2011 - a year of important achievements for the CTBT and the CTBTO

Spring – helping throughout the Fukushima disaster

The tragic triple March 11 disasters in Japan – the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident – killed tens of thousands of people and affected many more. The added value of International Monitoring System (IMS) data for disaster mitigation became evident once again, as seismic and hydroacoustic stations enabled national tsunami warning centres in the region to issue timely warnings. Radionuclide stations provided first-hand information on the emissions from the stricken power plant and their dispersal worldwide. The cooperation between the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) and other relevant international organizations in responding to nuclear accidents was strengthened.

The new video features impression from the Takasaki IMS station and interviews with key scientists.

Even before entering into force, the CTBT is saving lives.

Summer – a scientific pilgrimage to Vienna

Around 550 scientists and 200 other participants (diplomats, representatives of civil society and the media) congregated at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna for the three day Science and Technology (S&T2011) Conference in June 2011. Close partnerships and knowledge exchange with the broader science and technology community is crucial to assure that the CTBTO’s verification system remains state-of-the art – and always one step ahead of would-be testers. Around 300 scientific presentations and posters (see book of abstracts ) discussed how to further refine nuclear test-ban detection capabilities. Civil and scientific applications of the verification regime also featured prominently. An entire afternoon was dedicated to how CTBT monitoring technologies contributed during the Fukushima crisis, including a special panel session – the first discussion of its kind in a public forum.

The conference review video features interviews with some of the eminent scientists.

The Fukushima accident gave yet another glimpse of the enormous potential that this system provides much beyond the original intended use of nuclear test monitoring.

Autumn – training the next generation of CTBT experts

In addition to hundreds of national experts trained in regular technical workshops and exercises and hundreds of policy makers and civil society representatives reached through presentations, seminars and visits to the CTBTO throughout the year, the organization started its Capacity Development Initiative to train the next generation of CTBT experts. A total of 160 participants attended the week-long CTBT Introductory Course in September and the two-week Advanced Science Course in Vienna, while 210 more followed the courses online. In addition to in-depth lectures on non-proliferation and disarmament and all CTBT verification technologies, course participants interacted with CTBTO analysts, simulated aspects of an on-site inspection (OSI) and took part in panel discussions with disarmament experts.

Watch the Advance Science Course’s introductory lecture.

...now I can say I am fully aware what are the main objectives, basic functions, and dreams and missions of CTBTO and that really helps me to do my part as a part of the international community.

Winter – thanks to Indonesia, the CTBT is now closer to becoming global law

On 6 December, the Indonesian parliament voted to ratify the CTBT, reducing the number of Annex 2 States that have yet to sign and ratify the Treaty for entry into force to eight: China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States. The step was welcomed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, U.S. President Barack Obama and Foreign Ministers from around the world. The other two (non-Annex 2) countries that ratified the CTBT in 2011 were Ghana and Guinea. The Treaty now stands at 182 signatures and 155 ratifications.

The Indonesian parliament unanimously voted to ratify the CTBT on 6 December 2011.

I am determined to ensure that Indonesia's decision today will create momentum to encourage others who are still holding out to do the right thing. And the only right thing is to ratify the CTBT now, no more procrastination, no more delaying because it is right, it is proper and it makes a more secure world.

Throughout the year ? ardent political and financial support

Foreign ministers and high-level representatives gathered at the Article XIV Conference in New York on 23 September to renew their call to bring the CTBT into force, unanimously adopting a Final Declaration . The build-up of the verification regime continued at a steady pace, with 285 of 337 monitoring facilities now operational, see interactive map. OSI capabilities received a boost as Member States allocated over US$ 10 million for the next major OSI exercise and a new OSI equipment storage and maintenance facility opened its doors (see video). 2011 also saw the largest-ever voluntary financial contributions with the United States pledging U.S. $ 34.4 million in support of further enhancements of the verification regime, including for the completion of the last of the 11 hydroacoustic stations, which monitor the world’s oceans for nuclear explosions.

"Has your country joined the CTBT?”