Executive Secretary addresses Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies
8 October 2018
“Bangladesh can take the lead on the CTBT and inspire other States in the region and beyond to play a meaningful role in bringing the Treaty into force”, said CTBTO Executive Secretary, Lassina Zerbo, in a keynote address to the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) on 4 October 2018.
During the event at the BIISS, which was attended by senior diplomats, government officials, scholars, journalists as well as members of NGOs and other organizations, Zerbo underlined the importance of the role and contribution of the CTBT to international peace and security as well as the reliability of the CTBTO verification system.
The value of the CTBT is underpinned by its science-based verification system capable of monitoring and detecting nuclear explosions.
Zerbo reiterated that it was of utmost importance to sustain credibility and strengthen global commitment to the CTBT, stressing the prominence of both science and diplomacy to promote the Treaty, noting that a step by step approach was needed to non-proliferation and disarmament. The Executive Secretary also highlighted the importance of the Treaty as part of a multilateral approach to the global framework of international security which should be strongly supported.
The common ground which the international community can and should agree on is that we cannot return to the era of nuclear weapons testing. Despite political differences and recurring tensions, there is a de facto international norm against testing, solidified through the science and technology behind the CTBT.
Zerbo visited Dhaka, Bangladesh, from 3 to 6 October 2018, where he met the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, who recalled Bangladesh’s strong support for the CTBT and the importance of establishing peace and security in the region through non-proliferation and disarmament. Noting the important role Bangladesh has in the region, Zerbo thanked the Foreign Minister for Bangladesh’s strong commitment to the CTBT and the work of CTBTO.
I hope to continue counting on Bangladesh’s support in encouraging other countries to sign and ratify the CTBT, in particular in the South Asia region.
During his visit, Zerbo also met with the Secretary of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Anwar Hossain, to discuss the strengthening of cooperation with Bangladesh through training in the region. Zerbo mentioned the importance of Bangladesh hosting an IMS Auxiliary Seismic Station in Bariadhala, Chittagong and that Bangladesh should make use of CTBT data and technology for civil and scientific purposes.
While in Dhaka, Zerbo paid respect to the Father of the Nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by placing a floral wreath at his portrait.
He also visited the National Data Centre of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) and discussed the operation of the Auxiliary Seismic Station as well as the work being carried out at BAEC for the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Zerbo explained the benefits for Bangladesh of making use of the full spectrum of IMS data available, in particular for Disaster Risk Reduction. He encouraged Bangladesh experts to participate in the SnT Conference in Vienna in June 2019.
Bangladesh signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) on 24 October 1996, and ratified on 8 March 2000. It was the first Annex 2 State in South Asia to sign the Treaty, and one of the 36 Annex 2 States that have already ratified the CTBT. Bangladesh is also contributing one certified auxiliary seismic station to the International Monitoring System of the CTBTO.