More than 20 years ago, the world took a decisive step to ban nuclear tests forever: the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was opened for signature. Today, the world is still waiting for eight States to join the Treaty so it can enter into force. Despite the delay, the CTBT remains an irreplaceable instrument for the international non-proliferation regime. Nuclear tests are considered illegal worldwide and only one country, North Korea, has violated this international standard during the 21st century.
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In the margins of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders participated at the Ministerial Conference on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). This treaty aims at introducing a complete and worldwide ban on nuclear tests. Unfortunately, the treaty could not yet enter into force because a group of eight countries (India, Pakistan, North Korea, Iran, China, Israel, Egypt and the US) has not yet joined it. Belgium currently holds an international mandate to promote the entry into force of the CTBT.
Joint appeal by Mr Didier Reynders, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Belgium, Mr Ibrahim Al-Jafari, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iraq and Dr Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.
At the initiative of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Egmont Institute organize on this Tuesday 22nd of May an international conference on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty (CTBT). The conference, titled 'Towards a world without nuclear tests: fulfilling the promise', takes place in the Egmont Palace in Brussels. It is part of the efforts made by Belgium to facilitate the entry into force of the treaty. This mandate, also known under the name of the “Article XIV Conference”, was given to Belgium and Iraq for the years 2017-2019.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders chaired today the Ministerial Conference on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. This Treaty establishes a comprehensive ban on nuclear testing. It was signed in 1996, but will only enter into force after the accession of a specific category of countries. Eight of them have not yet ratified the treaty: the US, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Iran, China, Israel and Egypt. Every two years, a Ministerial Conference is organised to promote the Treaty’s ratification. This year, Iraq and Belgium were designated Co-Chairs of the Conference.