Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono when speaking at an International Defense Dialog in March 2011 said a real push towards nuclear disarmament by the nuclear powers has given a good reason for the world to be optimistic in looking at the future.

This year, Indonesia has demonstrated a stronger commitment to promoting a peaceful world which is free from nuclear threats by ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

The country has also actively advocated nuclear disarmament in various regional fora, especially in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and NAM (Non-Aligned Movement).

The Indonesian House of Representatives passed legislation officially endorsing the CTBT on December 6, 2011.

The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions in all environments for military or civilian purposes.

According to the preparatory Commission for Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), 182 countries have signed the treaty, of which 156 have also ratified it.

The CTBT`s stringent entry-into-force provision prescribes that all 44 designated nuclear technology holder countries, which include Indonesia, must sign and ratify the treaty in order to make it law.

Indonesia is the 36th country that have ratified the treaty. Eight countries still have to ratify it, namely China, the Democratic People`s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States.

Indonesia`s step is expected to have a domino effect in that it would encourage the eight countries that have not yet ratified the treaty to follow suit.

Welcoming Indonesia`s move, US President Barack Obama said that the treaty`s ratification by Indonesia provided a strong example of the positive leadership role the country could play in the global effort to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

"The United States remains fully committed to pursuing ratification of the Test Ban Treaty and will continue to engage members of the Senate on the importance of this Treaty to US security," Obama added.

Indonesia`s Foreign Affairs Minister Marty said in late November 2011 the government would during its attendance at regional and multilateral events continue to promote wider international adherence to the nuclear test ban treaty.

In the Southeast Asian region, the minister said, Indonesia as the ASEAN Chair 2011 had been able to conduct negotiations with five nuclear weapon states (together referred to as the P5 group - namely the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and China), about the formation of a South East Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone.

"With the finalization of negotiations between ASEAN and the five nuclear weapon states, we have the assurance that the 600 million population of the Southeast Asia region will be freed from nuclear weapon threats," he said.

On the sidelines of the 19th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in Bali, November 2011, Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Law and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto said there was progress regarding ASEAN`s efforts to get the P5, to respect and make a commitment not to violate the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (SEANWFZ).

"After a hiatus of 10 years , negotiations about the P5 acceding to the SEANWFZ were resumed this year," he said.

In his opening speech in the 19th ASEAN Summit, President Yudhoyono urged the P5 to immediately sign the protocol of Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (SEANWFZ).

"We have to take advantage of this precious momentum to have the the SEANWFZ protocol signed as soon as possible," he said.

The SEANWFZ treaty was signed by all ASEAN members in 1995 and came into force in 1997. It expresses the region`s desire to contribute towards general and complete nuclear disarmament and the promotion of international peace and security.

Indonesia is the chair of the Commission for SEANWFZ in 2011, and also the Coordinator of the NAM`s Working Group on Disarmament.

The NAM was founded in Belgrade, on September 1-6, 1961. The First Summit Conference was attended by 25 countries, namely Afghanistan, Algeria, Yemen, Myanmar, Cambodia, Srilanka, Congo, Cuba, Cyprus, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Lebanon, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and Yugoslavia.

On the final day of its 16th Ministerial Meeting in Bali, in May 2011, the NAM member nations issued a Statement on "the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons" calling for the nuclear weapon disarmament for the sake of preserving world peace.

The NAM ministers in the Bali meeting reiterated their deep concern over the nuclear weapons threat to humanity, and therefore, the total banning of nuclear weapons in the world was a priority of NAM.

"The Ministers, in the framework of the 50th Anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement, declared their firm commitment to work for convening a high level international conference to identify ways and means of eliminating nuclear weapons at the earliest possible date, with the objective of an agreement on a phased program for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons with a specified framework of time, to prohibit their development, production, acquisition, testing, stockpiling, transfer, use of threat of use, and to provide for their destruction," the NAM Bali statement stated.

President Yudhoyono in his opening speech at the NAM meeting expressed the country`s wish to see a future without nuclear weapons.

"We work very hard to advance a vision of a world of zero nuclear weapons," the president said. (*)

Reporter: Fardah
Editor: Aditia Maruli Radja
Copyright © ANTARA 2011