The Union of the Comoros has become the 170th state to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), bringing the Treaty yet another step closer to universal recognition and marking a fresh milestone on the road to end nuclear testing for all time.
The Indian Ocean nation – one of 185 countries that have signed the CTBT – deposited its instrument of ratification with the United Nations Secretary-General in New York on February 19, 2021.
“The fight against the proliferation of nuclear weapons is everyone’s concern,” Comorian Foreign Minister Dhoihir Dhoulkamal said in a virtual meeting with Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) Executive Secretary Mr Lassina Zerbo on February 23.
“The Union of the Comoros is keeping its promise by becoming the 170th state to ratify the CTBT. This ratification expresses our firm commitment to contribute to the efforts of the community of nations to guarantee a world free from nuclear threats, in conditions that favour international peace and security and harmonious sustainable development.”
The decision to ratify the CTBT – a sign of renewed momentum behind the Treaty after Cuba’s signature and ratification on February 4, 2021 – follows several years of constructive dialogue with the CTBTO, including a visit to Moroni by Mr Zerbo in December 2018.
It also reflects the active engagement of national parliaments, particularly of Madagascar, facilitated by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie in its international campaign for the CTBT’s entry into force.
Mr Zerbo expressed his appreciation to the Comorian President Azali Assoumani, his government, and the country’s parliament, praising their work in the international community to build a safer world.
“By adopting the CTBT, Comoros is helping to build peace and security and sending a strong message to the international community – particularly to the remaining states that have yet to sign or ratify the Treaty,” he said. “Allow me to warmly congratulate the Union of the Comoros and share my hope that others will follow your example soon.”
The Comoros, which signed the CTBT on December 12, 1996, hosts a National Data Centre, the Centre national de documentation et de recherche scientifique (CNDRS), where experts receive monitoring data and analysis from the CTBTO’s International Data Centre (IDC) in Vienna to advise the government on the verification of the Treaty.
The data, registered by the CTBTO’s unique International Monitoring System (IMS), can also be used for disaster mitigation and scientific research in numerous fields, including tsunami warnings and monitoring of earthquakes and volcanic activity. This is particularly relevant for Comoros, where eruptions of the active volcano Mount Karthala pose a threat and in 2005 forced thousands of residents to evacuate their homes.
The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions everywhere, by everyone, for all time. Adherence to the treaty is nearly universal, but it has not yet entered into force. To do so, it must be signed and ratified by all 44 States listed in the Treaty’s Annex 2, of which eight are still missing. – Scoop World