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The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBTO) is not in force, but it has near-universal adherence to banning nuclear explosions, the head of the group said Tuesday, asserting that the world has a responsibility to get the accord applied.

CTBTO Executive Secretary Robert Floyd spoke to journalists at the UN in Geneva and later addressed diplomats.

He said 185 states signed the treaty and 170 have ratified it while three countries have conducted nuclear tests — only one of them this century.

“I know that we can achieve a world free of nuclear testing because failure to do so is not an option,” said Floyd.

Later Floyd told diplomats at the UN, “You might be surprised to hear that there remains 18 ‘non-annex two states,’ the majority of them state signatories that have not yet ratified,” the treaty that opened for signature 25 years ago in 1996. “Every additional signature and ratification will strengthen the global norm against nuclear testing and build the much-required momentum towards its entry into force.”

8 more states needed

Eight more specified states need to ratify the treaty for it to take effect.

Earlier, in answer to a journalist’s question about Israel, Floyd named the states that have yet to ratify: China, Egypt, Israel, India, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan and the United States.

Floyd told diplomats: “You have a crucial role to play. I’ve launched intense efforts to secure additional ratifications in this anniversary year.”

He said, “In the five decades between the death and destruction of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the birth of this Treaty, more than 2,000 nuclear tests were conducted.

“The average explosive yield of these tests each year was equivalent to nearly 1,000 Hiroshima-sized bombs.”

In the last 25 years, the CTBTO has developed a “tried and tested” verification system proving its effectiveness at detecting even relatively low yield nuclear tests, as was the case with the first announced atomic test carried out by North Korea in 2006.

Floyd told Anadolu Agency that the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva negotiated the CTBT initially, and technical discussions were conducted.

“Geneva is the home when it comes to disarmament. Vienna is more the home on non-proliferation,” he said.

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