Statement by Denmark
Date: 7 October 1999
Delivered by: Mr. Theis Truelsen, Political Director from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
I congratulate you on your election to the important post as the President of this Conference.
Allow me to refer to the statement by the European Union, a statement to which my country fully subscribes.
The adoption of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty by the UN General Assembly in September 1996 crowned four decades of international effort to achieve a nuclear test-ban that was truly comprehensive.
The essential message of the Treaty is clear and simple: it prohibits all nuclear test explosions once and for all. It creates a norm by which all members of the international community shall abide. To ensure respect of this obligation, the treaty provides for an effective verification mechanism.
The adoption of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty was a historic event and a milestone in the efforts of the international community to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons and to further nuclear disarmament.
Denmark was among the first countries to sign the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. Danish ratification of the Treaty was completed in December 1998. In spring this year, the Danish Parliament passed the necessary follow-on legislation in order to be able to implement the obligations of the Treaty, once it enters into force.
Denmark is pleased to host two of the facilities in the global network that constitutes the International Monitoring System. Both facilities are situated in Greenland. We are co-operating with the Provisional Technical Secretariat in establishing both facilities.
Since 1996 the overwhelming majority of the members of the UN have signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. Many have ratified the Treaty and more ratifications are under way. We welcome this development towards universal adherence to the Treaty and the norm of non-testing of nuclear weapons.
Regrettably, this norm was challenged by nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan last year. The unambiguous reaction to these tests clearly demonstrated the wish of the international community to see a universal ban on nuclear tests as well as a strengthened international non-proliferation regime. It is a necessary condition for the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty that it has been ratified by the 44 states specifically listed in the Treaty. Unfortunately, this condition has not been met so far.
Against this background the purpose of this conference is clear: we have to consider how to accelerate the ratification process in order to facilitate the early entry into force of the Treaty.
Therefore, Denmark would urge all states that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty without delay. Those states whose ratification is required for the Treaty to enter into force have a specific obligation in that respect.
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and the Nuclear non-proliferation Treaty are the cornerstones of the international non-proliferation regime and the foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament. Nuclear tests endanger peace and stability internationally as well as regionally. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty provides us with a unique opportunity to ban all nuclear test explosions for all times. Let us strengthen international peace and stability by turning this opportunity into reality.
Thank you, Mr President.