Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Three Cheers for the Dominican Republic!

The Associated Press reports (and the website of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization [CTBTO] confirms) that the Dominican Republic has ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, becoming the 140th state to have done so. This is particularly great news two weeks ahead of the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT (also called Article XIV Conference, which will take place from 17 to18 September 2007 in Vienna, Austria).

Six months ago, the Committee on Hemispheric Security of the Organization of American States held a special meeting celebrating the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Tlatelolco. The Dominican Republic was represented at this meeting commemorating the establishment of the first nuclear weapon-free zone in a populated region. CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth, Randy Rydell of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, President of the Global Security Institute Jonathan Granoff, and Nuclear Age Peace Foundation President David Krieger, and I all spoke to the need for nuclear disarmament progress building on the leadership exhibited by the Tlatelolco signatories. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to emphasize that:

“your governments should sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Barbados, Cuba, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago have not yet signed and the Bahamas, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala have not yet ratified the Treaty. There is no reason any civilized nation should remain outside the nuclear test ban club. This image depicts the global network of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban’s International Monitoring System, by joining the Treaty, your government contributes to an increasingly respected global norm of nonproliferation and disarmament.”
Coincidence? Almost certainly. But this historic step by the Government of the Dominican Republic to support a legally-binding end to nuclear explosions anywhere underscores the potential in the other nine states mentioned above.

Come on, Bahamas, I know you’ve got it in you!

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