The Federal Republic of Somalia signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty on 8 September in a signing ceremony in New York, bringing the total number of signatures to 187.
The event was attended by Abukar Dahir Osman, Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Somalia to the United Nations, who signed on behalf of his country, and David Nanopoulos, Chief of the Treaty Section of the UN Office of Legal Affairs.
The move comes after the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the East African state, Abshir Omar Jama Huruse made a pledge to sign the Treaty at the high-level opening of the CTBT Science and Technology Conference in Vienna on 19 June 2023.
“We understand the signing the CTBT is not just a symbolic gesture but a testament to our unwavering dedication to global peace and security,” said the Somalian minister at the biennial event, which brought together around 2,000 researchers, scientists, technologists, academics, civil society representatives, and delegates from States Signatories around the world.
Robert Floyd, the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), who travelled to Somalia in February 2023, said, by signing this Treaty, the country is “adding its voice to the global call for an end to nuclear testing.”
“I am deeply grateful to Somalia for stepping forward and bringing Africa closer to complete adherence to the CTBT. The region’s leadership in nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament is highly commendable,” added the CTBTO head.
To date, 50 out of 54 regional States have ratified the CTBT. Africa is also home to 38 of the CTBT’s 303 International Monitoring System’s (IMS) facilities.
During the visit to Somalia in February, the Floyd met with the country’s Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre, and Minister Jama Huruse, who conveyed a strong commitment to the CTBT. He also engaged in discussions with Somalia’s Justice Minister Hassan Moalim, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Ms Khadija Mohamed and Speaker of Parliament, Sheikh Adan Mohamed Nur.
The United Nations Under-Secretary-General of Disarmament Affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu sent a message to mark the momentous occasion, saying: “The full potential of the CTBTO will only be realized through the CTBT’s entry into force.”
The CTBT bans all nuclear test explosions everywhere, by everyone, and for all time. Adherence to the Treaty is nearly universal, with 187 State Signatories and 178 ratifying states. However, to enter into force, the Treaty must be ratified by all 44 States listed in its Annex 2, for which eight ratifications are still required.
The CTBTO has established an International Monitoring System (IMS) to ensure that no nuclear explosion goes undetected. Currently, 305 certified facilities – of a total of 337 when complete – are operating around the world. The data collected by the IMS serves multiple purposes, including disaster mitigation, such as earthquake monitoring and tsunami warning. Additionally, it supports research in various fields, ranging from whale migration to climate change studies to predicting monsoon rains.