LONDON — A treaty banning all nuclear weapons tests could be reached this year or the beginning of next year, the chairman of the committee negotiating the ban said.
This is much sooner than the 12 to 18 months that Miguel Marin-Bosch gave after the conclusion of the first round of talks on a comprehensive test ban treaty in late March.
Marin-Bosch, of Mexico, is chairman of the nuclear test ban committee of the 38-nation Conference of Disarmament.
After decades of Cold War stalemate, the United States and Russia decided last year to actively support a comprehensive test ban, a decision widely supported by countries without nuclear weapons.
The United States, the Soviet Union and Britain agreed on a partial test ban in 1963 covering tests in the atmosphere, outer space and underwater. A comprehensive test ban treaty--aimed primarily at underground tests--would outlaw all nuclear explosions.