Cook Islands tenth State
signatory to have signed
A Facility Agreement was signed respectively on 31 March 2000 and on 14 April 2000 between the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration of the Cook Islands, Robert Woonton, and the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO PrepCom), Wolfgang Hoffmann. The Cook Islands is the tenth State signatory, after Australia, to have signed such an agreement.
The purpose of the Facility Agreement is to grant the necessary legal authority to the CTBTO PrepCom to undertake work on Cook Islands territory to establish or upgrade the two monitoring stations that it is hosting as part of the International Monitoring System to verify compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Cook Islands has two IMS stations at Rarotonga. The auxiliary seismic station will require some upgrade to meet PTS specifications. The radionuclide station at Rarotonga is one of the first stations completed by the Provisional Technical Secretariat and it is contributing data to the IDC.
The CTBT, signed by the Cook Islands on 5 December 1997, recognizes that halting all nuclear-weapon-test explosions is an effective measure of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Under the Treaty´s global verification regime to monitor compliance, a network of 321 monitoring stations - spanning some 90 countries - will be able to record data generated by nuclear explosions and other sources in the atmosphere, under water or underground. The network includes 50 primary and 120 auxiliary seismic stations from which data can be used to distinguish between nuclear explosions and the thousands of earth tremors registered annually by the seismic system. It also includes 80 radionuclide stations to sample radioactive debris released during a possible nuclear explosion and, in addition, 16 laboratories to assist in the analysis of samples. Furthermore, 60 infrasound and 11 hydroacoustic stations will be able to record acoustic signals in the atmosphere or under water that may have come from a nuclear explosion. The monitoring stations will transmit, via satellite, in near real time the data to the International Data Centre (IDC) within CTBTO PrepCom in Vienna, where the data will be used to detect, locate and characterize events. These data and IDC products will be made available to the States signatories for final analysis.