On August 29th, International Day Against Nuclear Tests, the Vice-Prime minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders pleads for a definitive end to all nuclear tests. To this end, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) must enter into force.
Over the past two years, the Belgian diplomacy remained engaged in the so-called Article XIV process in Vienna. The 1996 treaty can only enter into force after the ratification by 8 remaining countries, namely the USA, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Iran, China, Israel and Egypt.
Only then, an international ban on all nuclear tests under the control of an international organization will apply. Minister Reynders urges those countries to take on the necessary steps towards ratification. Without this treaty, a risk remains to see new and ever more powerful nuclear weapons being developed. Only a world without nuclear tests can eventually lead to a world without nuclear weapons.
North Korea is the only country to have carried out nuclear tests in the 21st century. In 2018, the country’s announcement to suspend nuclear tests has been encouraging, but North Korea has now to take steps to ratify the CTBT, according to Minister Reynders. The Minister is convinced that, due to its expertise and experience, the international organization set up by the treaty, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), could play an important role in the future dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear tests infrastructure.