Statement by the H.E. Mr. Ertuğrul Apakan at the Sixth CTBT Ministerial Meeting

Ertuğrul Apakan 27.09.2012
Mr. Chairperson,
Distinguished Ministers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to first of all thank the conveners of this meeting for all the arrangements made. The number and level of delegations gathered here today underpin the importance our countries attach to the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

The CTBT was characterized as the “longest sought, hardest fought prize in the history of arms control negotiations.” It took half a century of advocacy for a verified, permanent, global ban on all types of nuclear explosive tests and a lot of hard work before the CTBT was opened for signature on 24 September 1996 in the United Nations Headquarters in New York. My country was among the first signatories of the Treaty.

Fifteen years after its opening for signature we have reason – and rightfully so - to cheer the considerable progress achieved. Despite the fact that the Treaty is not yet in force, the CTBT enjoys today a near universal status. The strong moral standard it has already set is unquestionable. Indeed, before its entry into force, the Treaty has a remarkable record of accomplishments, for which we owe its Executive Director Mr Tibor Toth and the professionalism of the Provisional Technical Secretariat a debt of gratitude.

Regular meetings of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization keep the momentum behind the political objectives of the CTBT alive and provide guidance for their implementation at technical level. The work carried out by the Provisional Technical Secretariat, which over the years, has grown into an efficient and well managed institution is impressive and commendable. The international monitoring system and inspection regime are continuously being built up.

Regrettably, however, despite all the progress achieved both at the political and technical levels, the Treaty has not yet entered into force. We still need the instrument of ratification of 8 remaining Article II countries to be deposited, in order for the Treaty to enter into force. A small number, yet a challenging task. We all know the difficulties and the obstacles involved. Nevertheless, we cannot and must not give up. We must take every opportunity, including meetings like this, to remind those States that our expectation from them is great and that they are under a unique moral obligation, at the heart of which lies global security and stability.

Mr Chairperson,

Turkey remains firmly committed to advancing global efforts on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, including through its continuing support for the CTBTO. In the last twelve months, we have seen an enhanced political momentum behind the CTBT, where promoting entry into force of the Treaty remains a priority. We again urgently call on the remaining Annex 2 States to ratify this Treaty without delay and bring about its entry into force.

Since the inception of the CTBT, Turkey has honoured and in the future will continue to live up to its political, financial and technical commitments in line with its well known position favoring global, overall disarmament and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as upholding relevant international regimes and instruments. We will continue our efforts to contribute to the early entry into force of the Treaty.

As a member of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI), [referred to by previous speakers,] we are determined to also work through the NPDI to further the goals of the CTBTO for the universal application of the regime.

Thank you.