Speech of Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger at the CTBT – Ministerial Meeting in New York
Statement of H.E. Mr Michael Spindelegger
Federal Minister for European and International Affairs, Austria
CTBT – Ministerial Meeting
New York, 23rd September 2010
Mr. Secretary General,
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium, H.E. Vanackere, earlier delivered a statement on behalf of the European Union (EU) and I would like to join in thanking the conveners of this meeting for their efforts. Permit me to add a few points from the perspective of Austria.
1. A world without nuclear weapons needs a basis of trust
Since the dramatic events of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons has inspired individuals around the world to work towards the reduction and eventual elimination of nuclear arsenals to make our lives and the lives of future generations safer.
Today we are all part of these efforts. The resolution adopted at the UN Security Council Summit and the Outcome Document of the NPT-Review Conference in May of this year make very clear: It is now our common goal to achieve a world without nuclear weapons.
Clearly, this will not happen overnight. From the outset and as our foundation we need a basis of trust. Building and maintaining this basis of trust will require many efforts and a long sequence of individual steps. The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty is one such step on this path, and a particularly important one.
2. Entry into Force of the CTBT – urgently necessary
Today we join together to call for the entry into force of the CTBT.
We have waited over a dozen years. I welcome recent signatures and ratifications, as well as announcements from the so-called ‘Annex 2-States’ Indonesia and United States. But clearly: The ratification process must be accelerated and I appeal to all states that have not yet done so to make a real effort in this regard.
You could ask: Why is it even necessary?
- The Security Council Summit on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation last year agreed on the objective of a ban on nuclear testing.
- The NPT Review Conference reaffirmed the relevance of the CTBT.
- The CTBTO and its Provisional Secretariat are doing excellent work already – and in this regard much thanks is due to Tibor Toth and his colleagues at the Provisional Secretariat of the CTBTO.
In other words: The CTBT and its goals are already a vital and effective part of our disarmament structure. Who needs formal entry into force?
For Austria the answer is clear: The CTBT is not only a part of a political process. It is a legal treaty with legal commitments and obligations. If we want to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons, if we want to build a strong basis of trust, we need the strongest foundation – legal commitments, respect for the rule of law.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
We cannot permit that the global mechanisms which we create to ensure the security of people all over the world remain fragmented or incomplete. The entry-into-force of the CTBT is a necessary step on our way to a safer world. We must all take this step. We must take it now. Thank you.