Thursday, August 20, 2009
Liberia became the 149th country to ratify the United Nations-backed Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. Liberia's ratification brings the total number of nations to almost 150. It also means that the CTBT has 51 signatures and 37 ratifications of the 53 countries on the African continent, where the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (also known as the Treaty of Pelindaba) went into effect last month.
To date, 181 nations have signed the CTBT, which the U.N. General Assembly adopted in September 1996.
The CTBT hopes to ban any nuclear-test explosions anywhere in the world. The CTBT will enter into force 180 days after all 44 of the States listed in Annex 2 of the Treaty have ratified it. Those 44 nations were those that had nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons technology when the CTBT was opened for signature in 1996. So far, 35 of these nations, including France, Russia and the United Kingdom, have ratified it the CTBT, but nations that have not yet ratified include the People’s Republic of China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States, and Iran.
U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to chair a meeting of the Security Council in September, focusing on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, including the CTBT.