On April 27, the States Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) began their month-long review of the treaty since the 2010 NPT Review Conference.
Over the first few days of the conference, dozens of states and groups of states expressed their strong support for the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and of the full development of the verification regime. Excerpts are available online.
Following the CTBTO's Nov. 3 to Dec. 9, 2014 Integrated Field Exercise (IFE14) in Jordan's Dead Sea region, experts from around the world and across the Middle East gathered in Ramat-Gan, Israel from -16 for the first of two workshops to evaluate the results.
Around 100 experts specializing in nuclear physics, geophysics, seismology, communication, health, safety, and verification-related areas from 30 countries participated.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Erland Idrissov will lead the next Article XIV Conference to take place in New York. Japan and Kazakhstan were unanimously nominated at a meeting of member states to lead the international efforts to implement the CTBT for a period of two years, beginning with the September Article XIV Conference.
Article XIV of the CTBT stipulates that if the CTBT has not entered into force three years after the date of the anniversary of its opening for signature (1996), member states may request to hold a conference every two years to discuss what measures can be undertaken to accelerate the ratification process to facilitate the entry into force of the CTBT. This year's conference will be the ninth Article XIV conference to be held since the first one in 1999.
Japan and Kazakhstan take over the Article XIV Presidency from Hungary and Indonesia, whose foreign ministers chaired the Article XIV Conference in 2013.
On March 20, Angola ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), bringing the total number of states who have ratified the treaty to 164.
Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) Lassina Zerbo remarked of the ratification, “I congratulate Angola on its ratification of the CTBT. It is a powerful message of peace to Africa and to the world. This development is an unequivocal reminder of Angola’s commitment towards creating an Africa free of nuclear weapons, as an essential component of a nuclear-weapons-free world.”
The United States and seven more states listed in Annex II of the treaty must ratify the before the treaty can fully enter into force: China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, and Pakistan.
U.S. officials have repeatedly asserted, most recently at the March 23 and 24 Carnegie Nuclear Policy Conference, that the remaining countries who have yet ratified should not wait for the United States to do so before they submit their own instruments of ratification. The last Annex II state to ratify the CTBT was Indonesia, on Feb. 6, 2012.