U.N. Receives Indonesian Test Ban Ratification

The United Nations on Monday formally received Indonesia's ratification document for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported (see GSN, Dec. 7, 2011).

The legislature of the Southeast Asian nation ratified the accord in December. Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa delivered the document to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon late Monday morning at U.N. headquarters in New York.

Indonesia's move comes amid continued hopes for movement on drawing down the global stocks of nuclear weapons, Natalegawa noted.

"The ratification should encourage others to do likewise, in order to help the treaty to enter into force," he said (Deutsche Presse-Agentur/Monstersandcritics.com, Feb. 6).

"This action will formalize Indonesia's ratification, which was approved unanimously by Indonesia's parliament" on Dec. 6, the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization said in a press release. "Indonesia's ratification is a major step towards bringing the CTBT, which bans all nuclear explosions, into legal effect."

Indonesia is one of 44 "Annex 2" states that must ratify the treaty before it can enter into force. There are eight remaining holdouts -- China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the United States.

Proponents argue that a prohibition on nuclear testing would curb nations' efforts to develop nuclear weapons or update existing arsenals. Skeptics say the test ban regime's technological verification system -- which consists of more than 300 sensor sites around the world -- is not foolproof and that the United States might someday need to end its voluntary moratorium on testing to ensure it holds a viable deterrent (Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization release, Feb. 6).

February 6, 2012
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The United Nations is scheduled on Monday to formally receive Indonesia's ratification document for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

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