United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon criticized the U.S., Iran and six other nations for failing to ratify a ban on nuclear weapons testing and offered to meet with their leaders to speed passage of the measure.
“It is distressing that this treaty has yet to enter force,” Ban said in the Austrian capital at a ceremony commemorating the 15th anniversary of the accord’s creation. “Any country opposed to signing or ratifying is simply failing to meet its responsibilities as a member of the international community.”
Before becoming UN secretary general, Ban helped create the Vienna-based organization that oversees the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. It won’t become law until both the U.S. Senate and Iran’s parliament ratify the accord. Egypt, India, Pakistan, China and North Korea must also agree to the terms before atomic-test explosions are banned.
“I certainly believed that this treaty would have entered into force by now,” Ban said. He offered to travel and meet with leaders of the eight countries that have yet to sign the accord in order to bring the treaty into force.
U.S. President Barack Obama supports the treaty and has said he’d submit it to the Senate for ratification. Iranian lawmakers have accused the test ban treaty organization’s network of spying.
There have been more than 2,000 nuclear test explosions worldwide since the Manhattan Project’s Trinity test in the U.S. in July 1945. The last detonation occurred in May 2009, when North Korea conducted a test, an event that was detected at 61 of the UN organization’s seismic stations.