Over twenty years have passed since the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) opened for signature. Today’s nuclear event is a matter of grave concern which underscores the need for the Treaty’s rapid entry-into-force. Now, more than ever, it is clear that there is a need for a legally binding prohibition on nuclear testing. As young people, we are the generation that will confront the humanitarian, environmental, political, and economic consequences of any future nuclear testing and conflict. Determining the future of the CTBT is a matter of urgency. Following today’s event, we stress that now is the time for bold action to realize a future free from nuclear explosions.

We now have an opportunity to educate our peers about the dangers that we will face as a generation. Although the nuclear shadow does not loom as viscerally as it did during the Cold War, the threat of nuclear proliferation continues to grow. Young people have always had a role in actively calling on the international community to adopt more robust nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament measures, and we continue to serve in this role through the CTBTO Youth Group (CYG). The CYG is open to all students and recent graduates who are interested in contributing to global peace and security through promoting the CTBT and its verification regime.

The CTBT’s International Monitoring System (IMS) has already proven to be a robust and trusted verification system. It remains at the forefront of scientific and technical innovation, acting as a fact-based confidence-building measure. The IMS is also doing a great deal of good through its various civil applications, such as earthquake and tsunami warnings. In addition to being a scientific and technical marvel, the CTBT is also a
diplomatic one. The CTBT builds confidence between states, as well as confidence in a rule of international law based on inclusive, transparent treaties that provide equal rights to its member states.

The entry-into-force of the CTBT would contribute significantly to strengthening the international nonproliferation regime. We applaud those governments that have signed and ratified the CTBT and support the objectives and norms of the Treaty. We call upon the international community, and particularly the remaining Annex II States that have yet to sign and/or ratify the CTBT, to support the entry-into-force of the Treaty.

We invite all youth to join our efforts and learn more about the important work needed ahead. Tomorrow begins today, and today begins with us. #Youth4CTBT

Download the statement in pdf format here.

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