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I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The European Union thanks the Friends of Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty for convening this Ministerial meeting.
This meeting is an opportunity to highlight the need for entry into force and universalisation of the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty, which is reaffirmed through UN Security Council Resolution 2310. We regret that the Treaty is not yet in force, and this situation must be rectified. We urge all States which have yet to sign or ratify the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty, in particular the eight remaining Annex 2 States, to do so without further delay.
Pending entry into force of the Treaty, we call on all States to refrain from conducting any action contrary to the object and purpose of the Treaty. The European Union encourages progress on signatures and ratifications of the Treaty. In this context we welcome Thailand's ratification of the Treaty this week, thus becoming the 167th ratifying State.
Conducting nuclear weapon test explosions is a threat to international peace and security and is recognized as irresponsible and unacceptable behaviour among States.
The recent inter-Korean high-level talks, the Panmunjom Declaration, and the Joint Statement after the Summit in Singapore between the US and the DPRK are positive steps that can contribute to easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula. We urge the DPRK to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty without delay, giving legal effect to the suspension of nuclear tests.
The European Union urges North Korea to engage seriously in taking concrete steps to embark on a credible path towards a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation. We ask the DPRKadhere to its declared suspension of testing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. Until North Koreadoes take these concrete steps towards denuclearisation, we will continue to strictly enforce existing sanctions.
The European Union remains a strong supporter of the international nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime: we hope for tangible progress leading to the verifiable closure of the DPRK’s nuclear test sites. This verification could benefit from relevant technical assistance, potentially including Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation expertise.
The Organisation's response to the six nuclear tests conducted by the DPRK has demonstrated its invaluable role in quickly providing reliable and independent data, something that no single country alone could do: in doing so, it has enabled the international community to react appropriately and swiftly.
All EU Member States have signed and ratified the Treaty. Promoting universalisation and prompt entry into force of the Treaty is a top priority for the EU. The commitment of the European Union is underscored by our 7th voluntary contribution of over 4.5 million Euros.
The Joint Ministerial Statement to be adopted today highlights the urgency of entry into force of this Treaty as a political imperative and concrete contribution to international peace and security.
I would also like to add a few words in a personal capacity.
I believe in the power of multilateralism. I believe that international agreements and international monitoring systems are the only effective way to stop nuclear proliferation.
Bilateral agreements can represent an essential step in the right direction. But the only way to guarantee non-proliferation in the long term is through multilateral agreements, that are agreed and recognised by all, and are certified and monitored by the relevant international organisations.
Just like our deal with Iran – that continues to work and to be verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
It is in this spirit that we continue to work for the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty. North Korea’s accession to the Treaty couldcreate the conditions for a solution of the Korean issue, and represent a decisive step towards the full, verifiable and irreversible de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
The entry into force of the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty must be our goal here and now, not in some distant future.
Sometimes the most pragmatic thing to do is to aim high, at goals that may seem implausible or even impossible. It always seems impossible, until it’s done.