Executive Secretary Official Visit to Cyprus
18-19 May 2018, Cyprus
CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo participated in the International Summit-Conference “Climate Change in the Mediterranean and the Middle East: Challenges and Solutions” hosted by the Cyprus Institute on 18 and 19 May 2018. The conference addressed the scientific basis of Climate Change in the region, its various impacts and challenges, mitigation/adaptation strategies, as well as policy challenges and governance. The invitation from the Cyprus Institute recognizes the value of IMS technologies and data for civil and scientific applications on the topic of climate change.
During his visit, Zerbo met with Níkos Anastasiádis President of the Republic of Cyprus, Demetris Syllouris, President of the House of Representatives, Minas Hadjimichael, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Olympia Stylianou, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Kleanthis Nicolaides, Director of the Department of Meteorology and other high ranking national representatives. He also met with Petteri Taalas, Secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
The verification system which comprises over 300 nuclear-test monitoring stations around the world also helps better understand climate change. It is a global public good that serves humanity and the environment.
The Executive Secretary delivered a keynote on the contribution of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) on the topic of climate change. He highlighted the major role played by the CTBT in preventing the massive climate impacts caused by nuclear explosions as well as CTBTO unique data and technologies for scientific studies, including in the field of climate change. The ability of its verification system to track meteorological phenomena and natural events as well as nearly two decades of accumulated data provide a concrete way to understand climatic evolution. In his talk, the Executive Secretary also highlighted the enhanced role that Science Diplomacy can play on the issue of climate change, as it does on non-proliferation issues. The nexus between science and decision-making is a most necessary platform to progress on climate change issues. The CTBTO is actively pursuing the alliance of science and diplomacy, and hosts its 2nd Science Diplomacy Symposium from 21 May-1 June, and will feature a session on civil and scientific applications on 23 May 2018.
Cyprus wants peace and stability and will seek support for the CTBT in particular with its partners in the region.
The Executive Secretary was received by Nikos Anastasiádis, President of the Republic of Cyprus. Zerbo expressed his gratitude for the invitation to the International Conference on Climate Change in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, which provided a good opportunity to focus on technical solutions to shared challenges in the region and beyond. He welcomed Cyprus' engagement to expand the technical cooperation with the CTBTO and reported recent discussions with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Cyprus in Vienna and the Department of Meteorology of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment in this regard.
Anastasiádis and Zerbo further exchanged views on the situation of Cyprus and on the current regional geopolitical context. Zerbo encouraged Cyprus to exercise leadership with regional partners to help move forward on the CTBT. Zerbo stressed the importance of discussing the CTBT at highest levels of State. Anastasiádis highlighted Cyprus’ unique links with all the countries in the Middle East and expressed commitment to advocate for the CTBT in his bilateral discussions with States in the region.
Cyprus's strong engagement for the entry into force of the CTBT was reiterated in all high level meetings held in the country. In their discussions, the Executive Secretary and Demetris Syllouris recalled the important role Parliamentarians can play at national and international level through the IPU and other inter-parliamentary discussions. A regional seminar for parliamentarians on CTBT could be hosted in Cyprus next year.
We want and we can play a role for the CTBT in the region.
Zerbo also met with Minas Hadjimichael, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Executive Secretary commended Cyprus for its leadership in seeking solutions on the issue of climate change demonstrated by organizing such a high level and expert conference on the topic in the region. Addressing the current situation in the Korean Peninsula, all highlighted the key role the CTBTO Verification Regime could play in relation with the closure of DPRK test site. Hadjimichael stressed the importance of the CTBT, a priority and concrete step nuclear disarmament. Hadjimichael and Zerbo also further exchanged on concrete measures to seek remaining signatures and ratifications of the CTBT, considering the Cyprus unique relations with all actors in the region.
The Executive Secretary also held discussions with Olympia Stylianou Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment and Dr Kleanthis Nicolaides Director of the Department of Meteorology of Cyprus, to address several technical cooperation projects with the Meteorology Department of the Ministry. Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Zerbo exchanged on expanding cooperation between their organizations.
|The ability of the CTBTO Verification System to track atmospheric disturbances, volcanic eruptions, severe storms or other large scale turbulence, provides a way to improve weather forecasts and, by using nearly two decades of accumulated data, track climate change. Data can also be used for systematic research on ocean processes and marine life in the context of climate change. The CTBTO promotes and facilitates the full of its data, in the Mediterranean, Middle East and throughout the world, in early warning or global monitoring systems with relevance for climate resilience and climate change studies.