Draft joint declaration between France and the United Kingdom on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of their ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (06.04.23)

1. Twenty-five years ago to the day, on April 6, 1998, the French Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland jointly ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Our two countries had signed the CTBT after it was opened for signature on September 26, 1996.

2. France and the United Kingdom were the first two nuclear-weapon States to ratify this treaty. By ratifying it, we made a firm commitment “not to carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion or other nuclear explosion and to prohibit and prevent any such explosion at any place under its jurisdiction or control”.

3. The CTBT is a fundamental element of the international nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime, although it has not yet entered into force. In this regard, France and the United Kingdom express their concern following Russia’s announcement of its willingness to be ready to carry out a nuclear test. We reaffirm the importance of the CTBT, which Russia has signed and ratified, and of Russia’s compliance with its moratorium on nuclear testing. We also recall that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the only country to have conducted nuclear tests of explosive devices in the 21st century. We reiterate that it cannot and never will achieve nuclear-weapon State status under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and we urge it to refrain from new nuclear tests in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

4. In this context, France and the United Kingdom wish to reaffirm their firm and constant support for the universalization and entry into force of the CTBT, in order to make legally binding the voluntary moratorium accepted by almost all all States, as evidenced by the 186 signatures and 174 ratifications of the treaty. The two countries recall that Security Council resolution 2310, which they co-sponsored, urges all States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the CTBT. This unequivocal call from the Security Council must be heeded.

5. France and the United Kingdom believe that reporting on tangible and solid steps taken towards nuclear disarmament can encourage other countries to sign, ratify and implement the CTBT. Accordingly, France and the United Kingdom have provided political, technical and financial support to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) for 25 years and support the operation of the CTBTO International Monitoring System. .

6. Twenty-five years after it was opened for signature, the CTBT is more important than ever. France and the United Kingdom remain determined to continue to preserve this treaty and make it a universal instrument.

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