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This 21st issue of Spectrum features an address by the President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaoré, who became the first head of state to address the CTBTO Preparatory Commission at its 40th Session on 13 June 2013. Compaoré shares his vision for peace and international security in a world without nuclear weapons, calling on those remaining States that have not yet signed or ratified the CTBT to do so in order that the Treaty can become legally binding. He also describes the usefulness of CTBTO monitoring data which “are of great importance in defining effective responses to natural risks and disasters.”
As Co-Presidents of the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT at the UN Headquarters in New York on 27 September, Hungary’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, János Martonyi, and Indonesia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marty M. Natalegawa, explain why the CTBT’s entry into force is of paramount importance. Outlining their priorities in promoting this objective, Martonyi calls on the remaining Annex 2 States, especially the United States, to ratify. Appealing to the United States as a NATO partner, he states that “ratification by the United States is in no way detrimental to NATO’s nuclear deterrent, but that it would, on the contrary, enhance global security.” Expressing his concern over the nuclear tests announced by North Korea in 2006, 2009 and 2013 which have exacerbated tensions in the region, Natalegawa says: “Such nuclear tests highlight the urgent need for the CTBT’s entry into force “
Iceland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, maintains: ‘It is abundantly clear that all non-proliferation efforts are critical in tackling the threat of terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons. A fully ratified and implemented CTBT is an indispensable building block for these efforts.” He also highlights the potential use of CTBT monitoring data in helping to mitigate the effects of natural or man-made disasters, particularly in terms of monitoring volcanic eruptions, which he explains is of great interest to Iceland.
This issue also features excerpts of keynote addresses made at the CTBT: Science and Technology 2013 Conference in Vienna, Austria, in June 2013. These include: former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Hans Blix; former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, Ellen Tauscher; former Director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Siegfried Hecker; and Director for Strategic Affairs in the French Ministry of Defence, Michel Miraillet. The keynote speakers present a range of arguments as to why countries that have not yet ratified the CTBT should delay no longer.
Miaki Ishii from Harvard University describes how the CTBTO’s seismic stations “serve unexpectedly well as powerful telescopes to view inside the Earth.” Detailed knowledge of the internal structure of the Earth is essential, she explains, for unravelling its dynamics and history.
An article on ‘Joining forces to reduce radioxenon emissions’ highlights some of the recent collaboration between the CTBTO and radioisotope producers such as the Belgian-based Institute for Radioelements to achieve this goal.
With preparations for the next Integrated Field Exercise in Jordan in 2014 well underway, Spectrum 21 features a photo story depicting ‘Build-Up Exercise III’ which took place in Hungary from 26 May to 7 June 2013. This exercise will simulate an on-site inspection almost in its entirety. Also on this theme, an article by the CTBTO’s Aled Rowlands describes the role of airborne imagery in an on-site inspection.
Issue 20: July 2013
In this 20th issue, the Foreign Minister of Iraq, Hoshyar Zebari, reports on the steps taken by the Iraqi parliament towards ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the importance Iraq attaches to promoting the Treaty’s entry into force. Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who helped the Kennedy administration draft the Partial Test Ban Treaty, describes why the case for ratification of the CTBT by the United States is stronger than ever. Zia Mian from Princeton University focuses on the role of civil society in South Asia in advocating nuclear disarmament.
Columbia University’s Paul Richards explains the seismic findings of the nuclear test announced by North Korea on 12 February; we also elaborate on the radionuclide findings almost two months later. Astronomer Margaret Campbell-Brown from the University of Western Ontario explains how CTBTO data have helped us understand the characteristics of the meteor over the Ural mountains on 15 February. Anders Ringbom and Anders Axelsson of the Swedish Defense Research Agency describe the key role played by noble gas detection systems in responding to the Fukushima nuclear accident in March 2011 and some of the lessons learned.
This issue also features an interview with CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth in which he discusses a range of issues related to nuclear non-proliferation, including the main challenges and achievements during his eight years as head of the organization.
Finally, the paintings by Elin O’Hara Slavick from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on the cover and inside Spectrum 20 illustrate the power of art in educating and communicating political messages.
Issue 19: September 2012
In this 19th issue, the Foreign Ministers of Chile and Finland, Alfredo Moreno and Erkki Toumioja, make a strong political pitch for the Treaty and also highlight the contribution of CTBT verification data for disaster mitigation. They are joined by two prominent South Asian thinkers: former UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs Jayantha Dhanapala, and Hindustan Times Foreign Editor Pramit Pal Chaudhuri.
Nuclear physicist Siegfried Hecker explains why nuclear armed States stand to gain more than they lose from CTBT ratification and Tatsujiro Suzuki, Vice Chairman of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission, provides an invaluable insight into the Fukushima accident. Elena Sokova from the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation explains why nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation education should be sustainable and global, with the CTBTO’s Capacity Development Initiative a welcome development in this field.
