Speech by Ann Linde, Minister for Foreign Affairs at the Article XIV conference on the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

Published

New York, 25 september 2019.
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Chairpersons, Under-Secretary General,

Let me first thank the Secretary-General for convening this conference, and congratulate Germany and Algeria for taking over as Article 14 coordinators.

I would also like to thank the outgoing coordinators Belgium and Iraq for their persistent efforts in promoting the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

Sweden aligns itself with the statement of the European Union. I would like to add some points in my national capacity.

Chairpersons,

For my Government, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation is a key priority. Threats posed by nuclear weapons are greater now than they have been for several decades.

Nuclear weapon states are developing new capabilities. The international security environment is characterised by increasing polarisation and lack of trust. The web of nuclear arms control agreements which have served global security so well is now fundamentally challenged. Important treaties are being terminated or facing an uncertain future.

The CTBT is a crucial part of the international disarmament and non-proliferation regime. It contributes to preventing the development of new nuclear weapons as well as the emergence of new states in possession of nuclear weapon.

The urgency of CTBT’s entry into force has been agreed upon in the NPT framework as well as the UN General Assembly. There can be no valid excuse to further delay action to sign and ratify this important treaty.

In June, Sweden convened a ministerial meeting in Stockholm where 16 engaged countries conveyed a clear message that nuclear disarmament must be put back on the international agenda. This must be done ahead of the NPT Review Conference in 2020.

Chairpersons,

I urge the DPRK to formalise its commitments to cease nuclear testing by signing and ratifying the CTBT. This would constitute a clear demonstration of the DPRK’s commitment towards peace, security and denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula.

I also call on India and Pakistan to further formalise their moratorium on nuclear testing by signing the CTBT as a first step.

I urge all Annex 2 Signatory States to take concrete steps towards ratification. Meanwhile, all signatories must continue to act in accordance with the object and purpose of the treaty.

Pending the entry into force of the CTBT, all existing moratoria on nuclear test explosions must be maintained.

I sincerely welcome the ratifications of Thailand and Zimbabwe as well as the signature of Tuvalu – all important steps towards the universalisation of the Treaty.

Chairpersons,

The International Monitoring System (IMS) is today playing an important role in providing reliable information on nuclear explosions.

However, only the entry into force of the treaty will allow for the full use of the verification regime, which is so urgently needed to uphold trust in a difficult security climate. Sweden is proud to contribute to the IMS through the SAUNA system for noble gas detection, and to support the upcoming field exercises with our technical expertise.

Chairpersons,

Sweden’s political and technical engagement against nuclear testing will remain steadfast. We will do our part to ensure that nuclear tests are relegated to the history books.

Our goal remains a world free of nuclear weapons.

Thank you.