India, seven others yet to ratify treaty

The list of countries still outside the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) thinned by one with Indonesia's parliament voting to ratify Jakarta's accession to the treaty, according to an announcement by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO).

This leaves India and seven other countries including China, North Korea, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States, out of the CTBT, which has been signed by 182 countries and ratified by 156.

Annexe 2 of the CTBT essentially asks all 44 designated nuclear technology holder countries to sign and ratify the Treaty in order to bring it into law.

Among the countries which have not signed the CTBT, the U.S, India, China, North Korea and Pakistan are declared nuclear weapon states. Israel neither confirms nor denies it has nuclear weapons and due to this stand by Tel Aviv as well as the collapsing Middle-East peace process, Iran and Egypt have linked their accession to the demand for a Middle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone.

Of the others who have not signed, China wants the U.S to ratify the treaty first, India wishes China does the same before it will consider following suit, though it has also raised disarmament-related questions, and Pakistan is looking at India to accede to the treaty.

Barring procedural questions, Indonesia, as the current chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) which has concluded a Treaty on a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region, had little leeway in the matter. More so because all remaining nine ASEAN members have signed the CTBT and only three are yet to ratify it.

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