Spindelegger: "Nuclear safety needs stronger international cooperation"
Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor Michael Spindelegger welcomes progress in Nuclear Test Ban monitoring
Vienna, 8 June 2011 – Since the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1996, the Vienna-based Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) has been working on the development of a worldwide system of monitoring stations that will deliver reliable information to all the parties to the Treaty in case of a nuclear test. With the objective of further strengthening cooperation with the scientific world, some 600 scientists and experts from around the world are meeting in Vienna from 8 to 10 June 2011 as part of the "Science and Technology Conference 2011" – at the invitation of the CTBTO in cooperation with the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs.
"The Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) stands in the forefront of our efforts against nuclear weapons. It is therefore indispensable that the organisation in charge of the ban on nuclear tests should have the latest scientific and technical means at its disposal. By organizing this conference, we are making a solid contribution toward making the global control system even more effective" explained Foreign Minister Spindelegger today at the opening of the conference. "As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, the precise data on the North Korean nuclear test in May 2009 proved very valuable for Austria and the Security Council", the Foreign Minister continued.
"The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is a supporting pillar of the international security architecture. The ban on nuclear tests represents a major step toward achieving our common objective: a world free of nuclear weapons", said Spindelegger. The Foreign Minister emphasized that we must therefore consistently continue our efforts so that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty can finally enter into force: "We need the revival and renewal of the multilateral efforts toward disarmament. A nuclear bomb test is the last barrier to the development of new nuclear weapons. Fifteen years after the CTBT was adopted by the UN General Assembly, it must be our common cause to finally bring this treaty to a breakthrough. I therefore appeal to all states that have not yet ratified the CTBT to do so soon."
Austria supports the CTBTO in its efforts to extend its capacities into areas reaching beyond the monitoring of nuclear tests: "Today, the CTBTO's contribution to the worldwide tsunami early warning system is beyond dispute. In future, we shall continue to promote a greater involvement by the CTBTO in other issues", said Spindelegger, pointing out to the radiation measurements carried out by the CTBTO in connection with the nuclear disaster in Japan. "Fukushima has clearly demonstrated that we must urgently intensify international cooperation, especially in the area of nuclear safety", the Foreign Minister concluded.
For further information, contact:
Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213