- By Colum Lynch
Colum Lynch is Foreign Policy's award-winning U.N.-based senior diplomatic reporter. Lynch previously wrote Foreign Policy's Turtle Bay blog, for which he was awarded the 2011 National Magazine Award for best reporting in digital media. He is also a recipient of the 2013 Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Silver Prize for his coverage of the United Nations.
Before moving to Foreign Policy, Lynch reported on diplomacy and national security for the Washington Post for more than a decade. As the Washington Post's United Nations reporter, Lynch had been involved in the paper's diplomatic coverage of crises in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, and Somalia, as well as the nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea. He also played a key part in the Post's diplomatic reporting on the Iraq war, the International Criminal Court, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. counterterrorism strategy. Lynch's enterprise reporting has explored the underside of international diplomacy. His investigations have uncovered a U.S. spying operation in Iraq, Dick Cheney's former company's financial links to Saddam Hussein, and documented numerous sexual misconduct and corruption scandals.
Lynch has appeared frequently on the Lehrer News Hour, MSNBC, NPR radio, and the BBC. He has also moderated public discussions on foreign policy, including interviews with Susan E. Rice, the U.S. national security advisor, Gerard Araud, France's U.N. ambassador, and other senior diplomatic leaders.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Lynch received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985 and a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1987. He previously worked for the Boston Globe.
Indonesia announced today that it will seek ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, dropping its demand that it would only do so after United States had ratified the landmark agreement. The announcement marks the most significant non-proliferation commitment by a non-nuclear state at the NPT conference.
"I wish to inform the present august assembly that Indonesia is initiating the process of the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty," said Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa. "It is our fervent hope that this further demonstration of our commitment to the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation agenda will encourage other countries that have not ratified the treaty, to do the same."
The test-ban treaty was established in September 1996, and more than 150 states have ratified it. But the pact will not go into force until eight countries with nuclear power programs –China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, and North Korea — ratify the treaty.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who chaired a preparatory commission on the treaty in 1999, has pressed the United States and other governments to ratify the agreement. "The time has come to think seriously about setting a timeframe for ratification," he said Monday. "It has been 15 years since the treaty was opened for signature. Here, too, how long must we wait?"
Most of the declared nuclear powers, including the United States, have observed a moratorium on nuclear tests. But the United States has sought for years to develop technological procedures that would allow it to ensure the effectiveness of its nuclear weapons without having to test explosives.
The Obama administration supports the ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, but it has not put it forward for consideration by the U.S. Senate because of concerns that it will be voted down. But Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton today reiterated support for the pact. "We have made a commitment to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty," she said.