States of America to pursue ratification of the Treaty and a final ban for the testing of nuclear weapons. The EU commends Indonesia for its promise to follow suit. The EU also warmly welcomes the recent renewed commitment of China to the ratification of the Treaty. The EU also commends those remaining Annex 2 States that have shown political or financial support to the CTBTO and its verification regime. Furthermore the smooth negotiations on the final declaration of this conference further demonstrated the new determination of States Signatories to work towards an early entry into force of the Treaty.
The EU recognises the role of the CTBT as one of the essential pillars in the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation framework. Its entry into force will significantly strengthen the international security architecture built upon the foundation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). We are confident that the cooperative atmosphere observed at the Third NPT Preparatory Committee Meeting held in May 2009, during which most States issued statements supportive of the CTBT, will continue at the 2010 Review Conference.
The EU is committed to working bilaterally and multilaterally together with all ratifiers to persuade those States that have not yet signed or ratified the Treaty of its essential role in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Our commitment to a multilateral approach as the best way to counter the threat of nuclear weapons was underlined in the European Union's Strategy against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
The EU recognises the fundamental value of the Treaty's verification regime as an instrument for international cooperation and confidence building. In this sense, we believe that early completion and operational readiness of the verification regime will also provide an important incentive for the entry into force of the Treaty. The detection and automatic analysis by the seismic network of the signals triggered by the explosion announced by the DPRK in May 2009 as a nuclear test, further demonstrates important progress in the build-up of the International Monitoring System (IMS) and the need for its continued development.
We welcome the continued efforts of the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) to further develop the Treaty's verification regime which have resulted in significant progress, for example in the radionuclide and noble gas component of the network, where a number of new stations are in place, and continuously delivering data to the International Data Centre (IDC).
The development of a robust on-site inspection regime (OSI) is another essential element in verifying compliance with the Treaty, in deterring potential violators and in clarifying the nature of a suspicious event. The Integrated Field Exercise (IFE) in September 2008 was an important step towards that objective. The exercise showed that, while there is still scope for improvement, the Organisation is in principle able to mount an on-site inspection. The EU supports the plan to conduct another large-scale field exercise in 2013 at the latest, as periodic exercises are necessary to achieve credible and operational OSI capabilities.
The EU remains confident of the verification regime's future ability to provide the international community with an independent, reliable and cost-effective means of verifying, and deterring, any violation of the Treaty's provisions. The effective and credible verifiability of the CTBT has further been recognized by the scientific community. In the framework of the International Scientific Studies (ISS) Conference held in Vienna in June 2009, scientists from institutions worldwide praised the high quality, accuracy and reliability of monitoring data and analyses provided by the CTBTO.
Notwithstanding the primary purpose of the verification system, the EU also supports the continuing development of the civil and scientific benefits of the CTBT verification technologies. The data collected by the monitoring stations can potentially contribute to mitigating natural disasters. It is already being provided to several tsunami warning centres. CTBT verification data and technologies are also of great interest to research on global climate change and for many other applications. Continued interaction with scientific networks will not only result in greater benefits for the international community but will also help to ensure that the Treaty's monitoring technologies remain state-of-the-art.
However, building an effective and efficient verification regime, and thus fulfilling the mandate to prepare for the entry into force of the treaty, will not be possible without the full support, both political and financial, of all States Signatories. We therefore appeal to all States Signatories to meet their financial obligations in full, on time and without conditions. The EU also calls on all States hosting monitoring stations to fully co-operate in installing them and in providing real-time data, so as to ensure operational readiness of the IMS at CTBT's entry into force.
The European Union commends the PTS, ably led by Mr Tibor Tóth, for the progress achieved in fulfilling the mandate of the Preparatory Commission. The European Union also expresses its gratitude to Mr Jaap Ramaker for the excellent work he has preformed in his function as a Special Representative of States having ratified CTBT.
Mr Co-Presidents, Fellow Delegates,
At a time when the CTBT is gaining significant political momentum, the EU hopes that this sixth Conference will send a clear message of our joint determination to realise a world in which no nuclear explosions are permitted. We call on all States present here to work towards advancing the cause of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament by promoting entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and thereby contributing to a safer, more peaceful world for present and future generations.
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process