Login/Logout

*
*  

"I want to thank the Arms Control Association … for being such effective advocates for sensible policies to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and most importantly, reduce the risk of nuclear war."

– Joseph Biden, Jr.
Senator
January 28, 2004
Vienna Conference Final Declaration


On October 8, 1999, 92 ratifers and signatories to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) adopted a Final Declaration to the Conference on Facilitating Entry into Force of the CTBT, held in Vienna from October 6-8. The purpose of the conference was to assess "the extent to which the requirement for the entry into force of the Treaty had been met and to agree on measures consistent with international law to accelerate its ratification." Although the treaty will not enter into force until all 44 nuclear-capable nations ratify it (see factfile), the Final Declaration urged current ratifiers to continue to apply international pressure to these nations to ratify the treaty as soon as possible.

1. Recalling the responsibilities which we assumed by signing the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and pursuant to Article XIV of that Treaty, we the ratifiers, together with the Signatory States, met in Vienna from 6-8 October 1999 to promote its entry into force at the earliest possible date. We welcomed the presence of representatives of non-Signatory States, international organizations and non-governmental organizations.

2. Determined to enhance international peace and security throughout the world, we reaffirmed the importance of a universal and internationally and effectively verifiable comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty. We reiterated 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 and thus a meaningful step in the realization of a systematic process to achieve nuclear disarmament. We therefore renewed our strong determination to work for universal ratification of the Treaty, and its early entry into force as provided for in Article XIV.

3. In accordance with the provisions of Article XIV of the Treaty, we examined the extent to which the requirement set out in paragraph 1 had been met and decided by consensus what measures consistent with international law may be undertaken to accelerate the ratification process in order to facilitate the early entry into force of the Treaty.

4. Since the Treaty was adopted at the United Nations General Assembly and opened for signature three years ago, 154 States have signed and 51 States have deposited their instruments of ratification. Of the 44 States listed in Annex 2 to the Treaty whose ratification is required for the entry into force of the Treaty, 41 have signed, and 26 have both signed and ratified the Treaty. A list of those States is provided in the Appendix. The ratification process has accelerated. We welcomed this as evidence of the determination of States not to carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion, and to prohibit and prevent any such nuclear explosion at any place under their jurisdiction or control.

5. Since the opening for signature of the CTBT, nuclear explosions have been carried out. The countries concerned subsequently declared that they would not conduct further nuclear explosions and indicated their willingness not to delay the entry into force of the Treaty.

6. We noted with satisfaction the report of the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) to the Conference on progress made by the Preparatory Commission and its Provisional Technical Secretariat since November 1996 in fulfilment of the requirement to take all necessary measures to ensure the effective establishment of the future CTBTO.

7. Conscious of the objectives we all share and of the importance of universal adherence to the Treaty, welcoming the ratifications of all the States that have done so, and stressing particularly the steps required to achieve its early entry into force, as provided for in Article XIV of the Treaty, we:

a. Call upon all States that have not yet signed the Treaty to sign and ratify it as soon as possible and refrain from acts which would defeat its object and purpose in the meanwhile;

b. Call upon all States that have signed but not yet ratified the Treaty, in particular those whose ratification is needed for its entry into force, to accelerate their ratification processes with a view to their early successful conclusion;

c. Recall the fact that two States whose ratification is needed for the Treaty's entry into force but which have not yet signed it have expressed their willingness not to delay the entry into force of the Treaty, and call upon them to fulfil these pledges;

d. Note the fact that one State whose ratification is needed for the Treaty's entry into force but which has not yet signed it has not expressed its intention towards the Treaty, and call upon this State to sign and ratify it so as to facilitate the entry into force of the Treaty;

e. Note the ratification by two nuclear weapon States, and call upon the remaining three to accelerate their ratification processes with a view to their early successful conclusion;

f. In pursuit of the early entry into force of the Treaty, undertake ourselves to use all avenues open to us in conformity with international law, to encourage further signature and ratification of the Treaty; and urge all States to sustain the momentum generated by this Conference by continuing to remain seized of the issue at the highest political level;

g. Agree that ratifying States will select one of their number to promote cooperation to facilitate the early entry into force of the Treaty, through informal consultations with all interested countries;

h. Urge all States to share legal and technical information and advice in order to facilitate the processes of signature, ratification and implementation by the States concerned, and upon their request. We encourage the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization and the Secretary-General of the United Nations to support actively these efforts consistent with their respective mandates;

i. Call upon the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization to continue its international cooperation activities demonstrating the benefits of the application of verification technologies for peaceful purposes in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty, thus encouraging signature and ratification of the Treaty by the States concerned;

j. Appeal to all relevant sectors of civil society to raise awareness of and support for the objectives of the Treaty, as well as its early entry into force as provided for in Article XIV of the Treaty.

8. We reaffirm our commitment to the Treaty's basic obligations and our undertaking to refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purpose of the Treaty pending its entry into force.

9. We remain steadfast in our commitment to pursue the efforts to ensure that the Treaty's verification regime shall be capable of meeting the verification requirements of the Treaty at entry into force, in accordance with the provisions of Article IV of the Treaty. We will continue to provide the support required to enable the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization to complete its tasks.

10. The Conference addressed the issue of possible future conferences and took note of the provisions contained in paragraph 3 of Article XIV of the Treaty.