Working Group on verification issues (Working Group B) concludes it's twenty-eighth session on 16 February 2007

Working Group on verification issues (Working Group B) concludes it's twenty-eighth session on 16 February 2007

The working group on verification issues of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, Working Group B, concluded its twenty-eighth session on 16 February 2007. Representatives and scientific experts from 84 States participated in the two-week session.

Working Group B discussed a number of important technical issues of relevance to the build-up of the Treaty's verification regime, including:

  • Preparations for the Commission's planned On-Site Inspection Integrated Field Exercise in 2008. The field exercise will take place in Kazakhstan and will simulate a real-life on-site inspection.
  • The Commission's verification-related programme and budget for 2008, including the build-up of stations and facilities in the International Monitoring System.
  • A new 10-year contract for the Global Communications Infrastructure. The GCI transmits data fromthe stations to the National Data Centre in Vienna, and to Member States.
  • A technical presentation by the Provisional Technical Secretariat on its response to the nuclear event in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in October 2006. (For more information on this event, see the article "North Korea: a real test for the CTBT verification system?" in the 9th issue of CTBTO Spectrum.)
  • The development of a system-wide real-time incident reporting system. The new Operations Centre in Vienna now functions as a single point of contact for all network operations. It makes sure that stations function and ensures continuous data-flow.
  • Outreach activities related to the National Data Centres, including training courses, workshops, learning by electronic means (the e-learning project) and technical support to States Signatories.

The working group also received presentations on the use of IMS data for tsunami warning, and on the noble gas systems which are part of an experimental network.

There was a joint meeting on 12 February of Working Group B and Working Group A, the subsidiary body of the Commission responsible for budgetary and administrative matters. This meeting discussed the programme and budget for 2008, the Provisional Technical Secretariat's Medium Term Plan for 2008-2012 and restructuring of the Secretariat.

The report of the twenty-eighth session of Working Group B will be submitted to the Preparatory Commission session in June 2007 for possible adoption.