Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Colombia Keeps Ball Rolling, Ratifies CTBT

Colombia became the 144th country to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) yesterday.

The country joins a growing list of recent Treaty ratifiers, including two earlier this year: Malaysia (January 17) and Barbados (January 14). Four other countries ratified the Treaty last year as well: the Bahamas (November 30), the Dominican Republic (September 4), Palau (August 1), and Moldova (January 16).

The move is significant because Colombia is an Annex 2 country, whose ratification is required for the Treaty to take affect. Annex 2 countries are those that participated in the negotiations of the CTBT in 1996 and possessed nuclear power or research reactors at the time.

Colombia’s ratification leaves China, North Korea, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, and the United States as the last Annex 2 country hold-outs who stand in the way of the Treaty’s full implementation. Of these, only North Korea, India and Pakistan have not signed the CTBT.

The ratification also brings Latin America and the Caribbean one step closer to becoming a complete CTBT region. Of the 33 countries that are a party to the 1967 Tlaltelolco Treaty (which established the region as the first nuclear-weapon-free zone), 28 have now ratified the CTBT. Of the remaining five, Cuba, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago have not signed the Treaty, while Guatemala has signed, but not ratified, the Treaty.

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