CTBT Preparatory Commission
Forty-Seventh Session: 7 November 2016
Statement by HE Dr Brendon Hammer, Resident Representative to the CTBTO
Thank you Mr Chair,
As a new Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the CTBT Preparatory Commission representing the Australian Government, I am pleased to take part in the forty-seventh session of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-ban Treaty Organization.
This year is particularly important as we mark the 20th anniversary of the Treaty’s opening for signature. We welcome a number of positive developments since the last session, including: the ratification of the Treaty by Myanmar and Swaziland; further commitments to ratify the Treaty including from Thailand; the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 2310; the UNGA71 First Committee resolution on the CTBT supported by 172 countries; and the successful convening of the biennial “Friends of the CTBT” Ministerial Meeting co-chaired by the Foreign Ministers of Australia and Japan in New York. This year’s Joint Ministerial Statement demonstrated that the international community remains resolutely opposed to nuclear testing. We currently have over 80 countries associating with this statement, and would welcome and encourage additional associations.
The Treaty is an important tool for constraining the proliferation and development of nuclear weapons. It complements and reinforces the disarmament and non-proliferation goals of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and related international efforts. The moratorium on nuclear testing generated over the past 20 years has become a clear and powerful de facto norm. However, without the lasting and legally-binding effect of entry into force of the Treaty, this norm could be undermined. Eight remaining Annex 2 States need to ratify in order for the Treaty to enter into force. We urge these States to sign and ratify the Treaty and appeal to all States to make the utmost efforts to achieve its prompt entry into force.
The DPRK’s ongoing nuclear testing underscores the urgent need for the immediate entry into force of the Treaty. Australia condemns in the strongest terms DPRK’s nuclear tests and notes it is the only country to have conducted nuclear tests this century, including two in 2016.
Australia welcomes the contributions by the signatory States, along with the unstinting efforts of the Provisional Technical Secretariat, to the work of the Preparatory Commission. It is important for the confidence of states in this Treaty to ensure that all aspects of its verification regime are robust and world-class. Australia is pleased by the progress that this organisation has made toward that goal. I look forward to working with you Mr Chairman, with Executive Secretary Zerbo, and with all our colleagues here to advancing the tasks of the Preparatory Commission.
I thank you.