Guinea-Bissau ratifies CTBT

The Republic of Guinea-Bissau recently ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which brings the treaty to the threshold of 160 ratifications.

Guinea-Bissau signed the CTBT on April 11, 1997, joining 182 other states that have signed the treaty. The ratification came during the week of the Article XIV Conference in New York to promote the treaty's entry into force.

"This important step by Guinea-Bissau brings us closer to the universalization of the treaty and inspires me to work even harder towards the CTBT's entry into force," Lassina Zerbo, the executive secretary of the preparatory commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, said.

More than 90 percent of the world's countries have signed the treaty. In Africa, only South Sudan, Somalia and Mauritius have not signed the CTBT. Nine African countries have yet to ratify the treaty, including Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Sao Tome and Principe, The Gambia, Equatorial Guinea, Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Comoros and Angola. Of the remaining African states, only Egypt's ratification is mandatory for the treaty to enter into force.

"Developing nations are again showing leadership by banning nuclear weapons and their testing," Zerbo said. "For African countries which have already banned nuclear weapons and their testing from their continent through the Treaty of Pelindaba, embracing the CTBT should come naturally."

For the CTBT to enter into force, seven other nuclear technology holder countries must ratify the treaty, including Pakistan, Israel, Iran, India, North Korea, China and the U.S.

The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions anywhere perpetrated by anybody.