New York, United States - Ghana Wednesday became the 154th nation to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, the Vienna-based Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) said. A CTBTO statement, made available to PANA in New York, quoted Tibor Toth, CTBTO's Executive Secretary, as saying that, 'this important and timely step highlights the importance of the CTBTO for global, regional and national security.' Toth stated: 'Following the entry into force of the Pelindaba Treaty last year, Ghana's ratification of the CTBTO further solidifies the resolve of African nations to forever rid the continent and the world of nuclear weapons and nuclear weapon testing. 'I salute the government of Ghana for taking this step and believe it will inspire other non-ratifying states to hasten their own ratification processes,' he noted.
The statement disclosed that Ghana signed the CTBTO on 3 October, 1996, and the Treaty of Pelindaba, which has established a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Africa, on 11 April, 1996.
'Also, in February 2010, Ghana commissioned its CTBTO National Data Centre, so that it can support international efforts to monitor nuclear weapons testing more effectively,' it said.
It also said that, 'adherence to CTBT is almost universal, with 182 states having signed the Treaty to date.'
In Africa, only two countries have yet to sign the Treaty (Mauritius and Somalia), whereas 12 countries have yet to ratify (Angola, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, the Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, Swaziland and Zimbabwe).
Among these, ratification by Egypt, an Annex 2 State, is mandatory for the Treaty to enter into force.
The remaining eight Annex 2 States that have yet to ratify are China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the US.
The other 35 Annex 2 States have ratified the Treaty, including the three nuclear weapon States: France, the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom.
The CTBTO bans all nuclear explosions.
PANA learnt that a verification regime is being built to monitor compliance with the Treaty.
'By the time the Treaty enters into force, 337 facilities will monitor the oceans, underground and the atmosphere for any sign of a nuclear explosion,' the statement noted.
It added that, '264 facilities have been certified to date and are sending data on a continuous basis to the CTBTO’s International Data Centre in Vienna.'
Source: PANA Afrique en ligne