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UN chief urges rapid entry into force of Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
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09:46, June 16, 2009

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Monday called for the urgency of bringing into force the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) following the recent nuclear test by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

"The nuclear test of the DPRK has reminded the international community of the urgency of bringing the treaty into force without further delay," Ban said in a statement attributed by his spokesperson, adding that he welcomed the June 12 Security Council resolution 1874 which has called upon the DPRK to join the treaty as soon as possible.

Ban said the conclusion of the 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," Ban said in the statement.

"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," he said.

He strongly appealed to the countries that have not yet done so sign and ratify the CTBT as promptly as possible.

"I particularly commended the new administration for its pledges to work toward U.S. ratification of the treaty, which I believe would add greater impetus in this endeavor," Ban said.

The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions in all environments for military or civilian purposes. It was adopted by the UN General Assembly on Sept. 10, 1996 but has not yet entered into force.

As of April 2009, a total of 180 states have signed the CTBT, among which 148 states have ratified.

A verification regime is being built to monitor compliance with the treaty. The 337 facilities under the International Monitoring System (IMS) are monitoring any sign of a nuclear explosion.

As the Depository of the Treaty, Ban reaffirmed the commitment of the United Nations to continue working together with the Preparatory Commission for the CTBT Organization in facilitating the entry into force of the treaty, including through the 2009 Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT.

Source: Xinhua

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