Media Advisory: Experts gather in Vienna for CTBT Science and Technology 2019 Conference

The CTBT: Science and Technology 2019 Conference (SnT2019) will take place from 24 to 28 June 2019 at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria. It is the seventh in a series of multidisciplinary conferences designed to further enhance the strong relationship between the scientific and technological community and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty Organization (CTBTO), as well as with policy-makers.

SnT2019 will bring together well over 1,000 scientists, technologists, academics, students, CTBTO policy makers, members of the media, and representatives of organisations involved in research and development relevant to all aspects of Treaty verification. Such interaction helps ensure that the Treaty’s global verification regime remains at the forefront of scientific and technical innovation.

The conference is open to the media. For accreditation, please see below. For interview requests with keynote speakers, panellists and other participants, please contact CTBTO Public Information (

A high-level opening will be held on Monday, 24 June 2019 from 09:30 – 12:30 in the “Festsaal”. It will include welcoming remarks by CTBTO’s Executive Secretary, Lassina Zerbo, and Iris Rauskala, Austrian Federal Minister for Education, Science and Research, as well as keynote addresses by Heinz Fischer, former President of the Republic of Austria and Co-Chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre, and Sir Mark Welland, Master of St Catherine’s College of the University of Cambridge.

As a special feature, for the first time roundtable discussions will be held in Spanish and French, starting on Monday afternoon at 16:30 and 18:15 respectively, exploring the “CTBTO Civil and Scientific Applications and Capacity Building Programmes” (in Spanish) and “Boosting CTBT Entry Into Force: Perspective and Initiatives” (in French).

At 20:00 on Monday, a further special roundtable will focus on “Women in Science and Technology”, followed by a cocktail reception.

Other highlights of the conference will include discussions on the challenges of communicating science to wider audiences, on how CTBT data can contribute to civil applications such as studying climate change and mitigating disaster risks, on artificial intelligence, and on the importance of science to policy and diplomacy. There is also a special focus on youth involvement, including an awards ceremony for an international childrens’ art competition run in collaboration with the Spanish NGO Paz y Cooperaciόn.

See full programme here (PDF).

Accreditation and practical information

SnT2019 will be held at the Hofburg Palace, Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna, Austria. Please note that access is only possible through the Heldenplatz entrance of the Hofburg Palace. All conference sessions are open to the media, and filming and recording is allowed. Wi-Fi is provided free-of-charge.

Vienna International Centre media accreditation badges are valid for the conference.  

Journalists who do not have this accreditation should send their name, full job title, media affiliation, and country as soon as possible to CTBTO Public Information ( On arrival at the Hofburg Palace, please present yourself at the registration desk where the process for photo accreditation will be completed.

Please allow ample arrival time at the conference to clear security and (where necessary) complete remaining accreditation formalities.  

For further information, please contact:
Gill Tudor
Chief of Public Information
T: +43 1 26030 6375
M: +43 699 1459 6375

Media Resources


The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions, thus hampering both the initial development of nuclear weapons as well as significant enhancements. The Treaty also helps prevent harmful radioactive releases from nuclear testing.

The CTBT has so far been signed by 184 States, of which 168 have ratified the Treaty (map). However, its demanding entry-into-force provision requires 44 particular “nuclear technology holder” States to ratify the Treaty 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. (China, Egypt, Iran, Israel, and the United States have already signed the Treaty.)

A verification regime to monitor the globe for nuclear explosions is nearing completion with around 90 percent of the 337 planned International Monitoring System (IMS) facilities already in operation. The system has proved its capabilities to detect even small nuclear tests during the announced DPRK nuclear tests in 2006, 2009, 2013, 2016 and 2017.

The data from the IMS facilities are also used by the wider scientific community to study a range of unrelated issues, from climate change to marine mammal migration, and contribute to disaster risk reduction, such as tsunami early warning systems.