Forty-four countries, which possess nuclear weapons or have available resources to develop them, have got to sign the CTBT for the key component of the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime to take effect. As of now, this has not been done only by the following eight countries: the US, China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, and Pakistan.
Aleksandr Pankin, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN, speaking at a special session held by the UN General Assembly on the occasion of the International Day Against Nuclear Tests, pointed out a "special responsibility, "which the non-signatory countries bear for the future of the CTBT. "We are calling on these countries to sign and ratify it (CTBT) immediately without preconditions," the diplomat stated.
Pankin emphasized that Russia, which had signed the CTBT in 1996 and ratified it four years later, is a "principled adherent of the Treaty and actively works towards its universalization in both bilateral and multilateral formats".
Russia's Deputy Permanent Representative recalled that in October 1991 Russia had unilaterally declared termination of nuclear tests. "Since then, Russia has been undeviatingly abiding by the moratorium and intends to do so in future as well provided other states adhere to similar obligations assumed by them," he said.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also pointed out that the ban on nuclear tests is the "central component" of nuclear disarmament. The UN chief recalled that the text of the Treaty had been approved by the UN General Assembly 18 years ago. He expressed regret that it never entered into force. He also urged the US and the other seven /non-signatory/ countries to accede to the CTBT and hurl all effort towards attaining the main goal a world free from nuclear weapons.
"The destiny of mankind hangs by a single thread the doctrine of mutual assured destruction," Ban Ki-moon said, adding that the madness and horrors of a nuclear war "already came true in the August of 1945" when the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki werr destroyed by two atomic bombs.