31 August 2016, New York – European Union Statement delivered by Mr. Ralf van de Beek, Counsellor, Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, United Nations General Assembly at the Informal Session of the General Assembly to mark the Observance of the International Day against Nuclear Tests
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- I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States. The Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA country Liechtenstein, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.
- In 2016 the international community marks the 20th anniversary of the opening for signature of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. Today, at the special session of the UN General Assembly held on the occasion of the International Day against Nuclear Tests, we recall that the cessation of all nuclear weapon test explosions and all other nuclear explosions, by constraining the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons and ending the development of advanced new types of nuclear weapons, constitutes an effective measure of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation in all its aspects.
- The 20th anniversary of the opening of the Treaty for signature reminds us of the significant progress achieved during previous years towards entry into force and universalisation of the CTBT, and of the establishment of an effective and non-discriminatory verification regime capable of detecting all nuclear explosive tests. We welcome the latest ratifications of the CTBT. The fact that the Treaty is not yet in force is, however, deeply disturbing, and this situation must be rectified to preserve the credibility of this international instrument. We urge all States which have yet to sign or ratify the CTBT, in particular the eight remaining Annex 2 States, to do so without further delay. Pending the entry into force of the CTBT, we call on all States to refrain from conducting any action contrary to the object and purpose of the Treaty. We continue to stress that greater efforts are needed in order to significantly move ahead towards the entry into force of the CTBT, and urge all States Signatories to build all their stations and transmit their data. In this context, we look forward to the upcoming informal Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of the CTBT to be held in September in the margins of the high-level segment of the UN General Assembly, and encourage and anticipate progress on signatures, ratifications and entry into force of the Treaty.
- Nuclear weapons test explosions represent a threat to international peace and security and undermine the non-proliferation regime. The fourth nuclear explosive test conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in January 2016 was in blatant violation of its international obligations and commitments and, as such it was rightfully condemned and addressed by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2270. The DPRK is the only state to have conducted nuclear explosive tests in the 21st This renewed provocation, as well as the statements by the DPRK that it would conduct more nuclear explosive tests in the near future, urge us all to multiply our efforts towards the entry into force and the universalisation of the CTBT. In line with UNSC Resolution 1887, calling upon all states to refrain from conducting a nuclear test explosion and to sign and ratify the CTBT, we call again on the DPRK to refrain from further nuclear explosive test and provocative actions, and to sign and ratify the CTBT without delay. We note that the International Monitoring System (IMS) and the International Data Centre (IDC) are essential tools in ensuring the credibility and effectiveness of the verification regime, as it was the case in 2006, 2009 and 2013.
- The CTBT is fundamentally important to the EU and its Member States. All EU Member States have signed and ratified the Treaty. We support the CTBT both politically and financially.
- In 2016, in the context of the 20th anniversary, we have intensified our efforts to promote the entry into force of this Treaty by adopting and implementing an EU Action Plan in support of the CTBT. We will continue to provide strong political and financial support for the Treaty. Our active engagement to support the entry into force of the Treaty and the activities of its Organisation was clearly expressed by the EU High Representative on 13 June at the CTBT Ministerial Meeting held on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Treaty. We congratulate the CTBTO Executive Secretary, the Chair of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission and the Coordinators of the Article XIV process, and all organisers and participants for the successful outcome of this important event.
- Our political support to the Treaty also includes multiple demarches to encourage adherence to the Treaty. Regular financial contributions of our Member States to the Organisation amount to roughly 40% of its total annual budget. In addition to these, since 2006, we have provided the Organisation with more than 18 million euros in voluntary contributions which places us among the most significant financial contributors to the CTBTO.
- The International Day against Nuclear Tests highlights the urgency of entry into force of this Treaty, not only as a political imperative but also as a concrete contribution to further strengthening international peace and security.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
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