Andrews Introduces Motion Approving Terms of Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. David Andrews, TD, today moved that the government approve the terms of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), signed by Ireland on 24 September 1996.
The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty prohibits the carrying out or participation in the carrying out of a nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion. It also obliges all States Parties to ensure that no person within their jurisdiction or control participates in or assists a nuclear test explosion.
The Minister recalled that:
"Ireland remains committed not only to non-proliferation but also to disarmament."
Ratification of the Treaty opens the way for Ireland to participate fully in the Conference of States to be convened in the Autumn, the purpose of which is to consider ways of ensuring a rapid entry into force of the Treaty.
Minister Andrews also referred to the dismay of the people and Government of Ireland at the tests of nuclear weapons carried out by India and Pakistan last year. He expressed his hope that both countries will come to appreciate the strength of international concern that they sign and ratify the CTBT as soon as possible and without conditions.
The Minister concluded by emphasising that the CTBT is a central instrument in preventing the further proliferation of nuclear weapons...and will add to all our security.
Note for editors
Ireland initiated debate in the United Nations in the late 1950s that led eventually to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In June 1998, Minister Andrews, together with the Foreign Ministers of Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovenia, Sweden and South Africa, made a Joint Ministerial Declaration calling for a new international agenda to achieve a nuclear weapons free world. As a direct result of this, a Resolution was adopted in the UN General Assembly setting out a series of concrete measures which provide for real progress towards the eventual elimination of all nuclear weapons.