Delegation of the European Union
to the International Organisations in Vienna

International Day against Nuclear Tests (29/08): The European Union supports the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and its Organisation

29/08/2019 - 08:24

"The legacy of nuclear testing is nothing but destruction. The CTBT is vital to ensuring there are no more victims; it is also essential to advancing nuclear disarmament. On the International Day Against Nuclear Tests, I reiterate my call for all States that have not yet done so, to sign and ratify the Treaty, especially those whose ratification is needed for the Treaty’s entry into force. In a world of rising tensions and divisions, our collective security depends on it" — UN Secretary-General António Guterres

The European Union has been and remains a strong and devoted supporter of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and its Organisation: internally and externally, politically and financially.

All 28 EU Member States and Associated States have signed and ratified the Treaty. The EU has been reaching out and promoting the Treaty’s early entry into force in line with the European Union Strategy against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction stating:

“The EU policy is to pursue the implementation and universalization of the existing disarmament and non-proliferation norms. To that end, we will pursue the universalization of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty...and the early entry into force of the CTBT”.

To support the CTBT and its Organization, the European Union has been using its political and financial instruments:

  • The EU High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini promotes the CTBT also as a member of the Group of Eminent Persons (GEM);
  • The EU unanimously supports the adoption of the UN General Assembly Resolution on CTBT and regularly submits reports on joint EU actions to assist the entry into force of the Treaty, complementing individual national reports of its Member States;
  • Committed to promoting the CTBT, the EU reaches out continuously to those States whose accession is needed for the entry into force;
  • Regular contributions from EU Member States to the CTBTO comprise roughly 40% of the Organization’s total annual budget;
  • The EU is one of the largest providers of voluntary funds to the CTBTO. Since 2006, the European Council has adopted seven Decisions in support of the CTBTO: 3 Joint Actions in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and 4 Council Decisions in 2010, 2012, 2015, and 2018 committing over 22 million Euros;
  • The EU supports the work of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission and actively participates in the Conferences to promote the entry into force of the Treaty (Article XIV Conferences) and informal CTBT Ministerial Meetings
  • About 15 % of International Monitoring System stations and 32 % of Radionuclide Labs are hosted by Member States of the European Union.

What does the EU support in concrete terms?

The EU contributes to several complex CTBTO projects. The primary objectives of these are:

To strengthen the verification capabilities of the Preparatory Commission and enhance the operational performance of the CTBT verification regime;

  • To enable CTBT Signatory States to fulfil their CTBT verification responsibilities and reap the full membership benefits, including the potential civil and scientific applications of CTBT monitoring data;
  • To support the promotion of the universalisation and entry into force of the CTBT and the long term sustainability of its verification regime through outreach and capacity building.

Why does the EU support the CTBT?

  • Because it is effective: More than 20 years after the signature of the Treaty in 1996, nuclear explosive tests are now an anomaly, carried out against an international norm. This situation can be wholly attributed to the CTBT, which is the sum of the combined international effort;
  • Because it has an effective Organization: The CTBTO itself is just as much of a success. Although still provisional, it is an Organization with a truly global monitoring presence that is able to do something that no single country could – collecting and analyzing data from stations all around the world. Scientific involvement to develop the system has been, and still is, impressive.
  • Because it promotes International Technical Cooperation: The CTBTO has been built and maintained by all of the Member States – ratifiers and non-ratifiers alike. This has included experts from different countries working together on a collective goal that every Member State benefits from, through Capacity Building or participation in technical work on the verification regime’s technologies with the active participation of the EU and its Member States.