NEW YORK, 12 NOVEMBER 2001
STATEMENT BY H.E. Mr. JAIME GAMA, MINISTER OF STATE AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF PORTUGAL, TO THE CONFERENCE ON FACILITATING THE ENTRY INTO FORCE OF THE COMPREHENSIVE NUCLEAR-TEST-BAN TREATY (CTBT)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First let me congratulate you on your election to the Presidency of the second Conference to promote the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Belgium has already spoken on behalf of the European Union and Portugal fully subscribes to that statement. Let me emphasise certain issues of particular importance.
I want to reiterate to the United States and to the American people the deep-felt sympathy and solidarity of my country and of the Portuguese people in the aftermath of the appalling events in New York and Washington last September. Portugal condemns terrorism in all its forms and considers a priority of the International Community to fight that scourge with unabated determination.
No matter where the international situation is going to take us, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation will always have a central role in the building up of a safer world for this generation and for those to come.
We can not afford to lose the momentum towards a nuclear test-ban system that is reliable and verifiable, ensuring also free access to the data collected. This is the inner force that embodies the fundamental goals of this Treaty and the rationale behind the creation of this Organisation.
CTBT and CTBTO are thus fundamental instruments to achieve our goal of a safer World. However, none of this will be reached until the International Community brings the Treaty into force and adopts it universally. Words of support and statements are simply not enough. States must show their commitment to the Treaty by ratifying it.
Portugal has actively supported the CTBT from the very first minute. We will do our utmost to ensure the full installation of the three stations in our territory as soon as possible. I take this opportunity to express our gratitude for the full co-operation that the Provisional Technical Secretariat of the CTBT has extended to us.
We share the idea already expressed by the EU Presidency that this Conference must adopt a strong final declaration sending a clear message to all States. It is imperative for them to adhere to the CTBT, in particular those which are on the list of 44 countries that are needed for this Treaty to enter into force.
Last year, during the Review Conference of the NPT, all Participating States committed themselves to the irreversibility of Nuclear disarmament. To achieve this goal it is indispensable that the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty enters into force and all its mechanisms are fully implemented. It is also indispensable that conditions exist for the CTBTO to function, including the maintenance of the current levels of financing.
I hope that this Conference will provide the opportunity to reaffirm our common commitment to the Treatys obligations and undertakings. It should also facilitate a broad agreement on measures that could be taken to promote its entry into force.
To this date 161 States have signed and 85 States have ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The new threats that we now face can only strengthen our resolve to transform this very broad international consensus in concrete measures to achieve the universality of this Treaty without further delay.