Francophone Parliamentarians launch campaign for Entry into force of the CTBT

As part of the launch of its international campaign for entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), a high-level delegation of the Assembly of Francophone Parliamentarians (APF) visited CTBTO Executive Secretary, Lassina Zerbo, on 19 February 2019.

The APF delegation comprised Jacques Krabal, Parliamentary Secretary General of APF, Jean Max Rakotomamonjy, President of the National Assembly of Madagascar and Vice-President of APF and Christophe-André Frassa, Chairman of the APF Political Committee, as well as several advisers.

CTBTO Executive Secretary and the Parliamentary Delegation of APF

Meeting with CTBTO Executive secretary and APF delegation

The initiative of campaign by the APF is to promote and accelerate entry into force of the CTBT by mobilizing concrete commitment of French-speaking parliamentarians around the world, said Krabal.

During the meeting with Zerbo, he highlighted the importance of the CTBT and its verification system in the international non-proliferation architecture. "The unique and comprehensive CTBT verification system has repeatedly proven its effectiveness for the international community. It also has an essential utility in civil and scientific applications,” he said.

Given the key role played by parliaments in the process of ratification of international instruments, the APF intends to inform, engage and facilitate exchanges by mobilizing French-speaking parliaments around the world. Following the Declaration (PDF) adopted by Heads of State at the 16th Francophonie Summit in Antananarivo (Madagascar) in November 2016, the APF intends to take concrete actions during its campaign to contribute to nuclear disarmament and consolidate international peace and security.

Meeting with CTBTO Executive secretary and APF delegation

Presentation on the work of the CTBTO made by Patrick Grenard, Director of administration

Tour of the CTBTO radionuclide and noble gas facilities by APF delegation

Visit of the CTBTO seismic stations by APF delegation

Tour of the CTBTO facilities by APF delegation

With this international and multilateral campaign, the APF wishes to actively contribute to the efforts for the entry into force of the CTBT.

We can only continue to progress on the path of disarmament if the will to progress is unanimously shared. (...) Each state, not only nuclear states, must contribute to nuclear disarmament and, more broadly, to collective security, and parliaments have a role to play.

The APF has announced a series of actions it intends to carry out, including inter-parliamentary dialogue platforms as well as awareness-raising and capacity-building activities for French-speaking parliamentarians in the world.

Confident that the entry into force of the Treaty will mark a major development in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation, the APF committed itself to spare no effort to achieve this goal.

All these concrete initiatives, following the Antananarivo Declaration which called on all the Francophonie members to sign and ratify the CTBT to ensure its rapid entry into force, allow us to get closer to the goal.

The initiative was welcomed by Zerbo who thanked the delegation for their visit and strong commitment with the launch of the campaign from Vienna.

"By facilitating a constructive inter-parliamentary dialogue among its members, APF has already demonstrated the relevance of its action to the CTBT ratification. I therefore welcome today the launching of your campaign and I look forward to strengthening our cooperation and a fruitful partnership to achieve our common goals of peace, security and stability, he said.

Parliamentary diplomacy has a role to play in raising awareness and supporting efforts to bring the treaty into force. Parliaments must also make it a priority.

The delegation also visited the CTBTO's Vienna headquarters, which included briefings and tours of the radionuclide and noble gas test stations, as well as the infrasound facility.

The Assembly of Francophone Parliamentarians is the advisory body of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF).

It consists of 87 member sections representing parliaments or inter-parliamentary organizations. Its objectives consist, inter alia, to take up all issues of interest, particularly those relating to international affairs, and to promote the international role of parliamentarians. French Translation of highlight available here.