UN chief Ban urges world powers to push ahead on nuclear test pact

The leaders of global powers should unite to finally bring the global nuclear test ban treaty into effect, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday in Vienna.

UN member countries agreed on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty 20 years ago, but it has yet to come into force because a number of key countries, including the United States and China, have not yet ratified it.

"This is a very regrettable situation," Ban said at a panel discussion hosted by the provisional Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) in the Austrian capital.

"It is a matter of lack of political will," Ban added.

Egypt, Israel, Iran, Pakistan, India and North Korea also have to yet to turn the pact into national law before it can come into force.

"They have a special responsibility," Ban said about the eight countries.

Except for Egypt and Iran, all of these hold-out countries possess or develop nuclear weapons.

Ban also urged nuclear weapons states to "reawaken" efforts to scrap their nuclear arsenals.

Although the test ban is not yet in effect, the CTBTO has set up a working global network of monitoring stations, which have been able to detect North Korea's nuclear tests.

As soon as the pact is in force, the CTBTO would get the right to conduct on-site inspections in countries that are suspected of having tested a nuclear device.

Last update: Wed, 27/04/2016 - 14:28
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