CTBTO Workshop in Jamaica promotes cooperation at the regional level

CTBTO Workshop in Jamaica
promotes cooperation at the
regional level

A three day Workshop on CTBTO International Cooperation and National Implementation of the Treaty for the Greater Caribbean States has just concluded in St. Ann, Jamaica. The workshop, which took place from 3 to 5 December, brought together 28 participants from 15 States in the region. Representatives from Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Science and Technology and Defence in the Greater Caribbean Region attended, as did policy makers, decision makers and scientific experts in test-ban matters, and Members of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS). Three non-signatory States, the Bahamas, Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago, also took part. The Workshop built upon the recommendations of the Regional Workshop for States of the Latin America and the Caribbean Region which took place in Lima, Peru, in November 2000.

The opening session was attended by H.E. Delano Franklyn, Minister of State of Jamaica, Mr Edmundo Vargas-Careo, Secretary General of the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL), Mr Carlos D?vila, Director of the Association of Caribbean States, and the Mayor of St. Ann, Jamaica. Also attending were Mr Wolfgang Hoffmann, Executive Secretary of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission, and Ms Hannelore Hoppe, Chief, Weapons of Mass Destruction, United Nations.

The Jamaica Workshop aimed to provide an overview of the work of the Preparatory Commission and the technologies of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) verification regime, to enhance understanding of the CTBT and to assess the needs of States from the Greater Caribbean Region for assistance in national Treaty implementation. In addition, the Workshop set out to foster the exchange of information and experiences for the effective implementation of the Treaty in the region, to consider possible benefits of the application of the verification technologies for civil and scientific purposes, and to explore ways and means to promote cooperation among States Signatories in the region in the verification technologies, including the possible establishment of Regional Data Centres.

Participants concluded that the Latin American and Caribbean States play a pioneering role in promoting nuclear non-proliferation in the region through the Treaty of Tlatelolco. The CTBT, in line with and superceding the commitments of Tlatelolco, constitutes an effective measure of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and contributes to the enhancement of global peace and security. Participants also agreed that the CTBT verification regime supports the needs of States for nuclear-test-ban monitoring in multiple environments. It was also agreed that, while the raison d??tre of the verification technologies is to verify Treaty compliance, non-verification uses of such technologies can offer additional benefits to States. The range of civil and scientific uses to which the verification technologies can be put could contribute to sustainable development and human welfare.

States that have not yet done so, and in particular those States whose ratification is necessary for its entry into force, were called upon to sign and ratify the Treaty. The Provisional Technical Secretariat requested the States? support to advance the work of the Commission, by, inter alia, establishing the necessary legal framework for work to proceed on the establishment of the International Monitoring System, facilitating the provision of licenses for the Global Communications Infrastructure, and ensuring a timely payment of assessed contributions. Several participants sought information on the process of incorporating their own national technical facilities as Cooperating National Facilities.

The workshop participants made several recommendations for promoting cooperation in verification activities. These included exploring the possibility of establishing a cooperation agreement between the CTBTO Preparatory Commission and the Association of Caribbean States (ACS). Such an agreement would enhance Commission efforts to promote the Treaty among ACS Member States, while at the same time furthering cooperation in the civil uses of the verification technologies. Participants also recommended the constitution of national working groups integrated by institutions dealing with CTBT issues (i.e. Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Ministries of Science and Technology, Defense Ministries, Universities, etc.), and the establishment of an information network to disseminate CTBT related information, including training opportunities, database access and exchange of experiences in the implementation of the Treaty at the national level. It was also recommended to assess regional capabilities and to use existing institutions whenever possible in order to avoid duplication of efforts, and to involve relevant regional institutions such as the Caricom Secretariat and the Caribbean Research Institute in informing politicians and decision makers on the benefits of the CTBT.

For further information on the CTBTO, please see www.ctbto.org or contact:
Annika Thunborg, Chief, Public Information  
T    +43 1 26030-6375  
E    annika.thunborgping@ctbtopong.org
M    +43 699 1459 6375       
I    www.ctbto.org