The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is a fundamental component of the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime globally.

Almost 20 years after the CTBT was opened for signature and ratification, eight of the 44 Annex 2 states have still to ratify the Treaty. 

Their ratification is required for the treaty to enter into force. 

Regrettably, it has been over three years since the last ratification by an Annex 2 state – Indonesia on 2 February 2012.

Australia urges the eight remaining Annex 2 states to show the necessary leadership and ratify the Treaty in order to enhance the security of all states and to take us closer to the goal of a world without nuclear weapons. 

Australia commends Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Niue for ratifying the Treaty in the time since we last met in 2013.

The declarations by some states, yet to sign and ratify the CTBT of a moratorium on nuclear testing, help to strengthen the norm against testing. 

However, the international community’s goal remains a permanent and legally binding commitment to end nuclear test explosions for all time through the CTBT’s entry into force. 

North Korea’s provocative actions demonstrate the urgency of this task.

Australia strongly deplores the nuclear tests conducted by North Korea. 

We urge North Korea to refrain from conducting further nuclear tests, as required by the Security Council resolutions, and to renounce its policy of building its nuclear forces, which undermines the global non-proliferation regime.

Australia is deeply concerned by North Korea’s latest statement [15 September] that the uranium enrichment plant and a light water reactor at Yongbyon are fully operational. 

A further North Korean nuclear test would be in clear breach of unanimously agreed United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

Australia supports the Security Council’s strong response to the threat posed by North Korea. 

We co-sponsored Resolution 2098 following the DPRK’s third nuclear test in 2013.

All States should fully implement and enforce Security Council sanctions.

They are binding on us all. 

They are effective but only if we all play our part.

We must prevent North Korea from accessing what it needs to continue threatening the world with its nuclear activities.

Australia, with its partners, will work for the strongest possible response to North Korea's continuing defiance of the will of international community.

Colleagues

The CTBT’s International Monitoring System (IMS) has developed significantly over the past decade. 

Having more than 300 monitoring facilities in the International Monitoring System is a great achievement. 

We must maintain the momentum of this important work. 

We also welcome steps by the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization to strengthen the on-site inspection element of the Treaty’s verification regime.

Australia will continue to provide strong support to the Organization, by hosting the third largest number of monitoring stations, and by contributing expertise to further enhance on-site inspections.

Australia is pleased to have been a consistently strong proponent for the CTBT and for timely development of the infrastructure needed to give it force. 

We have played a leadership role in the “Friends of the CTBT” that delivers high-level advocacy. 

We continue to seek innovative ways to make progress towards the shared goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.

Australia and the other 11 members of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative have advocated strongly for CTBT Entry-Into-Force.

By adopting today’s strong and unanimous declaration on the entry into force of the treaty, we have communicated our renewed commitment to achieving an effective ban to end nuclear test explosions.

Now we must follow through on our words. 

We, the ratifiers, must redouble our efforts to convince, and where necessary assist, all countries which have not yet done so, to ratify the CTBT. 

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