New York, 21 September 2016
Check against delivery!
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. [The following countries align themselves with this statement: Turkey, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Iceland, Serbia*, Albania*, Bosnia and Herzegovina*, Liechtenstein, Norway, Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Andorra and San Marino.]
The EU would like to thank the Friends of the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty, in cooperation with the Co-Presidents of the Article XIV Conference, for having convened the Eight CTBT Ministerial Meeting.
Nuclear weapons test explosions or any other nuclear explosions represent a threat to international peace and security and undermine the global non-proliferation regime.
The fifth nuclear test carried out by the DPRK earlier this month is a clear illustration for the need of universal CTBT ratification. It is also another direct violation of the DPRK's international obligations not to produce or test nuclear weapons, as determined by multiple United Nations Security Council Resolutions, including UNSC 2270. The DPRK is the only state to have conducted nuclear explosive tests in the 21st century. The EU also urges the DPRK to comply with the UNSC resolution 1887, which inter alia calls upon all States to refrain from conducting nuclear test explosions. We urge the DPRK to sign and ratify the CTBT and to abandon its nuclear capabilities, ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner and without delay.
The effectiveness and reliable performance of the CTBT verification regime, including the International Monitoring System, facilitated the prompt reaction of the international community to the irresponsible act by the DPRK. We reiterate our full confidence in the CTBT verification regime which allows the international community to assess the situation and to respond accordingly to this threat to international peace and security.
The entry into force and universalisation of the CTBT are among the top priorities of the European Union. All 28 EU Member States have ratified the Treaty, and we remain strongly committed to pursuing the achievement of the above important objectives. In this context, we welcome the ratifications of the Treaty by Angola, Swaziland and Myanmar since the 2014 CTBT Ministerial Meeting. We express our readiness to continue actively working with the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty Organisation, as well as with all interested States, to stimulate more positive developments in this field and call on States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Treaty.
Pending the entry into force of the Treaty, we call upon all States to maintain moratoria on nuclear weapon test explosions and other nuclear explosions and to refrain from any actions that would undermine the Treaty's object and purpose.
In the context of the 20th anniversary this year, we have intensified our efforts to promote the entry into force of this Treaty by adopting and implementing an EU Action Plan in support of the CTBT. The EU will continue to provide its strong political and financial support for the Treaty. Our active engagement to support the entry into force of the Treaty and the activities of its Organisation was clearly expressed at the CTBT Ministerial Meeting held in Vienna on 13 June 2016 on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Treaty. We congratulate the CTBTO Executive Secretary, the Chair of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission and the Coordinators of the Article XIV process, as well as all organisers and participants for the successful outcome of this important event. The EU's political efforts are reconfirmed by its financial commitment to the CTBTO. Regular financial contributions of our Member States to the Organisation amount to roughly 40% of its total annual budget. In addition to these, since 2006, we have provided the Organisation with more than 18 million euros in voluntary contributions, which places us among the most significant financial contributors to the CTBTO.
The Joint Ministerial Statement that will be adopted today is reassuring in view of our future common endeavours in promoting the entry into force and universalisation of this Treaty.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.