Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

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The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) bans all nuclear explosions in all environments, for military or civilian purposes. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 September 1996 but it has not yet entered into force.[1]



The Treaty was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 September 1996.[2] It opened for signature in New York on 24 September 1996,[2] when it was signed by 71 States, including five of the eight then nuclear-capable states. As of May 2010, 153 states have ratified the CTBT and another 29 states have signed but not yet ratified it.[3]

The treaty will enter into force 180 days after the 44 states listed in Annex 2 of the treaty have ratified it. These "Annex 2 states" are states that participated in the CTBT’s negotiations between 1994 and 1996 and possessed nuclear power reactors or research reactors at that time.[4] As of April 2009, nine Annex 2 states have not ratified the treaty: China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Israel and the United States have signed but not yet ratified the Treaty; India, North Korea and Pakistan have not yet signed it. On 3 May 2010, Indonesia stated it had initiated the CTBT ratification process[5].


(Article I):[6]


Arms control advocates had campaigned for the adoption of a treaty banning all nuclear explosions since the early 1950s, when public concern was aroused as a result of radioactive fall-out from atmospheric nuclear tests and the escalating arms race. Over 50 nuclear explosions were registered between 16 July 1945, when the first nuclear explosive test was conducted by the United States at Alamogordo, New Mexico, and 31 December 1953. Prime Minister Nehru of India voiced the heightened international concern in 1954, when he proposed the elimination of all nuclear test explosions worldwide. However, within the context of the Cold War, skepticism about the capability to verify compliance with a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty posed a major obstacle to any agreement.

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