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Arms Control and International Security: Remarks to Friends of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Ministerial

As Delivered

Distinguished Co-Chairs, Secretary General, Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, thank you.

The United States remains steadfast in our support for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and the critical work of the Preparatory Commission.

Our collective ability to monitor and verify compliance with the CTBT is more robust than it has ever been. The International Monitoring System is nearly complete. The International Data Centre has demonstrated its ability to provide independent and reliable means to ensure compliance with the Treaty once it enters into force.

We cannot let up. We all need to commit the resources to put in place a fully effective, operational, and sustainable verification regime.

We need to continue to make progress in developing the tools necessary to execute on-site inspections after entry into force of the Treaty. That is why the United States remains the largest single contributor to the Preparatory Commission.

The United States is committed to the Treaty and its ratification. Now is the time for all states to show leadership and take action towards ratification.

As we mark the 20th anniversary of the CTBT’s adoption, the United States is taking further steps to reinforce the Treaty and encourage its early entry into force.

Last week’s statement of the P5 memorializes our shared recognition that a nuclear weapons test explosion or any other nuclear explosion would defeat the object and purpose of the CTBT.

We also introduced a UN Security Council resolution that emphasizes the need to maintain and build on this momentum. I should stress that this Resolution is in no way a substitute for entry into force of the CTBT, which can only be secured through the procedures outlined in the Treaty and the action of the U.S. Senate.

We all have work to do to make this world a safer place.

The United States joins the international community in condemning—in the strongest possible terms—North Korea’s September 9 nuclear test. North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs are destabilizing and pose a grave threat to regional security and international peace and stability.

We call on North Korea to fulfill its international obligations and commitments, to reaffirm its 2005 commitment to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs, and to sign and ratify the CTBT.

The CTBT represents a significant effort to help humankind step back from a precipice of our own making. Together, we can ensure future generations enjoy a world that is safer, more peaceful, more secure. The stakes are too high to work towards anything less.

Thank you very much.