Opening Remarks By Ambassador Imron Cotan Secretary General Department Of Foreign Affairs Republic Of Indonesia At The Workshop On The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty: Towards Indonesia's Ratification Jakarta, 10 November 2008

11/10/2008

 
Excellencies,
Distinguished Participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a pleasure and privilege for me to welcome all of you to Jakarta and to the Workshop on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty: Towards Indonesia’s Ratification. I am very much honored by the presence of the Chair of the Presidential Advisory Board, Bapak Ali Alatas, and Ambassador Tibor Toth, Executive Secretary of the PrepCom for the CTBTO as well as distinguished speakers from Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) of the CTBTO.

May I also express our appreciation and gratitude to the CTBTO, the Australian Safeguards and Non-proliferation Office (ASNO) and the Australian Embassy in Jakarta for supporting the holding of this Workshop.

We are organizing this Workshop in response to the great need to enhance public awareness and understanding of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Indonesian stakeholders should have a proper understanding of this international treaty and its relevance to our national interests.

Thus in this Workshop participants will have an opportunity to exchange views on the political and legal issues related to the CTBT’s ratification by Indonesia as well as on the scientific and technical benefits of the Treaty. These inputs are indeed needed for the treaty eventual ratification by the Indonesian parliament. It has to be taken into consideration that – in Indonesia’s functioning democracy – the parliament is no longer a mere rubber-stamp institution.

Excellencies,
Distinguished Participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The CTBT was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and was opened for signature on 24 September 1996. Since then it has gained strong worldwide support. As of November 2008, the Treaty was signed by 180 countries and ratified by 146 states. Unfortunately, none of those nuclear-weapons possessing states have so far ratified the Treaty.

Nevertheless, the international community considers the CTBT as one of the cornerstones of the international regime on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons that may serve as a lynchpin to pursue a world that is free from these indeed barbaric weapons as sanctioned by Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

In accordance with the objectives of the Treaty, the CTBTO has, inter alia, to increase the capacity of the international community to deal with the scientific and technological aspects of non-proliferation. In that way humankind can derive a great deal of dividends in terms of development from the implementation of the Treaty.

And, by virtue of Annex I of the Treaty, Indonesia has been designated as site for the placement of six auxiliary seismic stations provided by the CTBTO, the function of which is to monitor the compliance by the states-parties to the Treaty. Four of these are already in operation.

These seismic stations can also function to monitor earthquakes and tsunamis to which Indonesia is highly prone.

Not too long ago we suffered an unprecedented catastrophe in the form of an earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 150,000 Indonesians. Our people were caught totally unprepared for that immense disaster. We should not be so unprepared again. Thus tomorrow, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will be inaugurating the Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System.

The effectiveness of that system in detecting earthquakes and providing early warning on tsunamis would be enhanced by the full functioning of the seismic stations I have referred to earlier. We will never know the exact number but we are sure that a great many lives will be saved through this system.

Finally, let us hope the current global financial crisis would provide a new impetus for the international community to rethink that the world’s finite resources should better be used to improve the welfare of all peoples around the world, instead of using them to arm ourselves with weapons that we know would only destroy us and our civilization.
The emerging of new administrations around the world would hopefully contribute to achieving this indeed lofty objective.

Excellencies,
Distinguished Participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wish you every success in your important undertakings. And, may I now declare this Workshop officially open.
Thank you.