Lassina Zerbo visits Stanford and Monterey to highlight work of CTBTO

Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo visited California, 7 to 10 April 2016, to highlight the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and its recently launched Youth Group during events held at Stanford University and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS).

The event at Stanford, "The Hunt for Weapons of Mass Destruction: Leveraging New Technology", brought Silicon Valley technology companies together with non-proliferation experts to brainstorm possibilities to improve monitoring of nuclear  tests, material, and weapons.

'Circling up’ to discuss innovative technologies for nuclear test monitoring.

In Monterey, a U.S.-Russia dialogue on Nuclear Issues entitled “Security and Nuclear Challenges on the Korean Peninsula: Finding a Solution”, held 8-9 April, provided an opportunity to highlight the CTBT and ways forward for the ban on nuclear testing.

"The single best thing to do regarding North Korea is 'No Better Bombs'. What that means is no more testing," said Siegfried Hecker, Professor (Research), Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University. Hecker, who is also a former director of Los Alamos National Laboratory, visited the DPRK's nuclear facilities seven times, most recently in 2010.

Hecker made the remarks at a dinner to mark the event in Monterey. Keynote addresses were delivered by Zerbo and California Governor Jerry Brown.

Lassina Zerbo delivers his keynote address in Monterey.

"Nuclear testing remains a big danger that the public are unaware of, even after almost twenty years since the opening for signature of the CTBT" Zerbo said in his keynote. "Without an in-force CTBT, the world could easily backslide into an eruption of nuclear tests," he warned.

At the dinner, Zerbo and William Potter, Director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), were awarded certificates of recognition from the California Senate.

Lassina Zerbo, right, Executive Secretary of the CTBTO, receives a certificate of recognition from the California Senate.

"A nuclear test moratorium would decrease the tensions on the Korean Peninsula. It is in the mutual interest of the United States and the Russian Federation – as well as China. Why not hold a leadership forum with all three for a dialogue in Vienna during the CTBT’s 20th anniversary?"

The events in Monterey were co-organised by CNS and the Center for Energy and Security Studies (CENESS).

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Rybakov, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control, Rose Gottemoller, and former U.S. Secretary of State, William Perry, member of the CTBT Group of Eminent Persons (GEM), were among those attending.

Discussions held at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey.

Lassina Zerbo in discussion with students at Stanford University.

During the visit, Zerbo met with youth representatives at Stanford and MIIS to discuss ways to develop the CTBT Youth Group and future initiatives. He also met with several philanthropic organisations.