The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT): Entry Into Force

The drafters of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) decided that the Treaty would come into force only when all 44 countries that possessed nuclear power reactors and/or nuclear research reactors had ratified it. These countries are listed in Annex 2 of the Treaty. For current information on the 44 countries that must sign and ratify the Treaty for it to enter into force, please refer to the CTBTO web site.

Article XIV of the CTBT states that if the Treaty has not entered into force by the third anniversary of the date it opened for signature, the UN Secretary-General, as head of the depository body, could convene a Conference of the States that have already ratified the treaty if a majority of those States make such a request. At this Conference, ratifying states would decide by consensus what measures consistent with international law they might use to accelerate ratification and hasten the Treaty's early entry into force. Article XIV Conferences have been convened in 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009.

First Article XIV Conference

The first Conference to Facilitate the Entry into Force of the CTBT met in Vienna 6-8 October, 1999. Political and media interest in the Treaty was high at the time because of debate over the U.S. Senate's refusal to ratify the CTBT. Convening the Conference served the basic political aim of gaining several more ratifications, including 5 from the key group of 44 Annex 2 states that must ratify the Treaty to bring about its entry into force.

The Conference Declaration sent a clear message that the international community wanted the Treaty to enter into force as soon as possible. It also sent several specific "reminders" to states whose ratifications are required for the Treaty's success, such as India, Pakistan, DPRK; and 3 nuclear-weapon States - the United States, Russia and China.

Second Article XIV Conference

The second Article XIV Conference, chaired by Mexico, met in New York from 11-13 November 2001. Before the Conference, Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister sent letters to all Annex 2 States urging them to sign and ratify the Treaty. The participation of forty-seven Foreign Ministers, including Canada's, showed a high vote of confidence in, and support for, the Treaty. Although 38 additional ratifications and 4 additional signatures had been attached to the Treaty between the first and the second Article XIV conferences, none were Annex 2 states. The Conference concluded with a Final Declaration being adopted by consensus.

Third Article XIV Conference

The third Article XIV Conference, chaired by Finland, met in Vienna from 3-5 September 2003. Before the Conference, the Minister of Foreign Affairs sent letters to all states that had not signed nor ratified the Treaty urging their governments to do so. The Canadian delegation delivered a national statement. The Conference's Final Declaration created a Special Representative to work with the Preparatory Commission to promote the Treaty's entry into force and to establish a regional contact list of States that would volunteer to help promote this aim. It was also recommended that States consider setting up a voluntarily trust fund to finance an outreach program to promote the Treaty's entry into force. Since the second Article XIV Conference, 5 more signatures and 16 more ratifications had been attached to the Treaty, most notably Algeria's Annex 2 State ratification.

Fourth Article XIV Conference

The fourth Article XIV Conference, chaired by Australia, met in New York from 21-23 September 2005. Before the Conference, the Minister of Foreign Affairs sent letters to his counterparts in all states that had not signed or ratified the Treaty urging their governments to do so. The Minister led the Canadian delegation and delivered Canada's national statement (PDF version, 14.6 KB) *. The Final Declaration (PDF version* included a Canadian proposal to encourage Annex 2 States to consider ratifying the Treaty in a coordinated manner. This proposal addressed cases where regional security dynamics were impediments to ratification and responded to a common objection by many remaining Annex 2 States: "Why should I ratify when others in the region refuse to do so?" Since the third Article XIV Conference, 8 more signatures and 21 more ratifications had been attached to the Treaty. The most notable ratification was that of Annex 2 State, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Fifth Article XIV Conference

The fifth Article XIV Conference, co-chaired by Austria and Costa Rica, met in Vienna from 19-21 September 2007. Before the Conference, the Minister of Foreign Affairs sent letters to his counterparts in all states that had not yet signed or ratified the Treaty to urge their governments to do so. Canada's Ambassador to the International Organizations in Vienna led the Canadian delegation and delivered Canada's national statement (PDF version). The Final Declaration (PDF version) was based on the 2005 Final Declaration and additionally called for a peaceful resolution to the nuclear issues in North Korea following its nuclear test in October 2006. It also included a Canadian proposal that urged outreach activities by ratifying states to be focused on the Annex 2 states that had yet to ratify the Treaty. Since the fourth Article XIV Conference in 2005, 15 more states ratified the CTBT, including Annex 2 State Vietnam.

The Sixth Article XIV Conference

The sixth Article XIV Conference, co-chaired by France and Morocco, was convened in New York from 24-25 September 2009. Before the Conference, the Minister of Foreign Affairs sent letters to his counterparts in states that had not yet signed or ratified the Treaty to urge their government to do so. Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs led the Canadian delegation and delivered Canada’s national statement (PDF version, 318 KB) *. The Conference unanimously adopted a Final Declaration (PDF version, 50.7 KB) * which, among other things, urged a peaceful resolution to the nuclear issue in North Korea following its nuclear test conducted on 24 May 2009. Since the fifth Article XIV Conference in 2007, 10 more states ratified the CTBT, including Annex 2 State Colombia.


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