Press opportunities during visit to Australia & New Zealand by Head of Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty organization

14 November 2018

Installing infrasound station "IS03", Davis Base, Antarctica

The final station in a network of 21 Australian nuclear test monitoring facilities, “IS03”, at Davis Base, Antarctica, was recently certified. To mark capping a 20 year programme, there will be a commemorative event at Geoscience Australia, attended by Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test- Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).  
During his visit to Australia from 19-21 November 2018, Zerbo will meet with high-level officials in Canberra, and brief heads of missions for South Pacific countries at a CTBTO workshop in Melbourne, hosted at the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and its verification system and its civil and scientific applications. 

During his visit to New Zealand from 22-23 November 2018, Zerbo will meet with high-level officials and scientific experts in Wellington and Christchurch, and visit the “Red Zone”, an area of the city centre that had been cordoned off following the February 2011 earthquake that caused widespread damage across Christchurch.  


  1. Availability of interviews with Executive Secretary Zerbo by phone or in person in Australia and New Zealand.

    Zerbo can speak on issues related to nuclear testing and nuclear non-proliferation, North Korea’s six announced nuclear tests that were detected by the CTBT International Monitoring System (IMS), completion of Australia’s segment of the global monitoring system to detect nuclear tests, and the civil and scientific uses of IMS data for public safety and the advance of science.

  2. John Gee Memorial Lecture at the Australian National University

    In Canberra, Zerbo will also deliver the John Gee Memorial Lecture at the Australian National University (ANU), with opening remarks from ANU Chancellor and Former Foreign Minister Gareth Evans.
    When: 20 November 2018, at 17:30
    Where: Lecture Theatre 1, Hedley Bull Building (130), corner of Garran Road and Liversidge Street, ANU.
    Full details here.

  3. Public Address at New Zealand Institute of International Affairs on advancing nuclear disarmament

    When: Thursday 22 November 2018, at 17:30.
    Where: RHLT1 Rutherford House, Victoria University, 23 Lambton Quay, Wellington.
    Full details here.

Multimedia Available

TV B-roll and still photos are available on request

Watch analyst describe working at CTBTO when North Korea detonated a nuclear bomb (VIDEO).
Map of Australian monitoring facilities (LINK)
Map of global monitoring network (LINK)


The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions everywhere, by everyone, and for all times. The CTBTO has established an International Monitoring System to ensure that no nuclear explosion goes undetected. Currently, 296 certified facilities – of a total of 337 when complete – are operating around the world. The data registered by the IMS can also be used for disaster mitigation such as earthquake monitoring, tsunami warning, and the tracking of the levels and dispersal of radioactivity from nuclear accidents.


For interviews with Executive Secretary Zerbo, or further information on the CTBTO contact:

Kirstie Gregorich Hansen
Public Information Officer
T    +43 1 26030 6540
M  +43 699 1459 6540