2018 Year in Review
Certification of four IMS stations in China
The start of the year was highlighted by China reaffirming its commitment to the CTBT, certifying four IMS stations, to bring its total of certified stations to five. Two primary seismic stations - PS12 (Hailar) and PS13 (Lanzhou), and two radionuclide stations - RN22 (Guangzhou) and RN20 (Beijing) were certified. The rapid pace in which these certifications were added to the IMS network showed China’s strong commitment to realizing a nuclear test free world. Read more about the certification ceremony here.
Lassina Zerbo wins 2018 AAAS award for Science Diplomacy
At its annual meeting in Austin, Texas, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) presented its Science Diplomacy award to CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo, for his commitment to eliminating nuclear testing. The award ceremony highlighted the value of science diplomacy and acknowledged Dr. Zerbo for the significant contributions he has made to resolving nuclear testing issues. Read more about this momentous event here
International convention on science, technology and innovation, Cuba
In March of this year, the Second International Convention on Science, Technology and Innovation, hosted by the Republic of Cuba took place in Havana. For the first time, CTBTO National Data Centres contributed to the convention, sharing experiences of using CTBTO technologies and data, and participating in the organization’s capacity building activities. During the convention, the CTBTO provided a booth presenting the CTBTO’s contribution to post Fukushima accident management. Read more about the convention here.
ES Statement on DPRK announcement
On 20 April North Korea announced that it will stop all nuclear and missile tests. Following this historic announcement the Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo made a statement. Watch it here in full.
2nd Science Diplomacy Symposium
A major highlight of 2018 was the successful second CTBT Science Diplomacy Symposium that featured two weeks of dynamic discussions, high-level keynote speeches and simulation exercises. Over forty CTBTO Youth Group (CYG) members from around the world actively participated in discussion sessions and held several side events. One vital accomplishment was publication of the first edition of NEWSROOM, the CYG’s own magazine. Learn more about NEWSROOM and what took place at the Symposium.
Africa Day Celebration
On 25 May, the founding of the Organization of African Unity was celebrated. During this event the important role of Africa contributing towards disarmament and international security was emphasized. For more information about the Africa day click here.
A joint appeal emphasising the vital importance of the CTBT in the framework of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime was issued by Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo. Read more on the joint appeal here.
73rd Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings
The commemoration of the 73rd Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was held in Japan to honour the victims of the nuclear bombing. Survivors shared their stories in the hopes that future generations will not forget the suffering that nuclear weapons inflict. Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo participated in the Nagasaki Peace Memorial Ceremony on 9 August. Read more on the visit here.
ES Visit to ROK
On 13 August, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea, Kang Kyung-wha and Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo met to discuss the situation on the Korean Peninsula, and the cooperation between the ROK and the CTBTO. Minister Kang Kyung-wha reaffirmed the ROK will continue its efforts to bring the Treaty into force, as well as, establishing lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula. Executive Secretary Zerbo commended the ROK government's efforts and reiterated that the CTBTO would continue to support such efforts, and providing necessary support. Read more on the discussion here.
2018 International Day Against Nuclear Tests (IDANT)
The month of August was a busy month for the CTBTO. The International Day against Nuclear Tests was commemorated around the world with events taking place at the United Nations in Vienna, New York, and in Astana, Kazakhstan. This symbolic date marks both the anniversary of the first Soviet nuclear test in 1949 and the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in Kazakhstan in 1991. In Astana, Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo and the Foreign Minister of Kazkhstan, Kairat Abdrakhmanov, ’adopted a joint deceleration’ during the 2018 CTBTO GEM – Youth International Conference “Remembering the past, looking into the future”. Read more about the International Day Against Nuclear Testing 2018 here.
9th Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of the CTBT in New York
In September, foreign ministers and other high-level representatives from Member States met at the United Nations headquarters in New York on 27 September to issue a joint call for the prompt entry into force of the CTBT. The ninth Ministerial Meeting was organized by the Foreign Ministers of the “Friends of the CTBT”. Want to find out more about the Friends of the CTBT? Click here.
Ratification and Signing event by Thailand and Tuvalu
25 September marks an important date for the CTBTO, as Tuvalu signed the CTBT and Thailand Ratified the Treaty. For an impression of this remarkable day, click here.
“North Korea the Most Challenging Nuclear Test”
On 15 October 2018, the II Edoardo Amaldi Lecture was held at the Vienna International Centre. During the lecture EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, Federica Mogherini, delivered an address. Luciano Maiani, chair of the International Security and Arms Control Working Group, and former UK defence minister, GEM member and Nuclear Threat Initiative Vice-Chair Des Browne made presentations. View our a photo impression of the event.
Paris Peace Forum
Attended by over 70 heads of state, heads of international organizations, government officials, and representatives of civil society from 105 countries, the first Paris Peace Forum was held in November this year. It emphasised the importance of multilateralism, as well as, international cooperation and dialogue in conquering and sustaining peace for the planet. The engagement of youth was a central element in many discussions throughout the forum. Read more on the CTBT’s participation in the inaugural Paris Peace Forum here.
Debris of ARA San Juan submarine found, CTBTO data supported the search
In November this year, the tragic news about the finding of the ARA San Juan submarine was confirmed. The submarine was found in the vicinity of where the CTBTO sensors detected and located an unusual noise a few hours after its last contact in 2017. Read the 2017 press release here.
Australia completes its monitoring stations in the global network to detect nuclear tests
With the certification of infrasound station IS03 at Davis Antarctica, the Australian segment of the global monitoring system to detect nuclear test is now complete. To celebrate the completion, providing an important link in IMS monitoring of the southern hemisphere, CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo attended a commemorative event was at Geoscience Australia. Read more here.
CYG meeting 26 and 27 November in Berlin
Challenges and prospects for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty were discussed by a meeting of 30 students and young professionals during a CTBTO Youth Group seminar in Berlin, at the invitation of the German Foreign Office. The meeting also identified priority areas where progress is needed most to reduce nuclear risks, including tensions with North Korea. Read about this event here.
Advancing CTBT ratification in Comoros
The first seminar on the CTBT was held in Moroni, Comoros as an essential step to raise awareness about the importance of ratifying the Treaty. Political and technical aspects of the CTBT were addressed as part of the steps towards ratification. While in the Union of Comoros, Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo visited its National Data Centre, the National Centre for Documentation and Scientific Research and met with students of the University of Comoros. Read more about the visit of the CTBT to Comoros here.