Group urges to put CTBT into force

March 4, 2008 at 7:23 PM
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OSLO, Norway, March 4 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn is calling for the United States and other world powers to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and put it into force.

Nunn addressed participants at an international conference on nuclear disarmament in Oslo, Norway, recently. The conference, entitled "Achieving the Vision of a World Free of Nuclear Weapons," was an effort to put an international spotlight on the Reykjavik Revisited initiative led by former U.S. foreign and defense policy leaders George Shultz, William Perry and Henry Kissinger along with Nunn, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization reported.

"We must work to bring the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty into force -- in the United States and in other key states," Nunn said in a statement. "This and other measures will help reverse the spread of nuclear weapons, reduce the risk of nuclear use, inspire greater cooperation, and help build a foundation of cooperation and trust -- among the United States, Russia and China, and all nuclear weapons states."

The Reykjavik Revisited initiative is a reference to the 1986 effort by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet President Michael Gorbachev to eliminate nuclear weapons.

More than two decades later, the group of influential former policymakers is working to put the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty into force.

"The most urgent step now is to bring the CTBT into force," said Hans Blix, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency. "The treaty is there, it has a strong verification regime, and its entry into force would benefit international and regional security and help strengthening the non-proliferation regime."

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