CTBT Establishes Global Legal Ban on Any Nuclear Weapon Test Explosion

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Assistant Secretary Rose Gottemoeller of Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance today said Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty(CTBT)establishes a global legal ban on any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion.

“Thank you very much for inviting me to speak this morning. It’s good to see so many old friends and colleagues: from the University of Chicago, from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, from Argonne National Lab, and from other eminent institutions – an impressive group! I am pleased to be able to join you.”-Ms. Gottomoeller

Ms. Gottomoeller said she had participated in the conference on the future of nuclear power in 2006. At that time she was at the Carnegie Moscow Center and was very much focused on potential areas of cooperation between the United States and Russia. She added also at that time, she was honored to be on the board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

“Today, as the Assistant Secretary for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance my job remains very much about looking for potential areas of cooperation between the United States and Russia.”-Ms. Gottomoeller

According to Ms. Gottomoeller, one very important area has been the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, New START, which was ratified last year and entered into force in February. She said she was pleased to report that implementation of the Treaty is well underway and going forward in a positive and businesslike manner.

“I would like to focus my remarks on an issue that, while not specifically on your agenda, is critical to all of us because it involves global security: the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty.”-Ms. Gottomoeller

Ms. Gottomoeller stated that she was sure the participants are all familiar with a speech President Obama delivered in Prague in April 2009.

According to Ms. Gottomoller, President spoke about “America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” She highlighted that among the many steps President Obama said the United States would take to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons, was the pursuit of ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty – the CTBT.

“Secretary Clinton reaffirmed this commitment to ratification of the CTBT at both the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT in September of 2009 and at the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty Review Conference in May 2010.”-Ms. Gottomoeller

Ms. Gottomoeller said the United States has not conducted a nuclear explosive test since 1992, in keeping with its moratorium on nuclear testing.

Ms. Gottomoeller said the United States policies and practices are consistent with the central prohibition of the Treaty. She elaborated that without the ratification and entry into force of the Treaty, the international community cannot accrue all its benefits.

“U.S. ratification of the CTBT is in our national security interest. As stated in the April 2010 Nuclear Posture Review: Ratification of the CTBT is central to leading other nuclear weapons states toward a world of diminished reliance on nuclear weapons, reduced nuclear competition, and eventual nuclear disarmament.”-Ms. Gottomoeller

Ms. Gottomoeller underscored that the ratification of the CTBT would be a significant affirmation of the importance the United States attributes to the international nonproliferation regime and, when the Treaty enters into force, to reducing the role of nuclear weapons in international security.

“Establishing a global, legally enforced ban on nuclear weapon tests will make America more secure.”-Ms. Gottomoller

According to Ms. Gottomoeller, the U.S. can maintain a safe and effective nuclear deterrent without conducting explosive nuclear tests, but would-be proliferators could not develop, with confidence, advanced nuclear weapon designs without conducting an explosive nuclear test.

She further added that the CTBT would subject suspected violators to the threat of intrusive on-site inspections and, if warranted, international sanctions.

“In short, much has changed since the U.S. Senate declined to provide its consent to ratification of the CTBT in 1999. At that time the Senate expressed concerns about the verifiability of the Treaty and the continuing safety and reliability of America’s nuclear deterrent without nuclear testing.”-Ms. Gottomoller

Ms. Gottomoeller stated also that the CTBT’s Preparatory Commission has made great progress in the last decade toward establishing the Treaty’s verification regime. She cited that for the United States, the system will augment its highly sophisticated and significantly improved U.S. national technical means for monitoring nuclear explosions anywhere in the world.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.