Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo opening the ACUNS Annual Conference

ACUNS Annual Conference in Vienna, 13 to 15 January 2016

ACUNS Annual Conference in Vienna, 13 to 15 January 2016

2016 ACUNS Vienna Annual Conference on peace and security

Today, 13 January 2016, the Annual Conference of the Academic Council on the United Nations System – ACUNS, Vienna Liaison Office, started and will run until 15 January. The conference is hosted by the CTBTO and sponsored by the City of Vienna.


This year's conference discussed the themes „Peace and Security“ and “New Approaches towards a Peaceful and more Sustainable World”.


In his opening speech, Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo highlighted the CTBT's role as a "game changer" for global peace and security. Referring to the 6 January 2016 announced nuclear test by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), he said: "Without a global system for monitoring and detecting signs of nuclear explosions, and no means of transmitting the relevant data in a timely and non-discriminatory manner, the international community would not be empowered to draw conclusions on the nature of an event."

Read his full speech here (PDF).

The very existence of the CTBT has all but put a stop to nuclear testing. Many States condemned the announced test as breaking with a de facto norm against testing. While this demonstrates that the Treaty is as important as ever, it is also a wake-up call to finally bring it into force.Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo

Other speakers were Lamberto Zannier, Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as well as Director General for the UN Office in Vienna (UNOV), Angela Kane, Former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs and member of the Group of Eminent Persons (GEM) and Serge Gas, Director of Public Information, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).