Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Commitment Ratified by Tuvalu

Tuvalu has ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), bringing the total number of Treaty ratifications to 172 and underscoring the Pacific island state’s commitment to ending all nuclear tests, everywhere.

The move was marked at the end of March in a Treaty ceremony at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, attended by Tuvalu’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Samuelu Laloniu, and Andrei Kolomoets, Officer-in-Charge of the Treaty Section of the UN Office of Legal Affairs.

In a statement Tuvalu Foreign Minister Simon Kofe says, “our Pacific region has suffered from the effects of decades of nuclear testing. By ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, Tuvalu is reiterating its commitment to the elimination of all nuclear tests, everywhere.”

Robert Floyd, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), praised Tuvalu’s ratification and thanked the country for marking the 25th anniversary of the CTBT in the best possible way, by joining like-minded countries committed to banning nuclear testing.

Tuvalu signed the CTBT on 25 September 2018. In 2020, speaking on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum to the UN, Tuvalu identified the use and testing of nuclear weapons as one of the most serious threats to the community of nations and future generations.

Hundreds of nuclear tests were conducted in the South Pacific between 1946 and 1996. In 1985 the Treaty of Rarotonga, establishing the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone (SPNFZ), entered into force. Under this treaty, the use, possession and testing of nuclear weapons in the region is prohibited.

Only one country in the region has yet to sign the CTBT and all South Pacific countries have regularly voted in favour of CTBT resolutions at the UN General Assembly. In 2010 the Pacific Islands Forum in Vanuatu issued a strong statement in support of the Treaty.

The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions everywhere, by everyone, and for all time. Adherence to the Treaty is nearly universal, with 185 signatory states and 172 ratifying states. However, to enter into force, the Treaty must be ratified by all 44 States listed in its Annex 2, for which eight ratifications are still required.

Image Credit: Castle Romeo Nuclear Weapons Test, March 26, 1954 – Bikini Island, Marshall Islands – US Department of Energy