October 4, 2012 - 17:12 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Chile, the Philippines and the Netherlands are among countries lobbying for their candidates to head an international body set up to monitor a planned global ban on nuclear weapon tests, diplomats said, according to Reuters.
Senior officials from Burkina Faso and Mongolia are also seeking the job as executive secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) in a vote expected later this month.
"It is quite open. There are five good candidates" with nuclear and disarmament experience, one European diplomat said about the campaign to succeed Tibor Toth, an Hungarian who now holds the post. Another envoy in Vienna predicted a close race.
The successful candidate will take over at a potentially important time for the future of the treaty, with proponents hoping the United States will finally ratify it and give it a much-needed momentum towards becoming international law.
It is one of eight countries - together with China, India, Pakistan, Israel, Iran, North Korea and Egypt - whose approval is needed for the pact that was negotiated in the 1990s and has so far been ratified by 157 states to take effect.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last week called on them to ratify it, saying they were "failing to live up to your responsibility" as a member of the international community.
"There is a direct link between ending nuclear testing and eradicating nuclear weapons," he said.
The United States and China are two of the world's five officially recognized nuclear weapons states, together with Britain, Russia and France.