Executive Secretary Official Visit to Madagascar

20-22 September 2018


CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo gave a keynote address at the first seminar in Madagascar on non-proliferation treaties, in the Indian Ocean region. The two-day seminar addressed both the technical and the political aspects of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and was attended by diplomats, parliamentarians, representatives of Ministries and technical experts.

Zerbo said that the initiative to convene this regional seminar was a concrete engagement for the promotion of the entry into force of the CTBT within Madagascar’s Presidency of the Francophonie in line with the Declaration of Antananarivo.

The initiative of Madagascar to bring together decision-makers and experts from Africa and the Indian Ocean to engage for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty represents our common determination to pursue our duties and to serve the present and future generations for a world without nuclear weapons, a world of progress.CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo

Zerbo highlighted the pivotal role played by parliamentarians through inter-parliamentarian relations and the treaty ratification process at the national level. The importance of regional partnerships – such as La Francophonie – was also stressed to achieve greater momentum towards the goal of a world free of nuclear testing and, ultimately, free from nuclear weapons. He also recalled the clear position of Africa in support of non-proliferation with the Pelindaba Treaty, and called for enhanced engagement from the African continent to take a leading role in promoting disarmament policy.

Zerbo also presented the key aspects of the CTBT and its verification system, highlighting its robustness and reliability to detect nuclear tests, and the benefits of its spin-off scientific and civil applications, in particular for disaster risk management.

Keynotes were also delivered by Béni Xavier Rasolofonirina, Minister of Defense of Madagascar, Abdou Ousseini, President of the National Assembly of the Union of the Comoros and Jean Max Rakotomamonjy, President of the National Assembly of Madagascar.

Béni Xavier Rasolofonirina expressed Madagascar’s commitment and availability to promote the entry into force of the CTBT. He recalled the prominence of multilateralism and the international treaties such as the NPT and the CTBT to effectively reach a complete and sustainable nuclear disarmament.

Ousseini highlighted the strong link between security and development, recalling that sustainable and inclusive development can only be reached if sustainable and inclusive peace is assured. Ousseini reiterated the strong commitment of his country to the CTBT and announced the prompt ratification of the CTBT by the Union of the Comoros.

It is urgent to build a peaceful, nuclear weapons-free world. The Union of the Comoros is preparing for the ratification of the CTBT. Abdou Ousseini, President of the National Assembly of the Union of the Comoros

Jean Max Rakotomamonjy reiterated the responsibilities of governments and parliaments to protect the population from the threats of nuclear weapons, highlighting the numerous capacity building benefits and civil applications of the CTBTO International Monitoring System, which are most relevant for Africa and the Ocean Indian region.

Building on Madagascar’s Presidency of the Francophonie, and in line with the Declaration of its last summit in 2016, Rakotomamonjy called the Francophonie Member States, which have not yet done so, to promtly sign and ratify the CTBT and praised the Parliament of the Union of the Comoros for taking this step.

As a further concrete step under his presidency, Rakotomamonjy announced the creation of a Francophonie Office for Non-Proliferation, Disarmement and Arms Control in Vienna.

It is time for Parliaments to take part in the debate on CTBT ratification; it is also time for Madagascar to bring the voice of Africa and the Indian Ocean on the topics of non-proliferation and addressing the ratifications of the CTBT in the Francophone world. Jean Max Rakotomamonjy, President of the National Assembly of Madagascar

CTBTO Executive Secretary was received by Prime Minister Christian Ntsay. Zerbo expressed his appreciation for Madagascar’s engagement to seek additional ratifications in the region, as demonstrated with the organisation of the regional seminar. Ntsay and Zerbo further reflected on the nexus between security and development and the importance of developing capacity in Africa and the Indian Ocean region in particular for the Youth.

Madagascar is involved in global security issues and engaged with its regional partners; Madagascar can be a bridge-builder in the region on the CTBT agenda. Prime Minister Ntsay

While in Madagascar, Zerbo made a courtesy call to Malik Sarr, Ambassador of the International Organisation of the Francophonie for the Indian Ocean region. Sarr recalled the Antananarivo Declaration in favour of the swift entry into force of the CTBT and the importance of ensuring the signatures and ratifications of the CTBT within the family of the Francophonie Member States. Zerbo and Sarr discussed Francophonie initiatives for youth, focusing on capacity building projects that shape sustainable opportunities and drive change.

The Francophonie in the Declaration of Antananarivo in 2016 expressed its strong support for the CTBT and called for its rapid entry into force. It is our responsibility to engage with concrete steps to attain this goal.Malik Sarr, Ambassador of the International Organisation of the Francophonie for the Indian Ocean region

To-date, six of the 54 full members of La Francophonie have not signed or not ratified the CTBT.


Committed to continuous engagement of Youth, Zerbo gave a lecture at the Madagascar Institute of Political Studies (IEP) informing students about nuclear non-proliferation and the CTBT. The lecture provided an opportunity for a rich exchange with the students, followed by a meeting with the Institute’s Directorate.

Zerbo also visited Madagascar’s National Data Centre, the Institute and Observatory of Geophysics of Antananarivo (IOGA). He met with the President of the University of Madagascar Professor Ramanoelina as well as IOGA’S Directorate and staff. Discussions focused on technical cooperation and capacity building.