Provisional Technical Secretariat marks sixth anniversary

The Provisional Technical Secretariat of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission celebrated its sixth year in Vienna with a reception on Wednesday, 19 March. Members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Preparatory Commission, media and NGO representatives and the PTS staff attended. The Provisional Technical Secretariat was established by resolution on 19 November 1996 at a meeting of States Signatories to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. It started work at its headquarters in Vienna on 17 March 1997 with just four staff members. Today the Secretariat has a staff of 268 drawn from 70 Member States. The Secretariat carries out such tasks as are assigned to it by the Preparatory Commission. It is responsible for supervising and coordinating the provisional operation of the International Monitoring System (IMS) and the International Data Centre, which receives, processes, analyzes and reports on IMS data. It is also responsible for the development of operational manuals to guide the various components of the verification regime, and for administrative matters such as budgeting and planning.