In 2009, the Arms Control Association launched this project to help disseminate information, ideas, and analysis about the “longest-sought, hardest-fought prize” in arms control—the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)—and the steps to bring it into force.
Since then, we’ve seen progress in many areas, including: ratification of the treaty by key states; preparations by key states, including the United States, to bring the treaty to a vote on ratification; and continued progress by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) to monitor and verify compliance.
At the same time, there have been setbacks and disappointments. North Korea continues to learn more about weapons design through nuclear explosive testing; progress toward ratification remains stalled in Washington, Beijing, and in the capitals of the other hold-out states; and tensions between nuclear-armed states are rising as they modernize or build-up their arsenals.
As the 20th anniversary of the treaty’s opening for signature approaches later this year (Sept. 24), it is clear that the taboo against nuclear testing cannot be taken for granted and that a more energetic approach to CTBT entry into force is warranted.
With this in mind, the Arms Control Association, the Project for the CTBT, and our civil society project partners will join with the CTBTO in Vienna and the governmental friends of the CTBT to redouble efforts to help accelerate its entry into force. We invite you to be a part of the effort, stay in touch, and spread the word.
You can sign-up for further updates to our e-newsletter by emailing [email protected], check out the www.projectforthectbt.org website, or follow the project on Twitter @CTBTNow, and share with your social networks and colleagues.
—DARYL G. KIMBALL, executive director, and SHERVIN TAHERAN, program associate, Arms Control Association
CTBTO Symposium: Science & Diplomacy for Peace & Security
On Jan. 25, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization will launch a year of special events marking the 20th anniversary of the CTBT with a major symposium in Vienna on "Science and Diplomacy for Peace and Security: The CTBT @ 20." The event will run from Jan. 25 to Feb. 4
You may still register for the symposium to either attend in person or watch the live-stream online.
Recent Analysis and Commentary on the CTBT
"North Korea and Nuclear Testing," Daryl G. Kimball, Arms Control Today, January/February 2016.
"Responding to North Korea's Nuclear Test," Michael Krepon, Arms Control Wonk, January 7, 2016.
"Want a World Without the Threat of Nuclear Weapons? We Must Ban Nuclear Testing," Erlan Idrissov, International Business Times, December 15, 2015.
"An End to Mushroom Clouds Forever," Lassina Zerbo, OZY, October 3, 2015.
"Rekindling the Disarmament Momentum," Happymon Jacob, The Hindu, September 21, 2015.
"Statement From Secretary Moniz on the Occasion of the 2015 Conference on Facilitating Entry Into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty," Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, U.S. Department of Energy, September 29, 2015.
January 24 - February 4: CTBTO Symposium: Science and Diplomacy for Peace and Security. Register here.
April 10-11: G-7 Foreign Ministers Meeting, Hiroshima.
May 26-27: G-7 Summit, Mie prefecture, Japan.
June 13-15: Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO Meets, Vienna.
August 5: Genbaku No Hi (Atomic Bomb Awareness Day Event), Vienna.
August 29: International Day Against Nuclear Tests and the 25th anniversary of the closure of the Soviet Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in Kazakhstan.
September 10: 20th anniversary of the special session of the UN General Assembly that overwhelmingly approved the 1996 CTBT by a margin of 158 to 3, with five abstentions, opening the way for signature and ratification.
September 13: A joint briefing by the Arms Control Association and the Stimson Center looking at initiatives towards strengthening the CTBT. Time: 2:30 - 4:00 p.m. at the Stimson Center, Washington.
September 20: UN General Assembly general debate begins. President Obama is expected to speak, New York.
September 22: NNSA exhibit on CTBT monitoring and verification technologies, Capitol Hill (tentative).
September 24: 20th anniversary of the opening for signature of the CTBT.
September 26: High-level plenary meeting convened by the President of the General Assembly to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, United Nations, New York.
October 5: 25th anniversary of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev’s announcement of a unilateral, one-year moratorium on nuclear testing and invitation to the United States to join.
October 11-12: 30th anniversary of the Reykjavik Summit between U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Secretary General Mikhail Gorbachev.
October 29: 25th anniversary of the introduction of the “Nuclear Test Moratorium Act” by a bipartisan congressional coalition to impose a one-year U.S. testing moratorium. It would later be modified, adopted, and signed into law in 1992.
October 30: In 1961, the Soviet Union conducted the largest nuclear test—a 58 megaton atmospheric blast code-named Tsar Bomba.
November 7-6: Meeting of the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO, Vienna.