Ik Bum Kang from the Korea Institute of GeoScience and Mineral Resources outlines some of the challenges of operating and maintaining primary seismic station PS31, one of the CTBTO’s closest station to the North Korean nuclear test site. Former CTBTO staff member Kirsten Haupt describes how practice makes future on-site inspection inspectors perfect, and guest writer Angela Leuker how the perception of nuclear war has changed over recent decades.
Issue 18: March 2012
In this special 15th anniversary issue of Spectrum and video, a number of former and current staff share some of their personal memories of the journey since March 1997 when the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) began its operations in Vienna. In the words of the first Executive Secretary of the CTBTO, Wolfgang Hoffmann: “We were a very small group of people with a huge task.”
Although confronted with numerous challenges, many staff refer to the enthusiasm, optimism and team spirit which have made it all worthwhile and have enabled great progress to be made. Reflecting on the last 15 years, the CTBTO’s Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth concludes: “I think we can be proud that we have managed to deliver on things that were just dreams in March 1997 and to turn them into reality by spring 2012.”
Issue 17: September 2011
In the latest issue of Spectrum, the former leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, calls for a total ban on nuclear testing. In his article entitled The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT): Helping to create a truly global community, Gorbachev states that we should not be content with the current virtual moratorium on nuclear testing “because commitments that are not legally binding can easily be violated.” He urges the nine ‘rejectionist’ countries that must still ratify the CTBT to do so in order for the Treaty to enter into force.
The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, states that “the CTBT stands as a beacon, lighting the path towards a peaceful world, free from nuclear explosions, whether for military or for peaceful purposes. For this reason, Trinidad and Tobago signed the CTBT on 8 October 2009 and ratified it on 26 May 2010.” She also describes how CTBT monitoring data can be used for disaster mitigation, especially by providing faster tsunami warnings, and outlines efforts to establish a tsunami warning system in the Caribbean. And recognizing the vital links between women and disarmament, the article stresses Trinidad and Tobago’s belief that “all discussions on disarmament, conflict resolution and peace-building must include women to ensure an expansion of their role."
Issue 16: May 2011
In the latest issue of Spectrum, Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan of Jordan underlines the importance of focusing on the nexus between nuclear safety and nuclear security. In her article entitled Safeguarding the Arab Renaissance, Princess Sumaya explains that: “We in Jordan are ready to help shape our nuclear renaissance safely and securely, with a full commitment to non-proliferation and disarmament in our region.” She also outlines a proposal to establish sub-National Data Centres at several science universities in Jordan “to increase the use of invaluable IMS [International Monitoring System] data to aid scientific research in fields as diverse as seismology, geology, the environment and ICT,” and her desire for the establishment of a Regional Data Centre in her country to help expand Treaty acceptance in the region.
Three analysts from the International Data Centre (IDC), geophysicist Marcela Villarroel, seismologist Jane Gore, and physicist Carla Pires, provide unique insights into one of the CTBTO’s core activities – analyzing the data transmitted by the IMS to the CTBTO headquarters in Vienna. They talk about some of the challenges and rewards of their work and the importance of ensuring that CTBTO Member States receive data bulletins and analysis reports in a timely manner.
Issue 15: November 2010
The articles in this issue of Spectrum are from a diverse range of voices, setting a new precedent for the publication. Former U.S. Republican Senator Jake Garn of Utah urges the United States to provide the leadership needed to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons by permanently ending nuclear weapons testing and ratifying the CTBT. Talat Masood, former Secretary for Defence Production in the Ministry of Defence, Pakistan, outlines the near term and long term developments that will influence the nuclear landscape. Bharath Gopalaswamy, formerly of the Indian Space Research Organization and now at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), highlights the benefits of CTBTO membership and points out that States that have not signed the Treaty are at a disadvantage since they do not have access to verification data. Xia Liping from Tongji University in China explains why CTBT ratification is in China’s strategic interests. And Michel Nambobona, the Director General of the National Data Centre in the Central African Republic, outlines his personal role in helping to secure CTBT ratification by his nation.
Spectrum 15 also covers various verification-related issues. On-site inspection expert, Charles Carrigan, describes the evaluation of equipment during the CTBTO’s 2009 Noble Gas Field Operations Test (NG09) in Slovakia. And finally, our own infrasound experts describe some of the recent experiences gained by the infrasound network.
Issue 14: April 2010
In the latest issue of Spectrum, several world leaders reinforce the importance of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty’s (CTBT) entry into force. President Jurelang Zedkaia of the Marshall Islands describes the legacy of nuclear weapon testing on his country and urges full global acceptance and ratification of the Treaty. Kanat Saudabayev, the Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan, summarizes the 13 years of cooperation between Kazakhstan and the CTBTO and his country’s strong support for the CTBT. The Foreign Minister of Australia, Stephen Smith, and the Foreign Minister of Mexico, Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, both reiterate the unwavering commitment of their respective countries to a CTBT in force and outline the different ways in which Australia and Mexico have supported the Treaty and the CTBTO over the years. Ambassador Stephen Ledogar, the U.S. chief negotiator of the CTBT, expands on a number of key issues from the Treaty’s negotiations, which continue to be relevant for today’s debate.
