Zimbabwe on Wednesday ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, becoming the world's 168th country to adopt the treaty that prohibits all nuclear weapon explosions including tests.
Endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 10, 1996, the treaty nearly gained universal adherence, with 184 states having signed and 168 having ratified. However, it has not yet entered into force.
After ratifying the treaty, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the country's ratification was a sign of the changing times. "Zimbabwe has now today deposited its instruments for ratification after a period of 20 years."
Mnangagwa said the decision was made due to a new dispensation in the country. "The environment is different and we think it is proper that Zimbabwe sides with those 167 other nations who have ratified against nuclear proliferation."
Zimbabwe's ratification was an important milestone, said Lassina Zerbo, executive secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.
"Zimbabwe is an important country in Africa. Like what the president said, it is a new time, new era. Things are moving, and Zimbabwe is showing to the international community that things are changing," he said.
Zimbabwe was also the 46th African state to ratify the treaty. Countries on the continent that are yet to ratify the treaty include the Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, the Gambia and Sao Tome and Principe, while Mauritius, Somalia and South Sudan are yet to sign the treaty.