Government of the Marshall Islands holds a seminar on the CTBT in the capital Majuro

Government of the Marshall Islands holds a seminar on the CTBT in the capital Majuro

In cooperation with the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the Government of the Marshall Islands organized a national seminar on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in the capital Majuro.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Marshall Islands, H.E. Mr. Gerald M. Zackios, opened the seminar. In his statement, Minister Zackios expressed his hope that the seminar would enhance the understanding of the CTBT by the Marshallese people and provide an impetus for the Government of the Marshall Islands to become a State Party to the CTBT. Recalling the continued suffering from long-term health effects as a consequence of the nuclear weapons tests that were carried out in the Marshall Islands between 1946 and 1958, Mr. Zackios urged world leaders not to pursue their own security at the expense of the security of others. In closing, Minister Zackios acknowledged the importance of the CTBT for global security, and regarded ratification of the Treaty as a systematic and progressive step towards the ultimate goal of eliminating nuclear weapons on the globe.

More than thirty participants representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Attorney General's Office, the Office of the President, the Environmental Protection Agency and various non-governmental organizations attended the one-day seminar. Several mayors, senators, and experts from the Nuclear Institute and the College of the Marshall Islands also attended.

Representatives of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission's Provisional Technical Secretariat informed participants on the political, legal and technical aspects of the CTBT and Commission work. Representatives of the Marshall Islands shared their views on the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zones Treaty (Treaty of Rarotonga) and the obligations of the Marshall Islands following ratification of the CTBT. During the course of the seminar, discussions focused on the political significance and prospects of entry into force of the CTBT, procedures for ratification and national requirements following ratification. Discussions also covered the potential benefits for the Marshall Islands arising from the CTBT verification regime, including training opportunities and potential civil and scientific applications of CTBT verification technologies.

The seminar concluded with the recommendation of a number of follow-up actions regarding ratification, and subject to ratification, preparation of national enabling legislation. The latter would cover issues such as the designation of a National Authority for the CTBT, identification of an organization to act as the National Data Centre and mechanisms for informing the CTBTO of national implementing measures.