The Indonesian Parliament will vote to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) which will reduce the number of states outside the CTBT to eight. This was announces by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). The treaty has been signed by 182 countries and ratified by 156 countries. The eight countries which still remain absent from the ambit of the treaty include India, China, North Korea, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States.
Amidst the states which have not yet enjoined as signatories to the treaty, India, China, North Korea and Pakistan are pronounced nuclear weapon states. Israel has not denied or nor has it admitted to having N-weapons under its possession because of the stand taken by the Tel Aviv whereas, Iran and Egypt have been strong adherent to the claim for a Middle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone.
With respect to the decision of China to not sign the treaty has been due to the reason of the US stand to not ratify the treaty and India wishes that China to sign the treaty before it commits itself to the treaty. India has also put forth questions of disarmament and Pakistan expects India to accede to the treaty before it assents to it.
Indonesia was left with no other go but to sign the treaty as the sole member and the current chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) who has not acceded to the treaty. The ASEAN had recently concluded a treaty on nuclear weapon free zone in the region and this had put further pressure on Jakarta’s government to assent to the CTBT.
The current ratification has come subsequent to the visit by a large group of Indonesian Parliamentarians’ visit to the CTBTO and the approval of the national legislation for ratification of the CTBT by the Defense and Foreign Policy Commission of the Parliament which was granted on November 30. The ratification by Indonesia is expected to prompt action from the remaining eight countries that have not yet acceded to the treaty.
Report by Radhalakshmi R