Press Release – CTBTO Preparatory Commission
• CTBT Science & Technology Conference 2013 • • CTBT Science Course • • UNSG Ban Ki-moon visits CTBTO HQ • • Lassina Zerbo meets with Burkina Faso’s President Blaise Compaore • • Voluntary EU contribution of EUR 5 Million • …
• CTBT Science & Technology Conference 2013
• CTBT Science Course
• UNSG Ban Ki-moon visits CTBTO HQ
• Lassina Zerbo meets with Burkina Faso’s President Blaise Compaore
• Voluntary EU contribution of EUR 5 Million
• New video: Exercising readiness for an on-site inspection
• New video: Reykjavik panel discussion
• CTBTO Faces
• UN General Assembly votes on CTBT resolution, cooperation with the CTBTO
• CTBT on the table after U.S. elections
• A top-down approach to a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East (Carnegie Endowment)
• Using animal thyroids as ultra-sensitive biomonitors for environmental radioiodine (American Chemical Society)
• Nuclear test veteran who flew through a mushroom cloud (BBC)
• Photo Series: Anatomy of an A-bomb test (Time)
• Buck Rogers and the atomic education of America (Bulletin of Atomic Scientists)
• A “promenade” at the former nuclear test site in Semipalatinsk
• Infamous Anniversaries
CTBT Science & Technology Conference 2013
The CTBTO will be hosting the Science and Technology Conference 2013 from 17 to 21 June 2013. The meeting is aimed at building and strengthening the organization’s relationship with the broader scientific community. The deadline for abstract submission is 1 February 2013. The three themes will be:
• The Earth as a complex system
• Events and their characterization
• Advances in sensors, networks and processing
Members of the diplomatic community, the media and civil society are also welcome. The conference is being made possible by the generous contribution of the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs.
CTBT Science Course
Participants from 75 countries attended the science course Around the Globe and Around the Clock: The Science and Technology of the CTBT at the CTBTO’s headquarters from 12 to 23 November. More than 1,000 people followed the course online through the e-learning platform. Keynote speakers included Linton Brooks, Wendy Watson-Wright and W. Lee Howell.
Read more >
UNSG Ban Ki-moon visits CTBTO HQ
On 26 November 2012, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre) visited the Vienna International Centre. At the CTBTO, he was received by Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth (right) and Lassina Zerbo, Director of the International Data Centre (IDC). While there, Ban Ki-moon took a tour of the IDC’s Operations Centre.
Lassina Zerbo meets with Burkina Faso’s President Blaise Compaore
Burkina Faso’s President Blaise Compaore congratulated Lassina Zerbo on his election as the next Executive Secretary of the CTBTO. Zerbo, a Burkinabe national, will take office on 1 August 2013 as the successor of Tibor Tóth, whose term will expire the day before. Zerbo also met with Foreign Minister M. Yipénè Djibrill Bassole, who reaffirmed his country’s dedication to promoting world peace and stability.
Voluntary EU contribution of EUR 5 Million
The EU has contributed €5 million to help strengthen the verification regime being established by the CTBTO, including support for the further build-up of on-site inspection capabilities. Special emphasis is being given to training programmes to enhance the participation of developing countries.
New video: Exercising readiness for an on-site inspection
The most recent on-site inspection exercise tested critical aspects of an on-site inspection at a military base near Vienna. The simulation included moving 50 tons of equipment to the inspection area, setting up the base of operations and sometimes cumbersome negotiations with the inspected State party.
New video: Reykjavik panel discussion
This video features a panel discussion held after the staged reading of the play ‘Reykjavik’ by Richard Rhodes in New York on 27 September 2012. It includes thought-provoking narrations and insightful analyses by five men who witnessed Cold War history in the making: Max Kampelman, Roald Sagdeev, Morton H. Halperin, Richard Rhodes and moderator Philip Taubman.
Interviews with people who define the nuclear age – Watch new trailer
In November, CTBTO FACES featured interviews with:
• Meena Singelee, Executive Director at the International Network for Emerging Nuclear Specialists.
• Bharath Gopalaswamy, Associate Director of the Program in Arms Control Disarmament and International Security at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
UN General Assembly votes on CTBT resolution, cooperation with the CTBTO
The UNGA’s 1st Committee approved the CTBT draft resolution (PDF) with 166 in favour to 1 against (DPRK) and 3 abstentions. It “…urges all States that have not yet signed the Treaty, in particular those whose ratification is needed for its entry into force, to sign and ratify it as soon as possible.”
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The UNGA also adopted, by consensus, a resolution on cooperation between the UN and the CTBTO (amongst other organizations). CTBTO head Tibor Tóth congratulated Member States for their perseverance in pursuing a complete ban on all nuclear testing: “You are marathon runners for this cause.”
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CTBT on the table after U.S. elections
After the November U.S. elections, analysts and scholars explore the renewed prospects for promoting CTBT ratification, and the impact of such a development on other countries that have yet to sign and/or ratify the Treaty for entry into force:
• An American President in the Age of Globalization, by Strobe Talbott (Brookings)
• Mr. President, It’s Time to Move Forward on the Test Ban Treaty, by Daryl G. Kimball (Arms Control Now)
• Now What? By Michael Krepon (Arms Control Wonk)
• Dealing with Obama’s next four years, by Jyoti Malhotra (Business Standard)
A top-down approach to a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East (Carnegie Endowment)
As one of the steps to advance the creation of a weapons of mass destruction-free zone in the Middle East, Pierre Goldschmidt suggests starting with a “nuclear-test-free zone” in the Middle East through full adherence to the CTBT (image: current CTBT status in the Middle East).
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Kalman Robertson from the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific elaborates on this proposal.
Read more >
Using animal thyroids as ultra-sensitive biomonitors for environmental radioiodine (American Chemical Society)
Scientists from the Atomic Institute of the Vienna University of Technology published a study on thyroid biomonitors, proposing that the determination of the animal’s level of exposure to radioactive iodine-131 could potentially be used as one of the methods for future CTBTO on-site inspections.
Nuclear test veteran who flew through a mushroom cloud (BBC)
Joseph Pasquini is a former British Royal Air Force navigator who flew through two nuclear test mushroom clouds and witnessed three more from the ground. At the age of 79 and after having battled cancer seven times, he shares his memories to promote the British nuclear veterans’ cause.
Photo Series: Anatomy of an A-bomb test (Time)
The atmospheric Able test and the underwater Baker test in 1946 were the first of a series of 67 U.S. nuclear tests conducted at the Bikini atoll in the Pacific Ocean. Photographer Fritz Goro was on hand to witness Operation Crossroads, as the test series was called, as an official observer.
Buck Rogers and the atomic education of America (Bulletin of Atomic Scientists)
Review of the book “Atomic Comics- Cartoonists confront the world” by the late Ferenc Morton Szasz, which describes how the Atomic Age and Cold War nuclear threat found its expression in popular culture, particularly in comics.
A “promenade” at the former nuclear test site in Semipalatinsk
Norwegian political scientist Ursula Gelis shares impressions of her visit to the former nuclear test site of Semipalatinsk in present-day Kazakhstan. Gelis talked to locals about the impact of nuclear testing on their lives.
The Infamous Anniversaries of November were: