Media Advisory – Group of Eminent Persons gathers in Stockholm to advance nuclear test-ban

Vienna, 7 April 2014

The Group of Eminent Persons (GEM) is a recently established high-level group whose aim is to promote the global ban on nuclear weapons testing. Its members will meet in Stockholm, Sweden, from 10 to 11 April 2014, where they will also brainstorm with Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt on how to promote the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

The members of the GEM participating in the Stockholm meeting together with Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the CTBTO, are:

Nobuyasu Abe, former UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, Japan
Hans Blix, former Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs and former Director General of IAEA, Sweden
Des Browne, former Secretary of State for Defence, United Kingdom
Cristian Diaconescu, former Foreign Minister and currently Chief of Staff to the President, Romania
Sérgio Duarte, former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Brazil
Wolfgang Hoffmann, former Executive Secretary of the CTBTO, Germany
John Hutton, former Secretary of State for Defence, United Kingdom
Johannes Kyrle, Secretary-General for Foreign Affairs, Austria
Ho-Jin Lee, Ambassador, Republic of Korea
Federica Mogherini, Foreign Minister, Italy
Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, former Secretary-General OSCE, France
William Perry, former Secretary of Defence, United States
Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister, Australia

Ex-officio members:
János Martonyi, Foreign Minister, Hungary (represented by Balázs Csuday, Ambassador to Vienna)
Marty Natalegawa, Foreign Minister, Indonesia (representative to be decided)

Media Opportunities

  • The Executive Secretary of the CTBTO, Lassina Zerbo, and members of the GEM will be available for interviews with the media on 10 and 11 April 2014.
  • Panel discussion on the nuclear test-ban on 11 April 2014 at 12.30, hosted by SIPRI and UI. Panellists: Hans Blix, Federica Mogherini, Kevin Rudd, Lassina Zerbo. Venue: Centralposthuset, Mäster Samuelsgatan 70 (near Vasagatan/Central Station) - registration required – register here.
  • Images and background information on the meeting will be made available via the CTBTO Newsroom.
  • More information: GEM webpage; GEM video; CTBTO website

Interview requests with members of the GEM and CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo
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The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions, thus hampering both the initial development of nuclear weapons as well as significant enhancements (h-bomb). The Treaty also helps prevent damage caused by nuclear testing to humans and the environment.

The CTBT has so far been signed by 183 States and ratified by 162. Its entry-into-force formula prescribes that 44 particular “nuclear technology holder” States need to ratify for it to enter into force. Eight of them have yet to ratify: China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States (the DPRK, India and Pakistan have also not yet signed the Treaty).

The GEM was launched on 26 September 2013 in New York, United States. The members not participating in the Stockholm meeting are: Perla Carvalho, Special Adviser for Security, Disarmament and Non Proliferation Issues at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico; Jayantha Dhanapala, former UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs; Igor Ivanov, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia; Sha Zukang, former UN Under-Secretary-General, Department of Economic and Social Affairs and Chinese Ambassador; and Héctor Timerman, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina.

A verification regime to monitor the globe for nuclear explosions is nearing completion with around 90 percent of the 337 planned International Monitoring System facilities already in operation.