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U.S. Calls for Nuke Test Ban at ASEAN Forum

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An international campaign is underway to end nuclear weapons testing. (CTBTO photo)

An international campaign is underway to end nuclear weapons testing. (CTBTO photo)

This week at a forum in Tokyo for the Association for Southeast Asian Nations, the U.S. called for ending all nuclear weapons testing. Frank A. Rose, of the U.S. Bureau of Arms Control, said in a speech, “The entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty remains a top priority for the United States.”

This treaty (CTBT) would ban all test explosions of nuclear weapons. However, the U.S. and seven other nations have yet to ratify the CTBT. China, North Korea, India and Pakistan are among those nations.

Rose added, “there is no reason for the remaining Annex 2 states to wait for the United States before completing their own ratification processes…We urge all States to provide adequate financial and political support for the completion of the CTBT verification regime and its provisional operations between now and the entry into force of the treaty because we all benefit from continuing to grow the regime’s capabilities.”

The CTBT features an extensive international monitoring system which has proven effective in detecting test explosions. North Korea’s most recent nuclear tests were picked up by the system within hours of the event.

President Obama, like every other recent U.S. president with the exception of George W. Bush, has stated his support for a treaty ending nuke testing. However, the U.S. Senate needs to ratify the CTBT for it to take effect.

The Senate voted against the CTBT in 1999, citing concerns over verification of whether violations could be detected. In addition, some believe that test explosions are needed to maintain the nuclear arsenal.

Others want to get out of what Dwight Eisenhower once called the expensive and dangerous business of nukes.

There is no word yet on when President Obama will re-introduce the treaty into the Senate. Rose added, “We are working to educate the American public on the security benefits of the Treaty, as well as the dangerous health effects of explosive nuclear testing.”

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About William Lambers

William Lambers is the author of several books including Ending World Hunger: School Lunches for Kids Around the World. This book features over 50 interviews with officials from the UN World Food Programme and other charities discussing school feeding programs that fight child hunger. He is also the author of Nuclear Weapons, The Road to Peace: From the Disarming of the Great Lakes to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Open Skies for Peace, The Spirit of the Marshall Plan: Taking Action Against World Hunger, School Lunches for Kids Around the World, The Roadmap to End Global Hunger, From War to Peace and the Battle of Britain. He is also a writer for the History News Service. His articles have been published by newspapers including the Cincinnati Enquirer, Des Moines Register, the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Buffalo News, San Diego Union Tribune, the Providence Journal, Free Lance-Star (VA), the Bakersfield Californian, the Washington Post, Miami Herald (FL), Chicago Sun-Times, the Patriot Ledger (MA), Charleston Sunday Gazette Mail (WV), the Cincinnati Post, Salt Lake Tribune (UT), North Adams Transcript (MA), Wichita Eagle (KS), Monterey Herald (CA), Athens Banner-Herald (GA) and the Duluth News Journal. His articles also appear on History News Network (HNN) and Think Africa Press. Mr. Lambers is a graduate of the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio with degrees in Liberal Arts (BA) and Organizational Leadership (MS). He is also a member of the Feeding America Blogger Council.