In 1992, the United States government voluntarily implemented a moratorium on nuclear explosive testing—a policy that has been observed ever since, by four presidential administrations, both Democrat and Republican. Four years later, the United States was the first country to sign the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) when it opened for signature.
Today, the Obama Administration continues to urge ratification by the United States, as well as the other Annex 2 states, so that the treaty can enter into force as quickly as possible. A legally binding prohibition on nuclear explosive testing is in the interest of all nations and of all humanity, and is long overdue.
The case for the CTBT has never been stronger. Over the past 20 years, the United States has gained high confidence in our ability to maintain the safety, security, and effectiveness of our much smaller nuclear arsenal through the scientific, technical, and engineering capabilities of our Stockpile Stewardship Program, without the need for nuclear explosive testing. During that same period, the International Monitoring System for verifying compliance with the CTBT has developed and matured to the point that nuclear explosive testing by anyone, even at very low yields, will be detected.
I'd like to thank all the delegates to the 2015 Article XIV conference for their steadfast support for the CTBT, and to express my deepest appreciation to the governments of Japan and Kazakhstan for their outstanding leadership in this year's proceedings. We look forward to working with all parties to make the CTBT’s entry into force a reality.
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Every other year, a conference is held to facilitate the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). While its official name is the Conference on Facilitating Entry into Force of the CTBT, it is more commonly known as the “Article XIV conference” in accordance with the relevant Treaty article. The ninth Article XIV conference is taking place on September 29, 2015, at the United Nations headquarters in New York, New York.