Wien 17 februari 2012
Carl Bildt, Utrikesminister
Carl Bildts anförande vid CTBTO:s 15-årsjubileum
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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,
State Secretary Wolfgang Waldner,
Ambassador Tibor Tóth,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for inviting me to join you this morning to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Provisional Technical Secretariat of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation.
The CTBT is a key nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation instrument and a very important part of the international security framework.
It has certainly faced challenges since coming into existence in 1996.
At the same time, it has succeeded in creating a strong norm against nuclear testing, and a major barrier for nuclear weapons development. All States Signatories have refrained from nuclear explosive testing.
The international community has been firm in its response to the three countries that have remained outside and have tested.
Hence, it is quite appropriate to commemorate - and to celebrate - this 15th anniversary.
But to close the door on nuclear testing once and for all, and to guarantee this norm, the Treaty must enter into force and move from the political and moral process to legal commitment and obligations.
The hold-out states need to ratify.
Sweden is ready to pursue and support this objective, in its role as one of the Article XIV coordinators together with Mexico.
We will repeat our call for remaining states to sign and to ratify. We will use national and international meetings to promote the CTBT. We will encourage civil society to reinforce these efforts.
And in all of this, we will continue to rely on the excellent work of, and support from, the CTBTO Secretariat, under the leadership of Ambassador Tóth.
Indonesia's recent move to ratify the CTBT - becoming the 157th state to do so - is a most commendable example that should inspire others, in that part of the world and elsewhere.
I would like to once more congratulate the Indonesian government for this decision, which makes the planet safer from the threat of nuclear weapons.
CTBT rests on a strong verification regime, with the International Monitoring System and - once the Treaty enters into force - an on-site inspection facility.
This global monitoring system is one of the most ambitious and most complex multilateral verification regimes ever built - and it will serve as a powerful deterrent. It will comprise 337 monitoring stations all over the world.
Around 85 per cent of this global alarm system is already in place, which is quite imoressive. And remember that at the beginning of the year 2000, not a single certified IMS station or facility existed. Progress has been quite remarkable.
The system did also prove valuable during the Fukushima disaster in Japan, monitoring dispersion of radioactivity and assisting in issuing tsunami warnings.
Another important value of the CTBT is the potential to reinforce other security and arms control measures, such as the initiative for a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.
Establishing such a zone would be neither easy nor possible to achieve in the short term, but could serve as the beginning of a phased process of mutually reinforcing confidence-building measures, that has a significant impact on security in a volatile part of the world.
Ratification of the CTBT by all states in the region could be part of security-enhancing measures that advance the WMD-free zone process.
Similarly, and building on the leadership shown by Indonesia, the South East Asian nuclear weapons free zone could be strengthened by CTBT ratification by remaining states in that region.
Secretary-General, State Secretary, Ambassador Tóth, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our common task remains to see to it that the Treaty takes full legal effect. We have seen 15 years of dedicated and concrete efforts towards making the CTBT a reality.
The importance of the work of the CTBTO is essential and should be commended. But the entry into force of the Treaty is in the hands of states.
The remaining states need to join the great majority that have already taken their responsibility and ratified. We will do our utmost to ensure that these decisive steps are indeed taken, to make the world more safe and secure.