The CTBT is key for driving forward the Global Zero initiative

The CTBT is key for driving forward the Global Zero initiative

The CTBT is key for driving forward the Global Zero initiative

“The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is part and parcel of Global Zero,” Tibor Tóth, the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), said at the Global Zero conference in Paris. “We will seek to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and […] our Nuclear Posture Review will reduce role and number of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy,” declared U.S. President Barack Obama in a statement delivered to the conference.

 

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Further Ratification needed to increase pressure on remaining holdouts

"Ratifications by States belonging to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) would deliver a powerful message," stated CTBTO Executive Secretary Tóth, present at a Manila Workshop from 1 to 2 February. Attended by more 90 international experts on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, the workshop was organized to discuss ways to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and technology, advance nuclear disarmament, and promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

 

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CTBTO’s Executive Secretary emphasizes G77 active engagement with CTBT issues

At the turnover ceremony of the Group 77 Chairmanship, Mr. Tóth pointed out “the importance of the G77’s contribution to the deepening of multilateralism at this moment in history when the future of multilateralism is at stake”. “We in the […] CTBTO are grateful for the Group’s active engagement with CTBT issues. We shall continue to do so as we progress, in partnership, towards entry into force,” stressed Tóth.

 

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CTBTO’s Data Processing capabilities increase with overhaul of computer system and migration to Linux

The CTBTO's International Data Centre (IDC) in Vienna has just completed a challenging five-year project involving an overhaul of its computer systems. This massive endeavour has involved the replacement of all IDC data processing computers with Linux machines (Linux is a full Unix-type operating system) and the associated changes in IDC processing software.

 

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The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty: New Technology, New Prospects?

“The completion of the Nuclear Posture Review, a new National Academy of Sciences study on technical issues related to the CTBT, and a new National Intelligence Estimate on the CTBT as well as the anticipated START follow-on agreement will help shape the ratification timeline for the administration,” stated a new CTBT report by EastWest Institute. Based on a workshop designed to assess the relevance of technical advancement for the future of the Treaty in the United States, the report points out that most of the “International Monitoring System (IMS) is certified or in place” and concludes that “the Obama administration must clearly tie CTBT ratification into the bipartisan consensus on nonproliferation.”

 

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Worried about Iran? Ratify Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

“A global test ban is particularly damaging to Iran's nuclear weapons option because of the way Tehran has presented its nuclear program to the Iranian people and the world”, states Greg Thielmann in the Des Moines Register. A senior fellow at the Arms Control Association, Thielman concludes that the “CTBT ratification by any of the key hold-out countries would make it harder for Iran to explain why it should not also ratify. Moreover, ratification progress would further strengthen the treaty's global verification network, ensuring detection of any Iranian test.”

 

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U.S. should ratify Test Ban Treaty

“Today, we stand to gain more than any other nation from a global, verifiable ban on all nuclear weapons testing”, Jake Garn, a former US senator for Utah, argues in the Deseret News. “The ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty will make our country safer, as we will be better able to work with the international community to prevent nuclear proliferation and to strengthen the security of existing weapons and weapons-usable materials”.

 

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Nuclear foe targets Utah senators in test ban fight

“It's not an exaggeration to say that much of the nuclear weapons policy for the planet will be decided right here in this state," says David Culp, a non-proliferation lobbyist working for the Quaker group Friends Committee on National Legislation. “That's because ratification of the CTBT will probably fall short of the required 67 votes in the U.S. Senate if Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett oppose it, as they did in 1999” reports Paul Koepp for the Deseret News.

 

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Congressional bickering stalls Test Ban Treaty

Marjorie Cortez, an editorial writer at Deseret News “who never understood the point of climbing under one's school desk in the event of a nuclear attack,” argues that “party line politics just doesn't cut it as an excuse to do nothing” on the CTBT.

 

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World Has Made Progress in Earthquake, Tsunami Warning

“We have agreements to provide data from close to 40 seismic and hydroacoustic stations to tsunami warning alert centres in the United States, Australia, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand,” Annika Thunborg, the CTBTO's chief of public information was quoted by America.gov. “Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have expressed an interest in establishing regional tsunami warning centres and to use CTBTO data for tsunami warning alert purposes. We at the CTBTO stand ready to assist them whenever it is suitable for them,” Thunborg added.

 

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The President's Nuclear Vision

“For as long as nuclear weapons are required to defend our country and our allies, we will maintain a safe, secure and effective nuclear arsenal. The president's Prague vision […] is central why we are increasing investments in our nuclear arsenal and infrastructure”, United States Vice President Joe Biden in the Wall Street Journal. Other steps “include completing the new START agreement with Russia, releasing the Nuclear Posture Review on March 1, holding the Nuclear Security Summit in April, and pursuing ratification and entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty”.

 

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Obama budget seeks 13.4 percent increase for National Nuclear Security Administration

“The $11.2 billion request for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) represents a 13.4 percent increase for the agency from the previous fiscal year”, reports Walter Pincus in the Washington Post.  Hans M. Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project of the Federation of American Scientists, said that "the budget signals that the price for the START follow-on agreement with Russia and Senate certification of the CTBT is additional money for nuclear weapons modernization and production facilities."

 

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An interview with Joshua Pollack

“Multilateral arms control is already proceeding, in the form of CTBT ratification efforts and Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty talks, which are now on the agenda of the U.N. Conference on Disarmament. When third countries such as China join the U.S.-Russian arms reduction process is harder to say,” argues Joshua Pollack, a consultant to the U.S. government. “START and CTBT are arguments for caution. Bringing two nuclear treaties before the Senate doesn't create the best moment to press for far-reaching changes in forces and posture.”

 

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