Niue ratifies the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
Niue ratifies the Comprehensive
5 March 2014
Niue ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) today, becoming the 162th country to do so. Niue’s ratification follows the country’s signature on 9 April 2012. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), said: “I welcome Niue’s ratification of the CTBT. This consolidates the anti-testing norm in a region that has suffered so much from nuclear testing and sets an example for other States in the region and beyond.”
The island nation of Niue is located in the South Pacific, where France, the United States and the United Kingdom conducted a total of 263 mostly atmospheric nuclear tests. Commemorations for islanders affected by the 15 megaton Castle Bravo test 60 years ago, on 1 March 1954, were held this week at the Marshall Islands.
The region has shown a strong commitment to banning nuclear weapons and their testing by creating a nuclear-weapon-free zone for the South Pacific. This was established through the Treaty of Rarotonga, which was signed in 1985 and entered into force in 1986.
Amongst the 16 Members of the Pacific Islands Forum (Australia, Cook Islands, Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu), now only two have yet to ratify the CTBT: Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, while two others have yet to sign and ratify: Tonga and Tuvalu.
Although the CTBT has been signed by 183 countries of which now 162 have also ratified, it can only enter into force after it has been ratified by the eight remaining nuclear capable countries: China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States. Clickhere for an interactive map of the Treaty’s status.
The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions. The CTBTO is building averification regime to monitor the planet for compliance with the Treaty. Over 85% of the global network of 337 facilities to monitor underground, the oceans and the atmosphere for nuclear explosions have already been established. Around 25 stations are located in the South Pacific Ocean, most of which are fully operational. The stations closest to Niue are located in Samoa, the Cook Islands and Fiji. Verification data from the stations can also be used for disaster mitigation such as tsunami warning. The island of Niue has been struck repeatedly by tsunamis and cyclones in the past.