NATO Conference on WMD Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-proliferation
29 May 2017
The Executive Secretary of the CTBTO Lassina Zerbo delivered a keynote speech (PDF) at the ”Annual NATO Conference on WMD Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-proliferation: The CTBT and international security: overcoming challenges and seizing opportunities” in Helsinki, Finland on 29 May 2017. Zerbo expressed his concern about the escalating tensions in many regions of the world and analysed them from a CTBT perspective, looking not just at challenges but also at opportunities. He reiterated that: “The CTBT is a unifying stepping stone which encourages confidence building and multilateral cooperation. By continuing to voice and encourage support for the CTBT, NATO can effectively advance arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation”. In his speech during the Conference, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland Timo Soini considered the entry into force of the Treaty as a high priority. In addition, he pointed out that “the International Monitoring System (IMS) network has provided us [Finland] essential information in various situations, including in the civilian sector.”
Both the CTBTO and NATO have a shared objective: delivering peace and security by removing the threat of proliferation of nuclear weapons.Lassina Zerbo CTBTO Executive Secretary
During a bilateral meeting between Executive Secretary Zerbo and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland Timo Soini they seized the opportunity to stress the importance of diplomacy and patience in dealing with North Korea. Zerbo also met with the Director of the Nuclear Waste and Material Regulation department, STUK, Finland, Jussi Heinonen.
The Treaty itself conveys a clear message that the time of nuclear tests must be over.Timo Soini Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland
Prior to the Conference, Zerbo inspected the IMS seismic station PS17 located in a forested area north of the municipality of Lahti, Finland. The former and current station managers gave an overview of the history of the station, the challenges for its establishment and sustainment in harsh climatic conditions and continuous improvements to ensure the highest levels of data availability and data quality. Zerbo expressed his gratitude to the local Community of Lahti for hosting such an important station of the IMS. The station was certified in 2000 and has been operating with highest standards of data availability ever since. The station is unmanned and its performance is monitored in real-time at the Institute of Seismology. During his visit to the station Zerbo was also accompanied by other high-ranking representatives from the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Institute of Seismology of the University of Helsinki, the Municipality of Lahti and the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority of Finland (STUK).