Government of Antigua and Barbuda hosts a national seminar on the CTBT on in St. John
In cooperation with the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) and the Government of the Netherlands, Antigua and Barbuda organized a national seminar on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban-Treaty (CTBT) in St. John's. The seminar was officially opened by Mr. Colin Murdoch, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and was attended by some 24 participants representing various national authorities including the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Legal Affairs, Defense and Education, the National Office of Disaster Services, the Royal Police Force and the Civil Aviation authority. The seminar extended over one full working day. A representative of the PTS gave detailed presentations on the status of the Treaty and the work of the Preparatory Commission. Discussions focused on a number of related topics, such as the history, status and political significance of the Treaty; the verification regime and technologies; membership benefits, civil and scientific applications of verification technologies as well as the advisory services provided by the Preparatory Commission to assist States in taking the necessary steps in the national ratification procedure. While in the process of nominating a National Authority in accordance with the Treaty, Antigua and Barbuda was interested in establishing a National Data Centre in cooperation with the PTS in the near future. A national capacity to operate the centre was seen as important not only for verification but also for civil and scientific applications in the natural-hazard-prone Caribbean region. Training offered by the Commission was seen as a good opportunity to build and enhance national expertise on Treaty implementation. The authorities of Antigua and Barbuda expressed their intentions to examine closely the issue of ratification of the Treaty in the near future.