Spectrum 14 also covers a range of verification-related issues and some of the Treaty’s potential scientific applications. On-site inspection expert, John Walker, highlights the main lessons of the Integrated Field Exercise 2008, the largest ever on-site inspection exercise carried out by the CTBTO in Kazakhstan in September 2008. Data mining experts, Stuart Russell, Sheila Vaidya and Ronan Le Bras, describe different machine learning concepts. Flore Samaran, a specialist in bioacoustics and whale conservation, writes about the use of hydroacoustic data for monitoring large whales. And members of the CTBTO’s Public Information team, Peter Rickwood and Kirstie Gregorich Hansen, explain how developing countries benefit from the CTBTO’s capacity building activities.
Issue 13: September 2009
Reflecting the renewed political prominence of the CTBT, this issue of Spectrum has an abundance of political and scientific contributions from prominent authors. No less than four foreign ministers explain why the CTBT is important to their countries: French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and his Moroccan counterpart, Taieb Fassi Fihri, who will be jointly presiding over the Article XIV conference; Alberto Romulo, Foreign Minister of the Philippines and Carl Bildt, Foreign Minister of Sweden, the country currently holding the Presidency of the European Union. With regard to the articles by political analysts, Chinese academic and nuclear arms control expert, Shen Dingli, explains why the CTBT should be ratified by China. James Goodby, former U.S. diplomat and specialist on nuclear non-proliferation and security issues, places the CTBT into the wider context of nuclear non-proliferation.
On the more scientific side, physicist and verification expert David Hafemeister presents a detailed analysis on the CTBT’s verifiability. Sidney Drell, physicist and longtime adviser to the U.S. government and the nuclear weapons laboratories, reflects on the Stockpile Stewardship Program, an important factor for the U.S. discussions on CTBT ratification. The North-West Pacific Tsunami Information Center in Japan explains how it profits from International Monitoring System (IMS) data for tsunami warning purposes. And finally, our own experts provide insights into the CTBTO’s findings on the May 25 North Korean nuclear test.
Issue 12: April 2009
While the current global financial crisis has been dominating headlines recently, it is important not to neglect another complex and insufficiently regulated system: the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime. CTBTO Spectrum 12 highlights the crucial role that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) plays in this regime and is honoured to have an interview with the Academy Award-winning actor and UN Messenger for Peace, Michael Douglas, as well as articles by the German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and the Norwegian Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre. Their contributions are complemented by articles from Deepti Choubey of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Raymond Jeanloz of the University of California, Berkeley. Spectrum 12 also outlines the build-up of the International Monitoring System over the last decade, the Integrated Field Exercise 2008 for on-site inspections, the International Scientific Studies project to assess the readiness and capability of the CTBT to detect nuclear explosions worldwide, and Part 2 of the ongoing cooperation between the CTBTO and the World Meteorological Organization.
Issue 11: September 2008
In view of the current political climate, this edition of CTBTO Spectrum focuses on the role of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in the wider non-proliferation and disarmament context. We are privileged to have received articles from several internationally acclaimed leaders and political figures including President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, former US Senator Sam Nunn, and US senior diplomats, Ambassadors Max Kampelman and Tom Graham. Their contributions are complemented by an article by Daryl Kimball, Executive Director of the Arms Control Association, and there are also feature articles on the Integrated Field Exercise 2008 for on-site inspections, the challenges of establishing monitoring stations in Antarctica, the ongoing International Scientific Studies project to assess the readiness and capability of the CTBT to detect nuclear explosions worldwide, and the cooperation between the CTBTO and the World Meteorological Organization.
Issue 10: August 2007
This special issue of CTBTO Spectrum focuses on the political importance of early entry into force leading up to the Article XIV Conference and the many challenges arising when building a global verification system. World-renowned personalities, such as United Nations Secretary-General Mr Ban Ki-moon and Dr Hans Blix, former Chairman of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, give their views on the significance of the CTBT. Their contributions are complemented by a special feature analysis by Dr Rebecca Johnson, Director of the Acronym Institute, and a respected voice from the non-governmental community.
Issue 9: January 2007
This issue of CTBTO Spectrum looks at the many interactions between the NAWE region and the CTBT, at the anniversary activities marking the adoption of the Treaty ten years ago, as well as at the achievements of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission and future challenges. Several hundred participants listened to presentations of world-renowned scientists in the first scientific symposium organized by the PTS, which was held from 31 August to 1 September 2006 at the Hofburg in Vienna. Delegations and scientists engaged in a multi-disciplinary exchange of ideas and explored synergies between the global scientific community and the CTBTO Preparatory Commission.
