Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dominican Republic Brings CTBT Magic Number to 140

In a scarcely covered but important development, the Dominican Republic last week joined an ever-growing list of countries to ban all nuclear explosions by ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). (You might recall that Palau ratified the CTBT only a month prior).

The ratification comes ahead of next week’s Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT, also called Article XIV Conference, “to examine how the entry into force of the Treaty can be accelerated, and to urge countries that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Treaty without delay.”

To date, 177 countries have signed the Treaty and the Dominican Republic now brings the total number of countries to have ratified the Treaty to 140. In order for the CTBT to enter into force, however, it must ratified by the 44 countries identified in Annex 2 of the Treaty (countries that participated in the negotiations of the Treaty in 1996 and possessed nuclear power or research reactors at the time).

While 41 of these countries have signed the Treaty, only 34 have ratified it, leaving the U.S. as only one of ten countries to stand in the way of its full implementation. The other countries are China, Columbia, North Korea, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, and Pakistan. Of these only North Korea, India and Pakistan have not signed the CTBT.

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