Government of Zambia hosts national seminar on CTBT

Government of Zambia hosts national seminar on CTBT

In co-operation with the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the Government of the Republic of Zambia organized a national seminar on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) on 21 February 2006 in Lusaka.

The objective of the seminar was to enhance the understanding of the Treaty by the relevant actors in the Zambian Government who would be crucially involved in working with the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission on issues pertaining to its activities in Zambia.

In his opening statement, the Zambian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Mr. Davison Mulela reaffirmed Zambia's commitment to the Treaty and informed the seminar that Zambia's instrument of ratification had been deposited with the United Nations Secretary-General in December 2005. (Zambia's ratification of the CTBT came into effect on 23 February 2006.) Stressing both global security and development as important issues, Mr. Mulela said that there could be an increasing relationship between disarmament and development. Resources freed by nuclear weapons States from the production and development of nuclear weapons could enable those States' to increase resources for development assistance.

The Director of the Legal and External Relations Division of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission, Mr. Ziping Gu, also addressed the seminar and, on behalf of Mr. Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission, thanked the Zambian Government for hosting the seminar and its commitment to the CTBT.

Around 30 participants representing Government Ministries and Departments as well as academic and scientific institutions participated in the seminar. PTS staff gave presentations on political, legal and technical aspects of the CTBT and the work of the Commission. Representatives of the Zambian Government shared their views on the Pelindaba Treaty and the Zambia's obligations following ratification of the CTBT.

Discussions focused on the political significance and prospects of entry into force of the CTBT and national requirements following ratification. Discussions also covered the potential benefits for Zambia arising from the CTBT verification regime, including technical support for operation of an auxiliary seismic station and a National Data Centre in Zambia, training opportunities and potential civil and scientific applications of CTBT verification technologies.

The seminar concluded by making a number of recommendations pertaining to the preparation of relevant national legislation and cooperation between Zambian Government and the CTBTO Preparatory Commission.