In New York, Didier Reynders calls for a ban on nuclear tests

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.

Didier Reynders wants a global and legally binding ban on nuclear tests. He calls upon leaders and civil societies in the eight non participating countries to join the treaty as soon as possible. The entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty would be a significant step towards a world without nuclear weapons.

Furthermore, Minister Reynders insists on the importance of North Korea joining the CTBT. North Korea is the only country that conducted nuclear tests this century. Recent progress in diplomatic talks with North Korea on the nuclear issue is promising and commendable. However, North Korea’s commitments need to be transformed into binding and verifiable international obligations. In that regard, the accession of North Korean to the CTBT would be a crucial step.

Didier Reynders is also pleased with Thailand’s recent ratification and Tuvalu’s signature of the treaty. With those additions, already 184 countries have rallied around a worldwide ban on nuclear tests. This also allows for further expansion of the global monitoring system for nuclear tests, a system also used for detecting nuclear accidents and tsunamis.

 Speech by Minister Reynders (PDF, 54.28 KB)