Global Security Newswire, 6 dec 2011.
Indonesia Ratifies Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
The legislature of Indonesia on Tuesday ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, leaving eight nations that must fully sign off on the accord before it can become the global rule of law, Reuters reported (see GSN, Dec. 1).
"By this historic decision, the gap keeping the treaty from entering into force has been narrowed down to eight countries," according to Tibor Tóth, executive secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization.
Indonesia is one of 44 "Annex 2" states that must gain legislative approval for the global prohibition on nuclear test blasts before it can enter into force. The remaining holdouts from that group are China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the United States. Egypt is the only nation on that list that is not known or widely suspected of having a nuclear-weapon program.
With the consensus decision by the Indonesian House of Representatives, 156 nations have ratified the pact.
"The ratification by Indonesia today will hopefully give a push for nuclear-weapon owners to do the same," according to Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa.
The Obama administration has vowed to press for U.S. Senate ratification of the treaty, but observers have said that is not likely to occur before the 2012 presidential election. The Senate rejected the pact in 1999.
Advocates argue that the 1996 treaty promotes nonproliferation and that the United States has the technical capabilities to maintain a safe and reliable strategic arsenal without explosive testing. Opponents question those assertions and doubt whether the global web of sensor technology established under treaty would be enough to identify any atomic detonation (Rondonuwu/Dahl, Reuters, Dec. 6).
The Indonesian measure would take effect in 30 days, or earlier if it is signed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Kyodo News reported (Kyodo News, Dec. 6).
Formal international recognition would occur when the Indonesian measure is delivered to the United Nations, according to a CTBTO press release.
“Indonesia will use its good relations to promote the treaty in Asia and the Middle East and beyond and at the highest political level,” lawmaker Hemly Fauzy, who headed the ratification effort in the House of Representatives, said during a recent visit to the CTBTO headquarters in Vienna, Austria (Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization release, Dec. 6).