Banning the testing of nuclear weapons has been a key disarmament objective since the 1950s. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which was negotiated in the Conference on Disarmament (CD) and opened for signature in 1996, prohibits all nuclear explosions in all environments. Although over 150 countries have acceded to the CTBT, which has been signed by 182 states, it has not yet entered into full legal effect due to an overly restrictive entry-into-force provision (Article XIV). This specified that every member on a list of 44 countries with nuclear capabilities (Annex 2 states) must sign and ratify. While 36 of the 44 have ratified (Indonesia most recently in 2011), eight have not: China, Egypt, Israel, Iran and the United States have signed but not ratified, while India, Pakistan and North Korea have so far refused even to sign the CTBT.

The Acronym Institute had its origins as the primary networking NGO campaigning on the CTBT from Geneva during the 1994-96 negotiations and has continued to work with governments and civil society to implement and bring the treaty into force. In 2009, the United Nations published Dr Rebecca Johnson’s book on the CTBT negotiations, titled ‘Unfinished Business: the Negotiation of the CTBT and the End of Nuclear Testing’.

More information on the CTBT, including links to the latest news, plus articles and analyses from the Acronym Institute, can be found on the main CTBT page in the Directory.

CTBT Related Content

19 March 2014

The head of the international organization set up to outlaw nuclear weapons testing urged Israel Wednesday to be the next country to ratify the global nuclear test ban treaty, and told The Times of Israel he thought Israel would “probably” do so.

Lassina Zerbo, executive...

Dr Rebecca Johnson
3 October 2012

Sixty years ago, on October 3 1952, the United Kingdom conducted its first nuclear test explosion, codenamed ‘Hurricane’.  Marking Britain’s entry...