Draft Joint Statement by France and the United Kingdom, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of their ratification of the CTBT (6 April 2023)
1. Exactly twenty five years ago, on 6th April 1998, France and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland jointly ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Our two countries signed the Treaty when it opened for signature on 26 September 1996
2. France and the United Kingdom were the first two nuclear-weapon States to ratify the CTBT. Through this ratification, we stipulated our firm commitment “not to carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion and to prohibit and prevent any such nuclear explosion at any place under its jurisdiction or control.”
3. This Treaty is a core element of the non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament international regime, even though it has yet to enter into force. In this regard, France and the United Kingdom express their concern over Russia’s announcement that it will ensure its preparedness to conduct a nuclear test. We reiterate the importance of the CTBT, which Russia has signed and ratified, and of Russia’s compliance with its moratorium on nuclear tests. We also recall that the DPRK is the only country to have performed explosive nuclear tests in the 21st century. We reiterate that it cannot and will never have the status of a nuclear-weapon State under the NPT, and demand that it refrains from conducting any further nuclear tests in violation of UNSCRs.
4. In this context, France and the United Kingdom wish to reaffirm their strong and constant support for the universalisation and the entry into force of the CTBT, with the aim to make legally binding the voluntary moratorium which is almost universally accepted, as evidenced by the 186 signatures and 174 ratifications of the Treaty. They recall that UNSC Resolution 2310, that they have co-sponsored, urges all States which have not yet done so to sign and ratify the CTBT. This unequivocal call of the Security Council must be heard.
5. France and the UK believe that presenting a record of tangible and robust actions toward nuclear disarmament would encourage other countries to sign, ratify and implement the CTBT. Therefore, over the past 25 years, France and the United Kingdom have provided political, technical and financial support to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO), and supported the operation of the CTBTO’s International Monitoring System.
6. A quarter of a century after its opening for signature, the CTBT remains more relevant than ever. France and the United Kingdom remain determined to continue to protect and universalise the Treaty.