On the positive side, the very fact that we are all here at the CTBTO laying all the groundwork for entry into force is significant, even if the former sense of urgency is somewhat lacking. Although we underestimated certain technological problems, as well as how long it would take to negotiate host country agreements, we have demonstrated that a globe-spanning Verification Regime can be built. This is a pretty impressive confidence-building measure in itself. Overall, there has been an enormously positive response. Now we need to inject some additional momentum. Maybe the next US presidential elections in 2008 will bring about a much-needed change. We’ll have to wait and see.
The most significant external event has certainly been
the US’s failure to ratify in October 1999.
This has slowed the whole process.
Q: Although you stepped down in 2006, are you still planning to be active in certain areas of the CTBTO’s work?
When I stepped down from the chairmanship of Working Group B, I was very happy to hand over this task to my close friend and colleague, Hein Haak, and of course have no intention of interfering there!
Demonstrating that a globe-spanning Verification Regime
can be built is a pretty impressive confidence-building
measure in itself.
Still, for any organization working in the intellectual sphere, it’s important to stay in touch with the scientific community. The technology agreed upon in the early 1990s was a scientific achievement in its time, but a lot has happened in the meantime; for example, in the area of information analysis and technology. In order to encourage innovations, it will be essential to stay in touch with science; not only each individual’s ad hoc professional contacts but there is also a need for the organization to cultivate an organized relationship with the scientific community.
The PTS has launched an International Scientific Study project
(ISS) in 2008-09. Scientific institutions worldwide will address
the readiness and capability of the CTBTO verification regime.
As part of a deeper engagement with the scientific community, the PTS has launched an International Scientific Study project (ISS) in 2008-09. Scientific institutions worldwide will address the readiness and capability of the CTBTO verification regime. They will also look at how science has evolved since the CTBT was negotiated more than ten years ago. There has been a huge improvement in the development of technologies over the last decade. We need to ask ourselves: how can we improve the system from within? How can modern data analysis methods improve the verification capability? Etc. It will indeed be a very interesting project and I am looking forward to continuing working with this!