Statement by H.E. Mr Erkki Tuomioja, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Friends of the CTBT, United Nations, New York
27 September 2012
Chech against delivery
Ladies and gentlemen
After 15 years, 183 signatures and 157 ratifications the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is still to enter into force. This is why we are here today, for the sixth time in a meeting convened by the “Friends of the CTBT”: to underline the importance of the Treaty and to urge all those States that have not yet ratified it to do it as soon as possible.
However, while recognizing that we cannot be satisfied as long as the Treaty is not in force, we should not be too modest in commending the progress that has been made over the years. The number of signatures and ratifications has increased steadily. We have to continue the work to increase the numbers, as each new ratification is important and represents a step towards universalisation.
Looking back at the 15 years of the Treaty, one of the most important developments has been, in my view, the voluntary nuclear test moratorium. This has de facto become an international norm. I believe this has occurred due to the very existence of the Treaty. In fact, I believe that the moratorium constitutes a phase that makes it easier for certain states to commit to a permanent and legally binding Treaty.
When taking stock of the past years, we should not forget the considerable progress made regarding the verification system. By signing and ratifying the Treaty we have committed ourselves to constructing a verification system that will be fully operational by the time the Treaty enters into force.
Ambassador Tibor Tóth is approaching the end of his second term as Executive Secretary of the CTBTO. As this seems to be the last CTBT Ministerial meeting that he attends in his present capacity, I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere appreciation to him for his role in the progress made during his two terms.