VIENNA, Nov. 30, 2011 /CNW/ - Oscar-winning actor and producer Michael
Douglas is well known for his commitment to nuclear disarmament. Now
he has teamed up with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
Organization on a series of austere but powerful TV spots aimed at
raising support for the Treaty.
To view the Multimedia News Release, please click:
"The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is a guiding light on the
road to a nuclear weapons free world. Once in force it will help
prevent the kind of nuclear arms race we experienced in the past and
will make it much more difficult to continue to build up nuclear
arsenals," says Douglas.
Douglas says his engagement with nuclear disarmament issues stems from a
childhood set against the backdrop of the Cold War arms race. "I grew
up in the United States at a time when nuclear weapons testing was
commonplace. We used to have air raid drills at school and my father
had a bomb shelter built in his yard in California. As a child, it was
difficult to grasp the meaning of what was happening. It had a
nightmare, monster-like quality which always haunted me," he says.
"Later, as I began to understand the ramifications of nuclear weapons
testing, my commitment to nuclear disarmament grew."
In the five decades following World War II, more than 2,000 nuclear
bombs were tested at over 60 locations around the world. Radioactive fallout from these explosions impacted humans, animals and the environment.
Many test sites will remain uninhabitable for thousands of years to
Born of the optimism following the end of the Cold War, the
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty opened for signature in 1996 amid
acclaim and hopes for a speedy cessation to the nuclear testing
madness. Today it enjoys widespread support from more than 180
countries around the world, but it cannot enter into force until nine
outstanding nuclear-technology holder countries ratify. They are
China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and
the United States of America. Indonesia's commitment to complete the
ratification process this year brings new hope and moves us closer to
entry into force. But as the world waits for the others to follow, the
threat of resumed nuclear testing and a new arms race hangs over us
"The world has waited long enough for the Treaty to become global law,"
says Douglas. "So today, as an actor and a United Nations Messenger of
Peace, I'm using my voice and my name to raise awareness and support
for this crucial Treaty. I'm calling on the nine countries that still
need to ratify the Treaty to do so without further delay, so that we
can bring it into force and remove the threat of these terrible weapons
once and for all."
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty outlaws all nuclear explosions
anywhere, anytime, by anyone. It stands for a safer and more secure
world because it prohibits the development of new nuclear weapons as
well as the upgrading of existing nuclear arsenals.
In the past, concerns about the verifiability of the Treaty were
sometimes given as reasons for not ratifying but today, with the CTBT's
billion-dollar, state-of-the-art verification regime almost completely in place, that is no longer an issue. "The CTBT is
clearly verifiable," says Douglas. "No nuclear test will go unnoticed
with the International Monitoring System firmly in place."
The International Monitoring System (IMS) is the backbone of the
verification regime. Its facilities worldwide scour the planet for
signs of a nuclear explosion - underground, underwater and in the
atmosphere. It uses four monitoring technologies: seismic,
hydroacoustic, infrasound and radionuclide. The network is nearing
completion with 285 of the planned 337 facilities already operational.
Earlier this year, the crisis in Japan underlined the growing importance of the system's civil applications -
monitoring earthquakes, speeding up tsunami warning alerts and tracking
radioactive dispersal from nuclear accidents.
SOURCE CTBTO Preparatory Commission
For further information:
Angela Leuker, CTBTO Public Information
Thomas Muetzelburg, CTBTO Public Information