Page 1: 1996-97 Creating the CTBTO

1996: Establishment of the Preparatory Commission

Because many senior diplomats were already in New York for the 51st Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the first meeting of the Signatories to the Treaty was held on 19 November 1996.

Prior to the signing of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in September 1996, negotiators attending the Conference on Disarmament drafted a text calling for the establishment of a Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Organization (CTBTO). The CTBTO would facilitate the Treaty’s entry into force and develop the International Monitoring System (IMS) and the International Data Centre. It would also serve as a provisional organization to manage the administrative and operational details of securing implementation of the Treaty.

Because many senior diplomats were already in New York for the 51st Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the first meeting of the Signatories to the Treaty was held on 19 November 1996. During this meeting, States Signatories voted to adopt the document “Resolution Establishing the CTBTO Preparatory Commission”.

The CTBTO consists of two organs: a plenary body known as the Preparatory Commission composed of all States Signatories and the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS).

The CTBTO consists of two organs:
firstly, a plenary body composed of all States Signatories chaired on a yearly rotating basis by representatives of the regional groups (known as the Preparatory Commission);
secondly, the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS), which is tasked with the promotion of the Treaty and its entry into force, as well as the establishment of the international verification regime.

On 20 November 1996, the CTBTO convened its first meeting to deliberate over the Rules of Procedure, Financial Regulations and other matters pertaining to the future operation of the organization. Signatory States also vied over senior positions within the CTBTO and the PTS.