Media advisory - invitation to the International Scientific Studies Conference

Media advisory - invitation to the
International Scientific Studies Conference

The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) is pleased to invite members of the media to

THE INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC STUDIES CONFERENCE - ASSESSING THE CTBT VERIFICATION REGIME’S CAPABILITY TO DETECT NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS.

The Conference will take place at the Hofburg Congress Centre, Josefsplatz 3, 1010 Vienna, Austria from 10 to 12 June 2009.

The International Scientific Studies Conference is a major global undertaking which will be attended by around 400 scientists from over 70 countries as well as diplomats, officials and NGO representatives. The Conference will present the most complex assessment to date of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty’s (CTBT) capability and readiness to detect nuclear explosions anywhere on the planet. Participants will also focus on how the CTBT’s global alarm system can benefit from future scientific and technological developments.    

The Austrian Foreign Minister, Michael Spindelegger, will open the Conference.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will address the Conference through a video message.

Some of the key questions that will be addressed at the Conference:

  • What exactly was observed when the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) announced that it had conducted nuclear tests in October 2006 and in May 2009?
  • How capable is the verification regime of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in detecting nuclear tests? Is there any chance for a would-be tester to evade detection?
  • How powerful will the CTBT be once it has entered into force and on-site inspections are permitted?
  • Which scientific, humanitarian and other security-related applications other than test-ban verification can the monitoring data and technologies be used for?

Background

The CTBT will ban all nuclear explosions when in force. The CTBTO has been mandated to build up a verification regime to monitor compliance with the Treaty: over 70 percent of the facilities making up the CTBT’s International Monitoring System are already in place.  

Nine countries have yet to ratify the Treaty for it to enter into force.  The Conference’s findings will play an important role in the decision-making process of these nine countries. They are China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Israel and the United States, who have already signed the CTBT, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India and Pakistan, who have yet to sign and ratify. 180 States have signed the Treaty and 148 have ratified it.

Practical information

A press briefing is scheduled to take place at the Hofburg Congress Centre in Vienna, Austria, on Wednesday 10 June at 12.30. A short press point will be arranged with Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger on Wednesday 10 June at around 10.15 in the Gardesalon. Please register your interest in attending.

The Conference is open to the media (registration required). Filming and recording is possible: kindly inform us in advance of the equipment that you intend to bring. Wi-Fi and a limited number of computers will also be provided free-of-charge at the Hofburg for the media. The entrance to the conference is from Josefsplatz 3, 1010 Vienna.

For more information on the conference, please see the ISS dedicated area on our home page at www.ctbto.org.

Contacts

  • Interview requests for the Austrian Foreign Minister, Michael Spindelegger: Valerie Hauff, tel: + 43-0-501150-3327, mobile: +43-676-8999-3327, e-mail: valerie.hauffping@bmeia.gvpong.at
  • Practical information and registration: Christian Evertz, CTBTO Public Information, tel: +43-1-26030-6108, mobile: +43-664-512-9409, e-mail: christian.evertzping@ctbtopong.org