By Farai Matiashe
ZIMBABWE has ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) after signing the treaty in 1995.
Addressing a national seminar on CTBT in Harare yesterday, Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo said all scientific evidence had proved that there were no winners from nuclear wars, hence the call for disarmament.
“The doctrine of ‘Mutually Assured Destruction’ says that there will be no winners, but that life and civilisation we know will cease to exist. For the sake of humanity, for us and that of our future generations, we, therefore, urge those who possess nuclear weapons to engage in serious negotiations to reduce, eliminate and ban such weapons,” he said.
Moyo said Zimbabwe was proud to be the newest member of the largest family of nations fighting against manufacture and use of nuclear weapons.
“On the occasion of Zimbabwe’s deposition of the Instrument of Ratification of the Treaty in New York, we have taken this step in the hope that it will contribute to promoting the entry into force of the treaty. Indeed, we are aware that all Annex 2 countries should ratify before the treaty enters into force,” he said.
“However, we are also cognisant of the fact that remaining out of the treaty does not advance the agenda to nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation.”
Lassina Zerbo, the executive secretary of the Preparatory Commission for CTBT Organisation, said Zimbabwe should engage other nations to join the fight against nuclear weapons.
“I appeal to Zimbabwe on its ratification to maintain this momentum, in singular approach and in practical approach to get other states in Africa to ratify, so that Africa can be a nuclear weapons free zone. All countries should ratify the CTBT,” he said.
“We do not have many left in Africa. One of the biggest countries in the region remaining is Egypt and that country is located in the Middle East, where there is tension and Zimbabwe can help make Egypt come on board.”
Zimbabwe has become the 168th country to ratify the CTBT out of 196 countries in the world and she is the 46th out of 54 countries in Africa.
United States of America, North Korea, Israel, China, Iran, Somalia and South Sudan are among the nations that have either not signed the treaty nor ratified it.