Dominica and Cuba lone Caribbean countries refusing to sign Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
By TDN Staff Writer
January 15, 2012 11:25 a.m.
Roseau, Dominica (TDN) —- Following the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban (CTBT) Treaty by Guatemala last week, Dominica and Cuba remains the only two countries of the 33 in Latin America and the Caribbean Region who have not signed or ratified the treaty.
Guatemala’s decision brings to 156 the number of countries in the world who have ratified the treaty and 189 who have signed up. To come into effect, the treaty has to be ratified by the eight remaining nuclear technology holder countries: China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States.
The CTBT is aimed at banning all nuclear explosions everywhere, by everyone. Countries that sign on to the treaty undertake to outlaw nuclear testing and to enhance non-proliferation and disarmament worldwide.
The UN through the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) is building an International Monitoring System (IMS) to detect all nuclear explosions. Already, 280 facilities have been set up in 85 countries, including 35 in the Latin America and the Caribbean region. The system involves putting in place seismic stations that monitor the ground for shockwaves generated by nuclear explosions.
Data registered by the IMS can also be used for disaster mitigation such as earthquake monitoring, tsunami warning, and the tracking of the levels and dispersal of radioactive materials from nuclear accidents.
Cuba continues to insist that in order for it to sign the treaty the United States must give back Guantanamo. However, it is not clear why Dominica, a country that prides itself on being the Nature Isle of the World would neither sign nor ratify the treaty. Attempts to illicit a response from the government has so far been unsuccessful.