Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Palau Steps Up for Disarmament

Palau is asserting its sovereignty in new ways (perhaps as confidence wanes in the value of their 2003 inclusion in the Bush Administration’s “Coalition of the Willing”).

The Associated Press reports that Palau has ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), bringing the number of states who have ratified the Treaty to 139.

Also of note, Radio New Zealand International reported on August 1, 2007 that Palau was elected as one of 21 Vice-Presidents of the United Nations General Assembly, the smallest country every to hold that post, according to Marianas Variety. Let’s hope that Palau uses this important moment for small state diplomacy to advance the universality of the CTBT.

If Palau campaigns to bring small states into the CTBT at the General Assembly, they will be successful. More small states ratifying the Treaty would mean less political cover for those that remain outside, advancing the cause of early entry-into-force. In this way, Palau could make a historically disproportionate contribution to international security.

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