The government of Papua New Guinea hosts a national seminar on the CTBT in Port Moresby

Participants at the national seminar on the CTBT in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

In cooperation with the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) of the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the Government of Papua New Guinea organized a national seminar on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in Port Moresby.

The aim of the seminar was to enhance the understanding of the CTBT and focused on the political significance of the CTBT and technical aspects of the work of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission, including civil and scientific applications of CTBT verification technologies.

Some 30 participants representing the Prime Minister's Office, the Departments of Justice and Attorney General, Lands & Physical Planning, High Education, Transport, Mining, Defence, Petroleum & Energy, Community Development, Health, Environment & Conservation, State Enterprise & Information attended the seminar. Participants also included representatives of the National Research Institute, the PNG National Weather Service, the University of PNG, the Rabaul Volcano Observatory and the Port Moresby Geological Observatory.

The Deputy Secretary for Policy in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, H.E. Mr Tarcy Eri, opened the seminar and wished for Papua New Guinea to play a more active role in the work of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission and benefit from the work of the Commission. The Executive Secretary of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission, Mr Wolfgang Hoffmann, also addressed the national seminar.

Discussions focused on the political significance of the CTBT, potential benefits for Signatories States arising from the CTBT regime, obligations of States Signatories on the international and national levels, legal information pertaining to national Treaty implementation and the potential civil and scientific application of CTBT verification technologies. Representatives of the Papua New Guinea shared their experiences and made presentations on their perspectives on CTBT ratification. They also discussed the cooperation with the Commission in establishing the National Data Centre and the four IMS stations in PNG, as well as the need for early conclusion of the Facility Agreement. In accordance with the CTBT, Papua New Guinea is hosting two auxiliary seismic stations (AS075 and 076), one infrasound station (IS40) and one radionuclide station (RN51), covering the three key monitoring technologies of the verification system.

The national seminar concluded that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Immigration should be the national authorities for CTBT-related matters. Seminar participants also urged for a speedy ratification of the CTBT. Papua New Guinea signed the Treaty on 25 September 1996.