Issue 8: July 2006
Besides providing an outlook on the scientifi c symposium by Ola Dahlman, former Working Group B Chairman, this issue of CTBTO Spectrum looks at the many interactions between the South-East Asia, the Pacifi c and the Far East (SEAPFE) region and the CTBT. The PTS is particularly honoured to publish an interview with the Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control of New Zealand, Hon Phil Goff, focusing, inter alia, on the eminent role of New Zealand in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Furthermore, a special feature article by Ambassador Yukiya Amano of Japan looks at his country’s contribution to the Treaty. The Ambassador of Vietnam, H.E. Nguyen Truong Giang, gives his personal view on Viet Nam’s decision to ratify the CTBT as the 34th Annex 2 State.
Issue 7: December 2005
This issue of CTBTO Spectrum takes a close look at the Article XIV process and the results of the 2005 Article XIV Conference. Two eminent supporters of the Treaty provided contributions in this context: An interview with Alexander Downer, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Australia and President of the 2005 Article XIV Conference, recaptures, inter alia, his own personal efforts and the special historic role of Australia regarding the CTBT. The cover story by Ambassador Jaap Ramaker provides new insights into his role in promoting the entry into force of the Treaty as the Special Representative of the Ratifier States. The Eastern European region, the main focus of this issue, is a particularly good example of the continuing and robust support for the Treaty, with all 22 Member States having signed and 19 having ratified it.
Issue 6: July 2005
The African region, which this issue of CTBTO Spectrum focuses on as an overarching theme, is a particularly good example for the ever increasing numbers of signatures and ratifications: Of those States, who signed and ratified the Treaty in 2004, 75 and 66 percent respectively, were from the African region. Besides looking at the relations between Africa and the CTBT, this issue of CTBTO Spectrum provides an overview of the Commission’s work over the past six months, including an update on the latest session of the Preparatory Commission.
Issue 5: December 2004
This issue of CTBTO Spectrum focuses on the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) geographical region and the CTBT. It is the first issue in a series which will be covering all six Treaty-defined regions. The LAC region has always played an important role in contributing towards ensuring the entry into force and universality of the CTBT. When the Treaty opened for signature in 1996, 21 LAC States signed it. In the meantime, the number of signatures has increased to 27, with 20 LAC countries having also ratified the CTBT as of 6 December 2004.
Issue 4: July 2004
This issue of CTBTO Spectrum focuses on the legal aspects of building the verification regime. It sets out to examine the essential role played by facility agreements and other legal arrangements in placing the provisional operation and maintenance of the IMS on a secure legal foundation. An interview with Palitha Kohona, Chief of the Treaty Section of the Office of Legal Affairs at the United Nations in New York, a special feature article by Anthony Aust, former Legal Counsellor of the United Kingdom Foreign Office, and the cover story by Peter Hulsroj, PTS Legal Advisor, give further insights into the unique legal status of the Preparatory Commission and its verification regime.
Issue 3: December 2003
This issue of CTBTO Spectrum looks at the results of the Article XIV Conference. The cover story by Ambassador Yukio Takasu provides a Member State’s view of the Conference. As an overarching theme, this issue focuses on the benefits of signing the Treaty, both political and those deriving from the potential civil and scientific applications of the verification technologies. An interview with Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner, and a special feature article by Hein Haak, a Dutch infrasound expert, concentrate on this theme. As usual, we include an overview of the Commission’s work over the past six months, including an update on the latest session of the Preparatory Commission.
Issue 2: July 2003
This issue of CTBTO Spectrum looks at the ‘mechanisms’ of Conferences on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT, focusing in particular on the upcoming Conference, which will take place in Vienna from 3 to 5 September this year. An interview with Ambassador Tom Grönberg, who is chairing the preparatory process of the 2003 Conference, and a special feature article by the former United Nations Under-Secretary General Jayantha Dhanapala, concentrate on this theme. This issue also provides an overview of the Commission's work over the past six months, including an update on the latest session of the Preparatory Commission. In addition, the cover story by David McCormack, a Canadian seismologist, gives an example of the potential benefits of civil and scientific applications of the CTBT verification technologies.
Issue 1: December 2002
This first issue gives an overview of the status of the verification regime build-up and, as an overarching theme, it highlights the significant role of the Treaty in nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. An interview with Sergei A. Ordzhonikidze, Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament, and a special feature article by Peter Marshall, an expert on seismology, focus on this theme. This issue also provides an update on the latest session of the Preparatory Commission, in addition to regular columns on verification science, the potential civil and scientific applications of the CTBT verification technologies and a column on the PTS staff, which introduces the PTS mission statement.