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Members of CTBTO Group of Eminent Persons warn against any demonstration nuclear test explosion

Vienna, 29 May 2020

Members of the CTBTO Group of Eminent Persons (GEM) issued the following statement in reaction to media reports that senior officials in the United States have discussed the possibility of conducting a demonstration nuclear test explosion:

“We express our deep concern regarding credible press reports that senior U.S. officials have discussed the possibility of conducting a demonstration nuclear test explosion, which would, if carried out, break the global moratorium on nuclear weapon test explosions and severely undermine the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban (CTBT) regime, established to help detect and deter nuclear weapon test explosions anywhere in the world.

“Nuclear weapon test explosions, for any purpose, are a vestige of a bygone era. Only one state this century has detonated nuclear weapon tests, and today all of the world’s nuclear armed states are observing nuclear test moratoria.

“The most effective way to resolve possible concerns about very low-yield nuclear explosions and enforce compliance with the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, is to bring the treaty into force. This requires ratification by eight remaining hold-out states, including the United States, China, DPRK, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, and Pakistan. When it does enter into force, states have the option to demand intrusive, short-notice on-site inspections to investigate suspicious activities.

“We urge all responsible states to reiterate their strong support for the global norm against nuclear test explosions of any yield that has been established by the CTBT, to take concrete action to secure its prompt entry into force, and to urge the use of diplomacy rather than intimidation to build a more peaceful and secure international security environment for all.”

Nobuyasu Abe                    
Hans Blix
Grigory Berdennikov
Desmond Browne
Jayantha Dhanapala
Sérgio de Queiroz Duarte
Thomas Hajnoczi
President Tarja Halonen
Wolfgang Hoffmann
Angela Kane
Patricia Lewis
Kevin Rudd
Ahmet Üzümcü