Delegation of the European Union

to the International Organisations in Vienna

EU work in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation

26/08/2016 - 15:50
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Spotlight On: EU work on the field of disarmament and non-proliferation, On the occasion of the International Day against Nuclear Testson 29 August 2016

The 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly declared 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Tests through the unanimous adoption of its resolution 64/35 on 2 December 2009. The Preamble of the resolution emphasizes that "every effort should be made to end nuclear tests in order to avert devastating and harmful effects on the lives and health of people" and that "the end of nuclear tests is one of the key means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.”

The main international instrument for eradicating nuclear weapons explosion testing is through the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 September 1996. 2016 marks the 20th anniversary for the opening of the CTBT for signature. To date, 183 countries have signed the treaty and 164 have ratified it. For the Treaty to enter into Force, it still must be ratified by the eight remaining Annex 2 States with significant nuclear capabilities. The EU supports the Treaty's early entry into force and universalization, as well as the activities of its organization.

Speaking on behalf of the European Union at the Ministerial-level meeting of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Bahn Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) in Vienna in June, High Representative Federica Mogherini said: "We want the Treaty to enter into force and to be universalised. All EU Member States have ratified it, and we are strongly committed – both politically and financially – to pursuing all the objectives of the Treaty. The many crises we are dealing with cannot distract our attention from this aim: on the contrary, they make it even more urgent."

The financial and political instruments implemented by the EU to support the CTBT and its organisation include the support of the adoption of the UN General Assembly Resolutions on CTBT. The EU also regularly submits reports on joint EU actions that assist the entry into force of the Treaty, and reaches out to States whose agreement is required to enable its entry into force. Furthermore, the EU is one of the greatest donors of voluntary funds to the CTBT – the Council of the European Union has adopted six  Council Decisions in support of the CTBT and its Organisation providing over €18 million since 2006. In addition, roughly 40% of the Organization’s total annual budget derives from the contributions of the EU Member States. The EU also actively takes part in the Conferences that promote the entry into force of the Treaty.

Photo credits: CTBTO