Thursday, Aug 29, 2002
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By George Chakko
In an interview with this correspondent, the new PrepCom chairman, Liviu Aurelian Bota and the CTBTO executive secretary, Wolfgang Hoffmann, said PrepCom was averse to any modification of Article XIV on entry into force. Dr. Hoffmann said the treaty was difficult to negotiate and the Article XIV with the entry into force clause was cumbersome. To a question whether the clause could be dropped, Dr. Hoffmann said, "The only way to change this is to go back to all those who have signed and ratifed, and these are 165 states that have signed and 93 states that have ratified. And all of them have to say, yes, O.K. we drop this clause. But I tell you, there will be a terrible upheaval with the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Ministries, because they have to rewrite their internal legislation. All those 93 who have ratified have to rewrite their ratification law."
Mr. Bota said the objective of the treaty was to completely prohibit nuclear tests. "Therefore I would say that the focus of the ambition and energies should be to keep Art. XIV the way it is operational. I would say there are plenty of states and room for work and initiatives to bring all relevant countries into the treaty. That is why I am saying at this particular point in time, probably the focus should be not so much on the technical or legal aspects related to Art. XIV, he said."
Asked which country wanted Art. XIV, Mr. Bota said, "The point I am making is that this treaty as a model, as a universal vocation should become universal.
At this point of time, the focus of energy and work should be not so much on the technical language of the treaty but to cling together all countries to the universal spirit of the treaty."
In the context of questions raised on laboratory computer simulation and sub-critical tests, Dr. Hoffmann added that when this issue came up in Geneva for inclusion into the treaty, the majority felt it was not controllable, therefore not verifiable.
The aim was a verifiable treaty. India, he said, did not sign because it thought lab and sub-critical tests should be included, but did not win a majority.
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