Nuclear Testing & Munich Security Conference

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, spotlighted nuclear testing and regional tensions among the key factors affecting global security, in her opening address to the 2019 Munich Security Conference (MSC) held 15-17 February 2019.
CTBTO Executive Secretary, Lassina Zerbo, attended the conference, which brought together over 600 decision makers, including 35 Heads of State, and more than 100 Cabinet Ministers, for three days of debate on international security policy.
The theme for this year’s conference was “The Great Puzzle: Who Wants to Pick Up the Pieces?” Multilateralism may be complicated, Merkel remarked, but it is the only way to solve the “great puzzle" -- all of us together.

The Executive Secretary attended a number of side events on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation at the conference.

On the margins of the conference, Zerbo met with U.S. Under Secretary of State, Arms Control and International Security, Andrea Thomson. The discussion focused on the upcoming 2020 NPT RevCon, Zimbabwe’s recent ratification of the CTBT and ongoing U.S. support for technical developments of the CTBTO verification system. The possible contributions of the CTBTO to international efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula were also discussed.

During the three day conference, Zerbo also met with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Burkina Faso Alpha Barry;  Belgian Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Didier Reynders;  Minister for the Armed Forces of the French Republic Florence Parly; Deputy Foreign Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Ryabkov and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Rwanda Richard Sezibera.

Zerbo also met with Susanne Baumann, the Federal Government Commissioner for Disarmament and Arms Control at the German Foreign Office. The discussion focused on Germany’s upcoming Chairmanship of the Article XIV Conference and preparations for the 2019 NPT PrepCom.
The conference was attended by a number of CTBTO GEM members, including Lord Browne, Igor Ivanov, Angela Kane and Ahmet Üzümcü. It concluded with the Chairman’s dinner, during which the Executive Secretary discussed further opportunities for cooperation with the MSC Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger.