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United Nations resolution urges CTBT

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 

(November 18, 1994) Fifty-two nations co-sponsored a resolution tabled on November 4 at the United Nations First Committee (Forty-ninth session Agenda item 57) that calls on the nuclear powers to intensify comprehensive test ban treaty (CTBT) negotiations and conclude the treaty.

(422.4183) WISE Amsterdam - The resolution, drafted by New Zealand, Mexico, and Australia also urges the participants in the Geneva Conference on Disarmament to make substantial progress on the CTBT rolling text during the upcoming intersessional negotiating period from November 28 through December 16.

The five declared nuclear powers gave considerable input to the resolution's language, although none of them joined the list of original co-sponsors. Officials from the sponsoring delegations expressed surprise that the United States is not co-sponsoring the CTBT resolution. The United Nations First Committee will vote on the CTBT resolution near November 17 or 18. Countries may join the co-sponsor list until that time.


The 52 nations co-sponsoring the November 4 resolution:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Japan, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Samoa, Senegal, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Turkey and Venezuela

CTBT negotiations recessed at the Geneva Conference on Disarmament on September 7. The talks are widely characterized as bogged-down and there is currently little hope for substantial progress before the April 1995 NPT Extension Conference in New York City (see WISE NC 419.4150).

Negotiators did approve oa 96 page heavily-bracketed rolling text and agreed to reconvene for a special negotiating session from November 28 through December 16. However, the bracketed rolling text leaves all of the key issues of the future CTBT unresolved and still contains proposals from the nuclear powers that, if ultimately accepted in the final text, will seriously undermine the spirit and effectiveness of the treaty.

Those proposals include; permitting peaceful nuclear explosions (China), a 10 year-escape clause (the United States), and permitting tests in "exceptional circumstances" (France and possibly the United Kingdom). Right now, there is no sign that the nuclear powers are willing to give up these positions. (See also WISE NC 421.4173 on China's test and U.S. counter-policy) The first 1995 session of the Conference on Disarmament begins on January 31.

The five declared nuclear powers and the complete western world failure to co-sponsor the CTBT resolution runs counter to the efforts for a test ban. Urge your government to co-sponsor the resolution and work constructively towards a comprehensive test ban treaty.

Source: Greennet, November 4, 1994
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