Indonesia plans in the near future to join the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the Xinhua News Agency reported today (see GSN, April 2).
Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told lawmakers in Jakarta yesterday that he would make a formal announcement next month while leading Indonesia's delegation to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty review conference in New York (see related GSN story, today).
"We have been holding off the ratification process since 2002 as we expected the U.S. and other nuclear weapon states to ratify first," according to Natalegawa. "However, we decided there was no point in delaying it. We do not want our policy to be steered by the U.S. decisions. We can make it forward with a note that there must be a move to push the U.S. to ratify. The U.S. needs a template it can take as an example when dealing with [the] Senate on ratifications," he added.
Indonesia is one of the nine remaining "Annex 2" nations that must ratify the treaty before it can enter into force. There are a total of 44 such states, which participated in negotiations on the pact in the 1990s while operating nuclear power or research reactors. The other holdouts are China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the United States (Xinhua News Agency, April 30).