"Security is too important to be left just to men"

Click to watch the video that celebrates women working at the CTBTO and the statement by the Executive Secretary.

"Security is too important to be left just to men"

“We have to work together so that gender balance and gender equality are the norms not the exception.  Brick by brick we are laying the foundations for a world which is more secure and more just as a result of greater gender balance and equality. Security is too important to be left just to men,” Tibor Tóth, CTBTO Executive Secretary, said in a video message to mark the 100 year anniversary of International Women’s Day.

Tóth spoke of the importance of gender equality in the workplace and assessed the situation at the CTBTO where he sits at the helm. Approximately one in three professional staff at the CTBTO is female.  Women outnumber men in support positions, known as General Service staff, where 60% of posts are filled by women. Seven of the 37 senior management staff at the CTBTO are female. 

Read more here.

See a photo exhibition which features CTBTO women in the workplace here.

Watch the video that celebrates women working at the CTBTO and the Executive Secretary’s full statement here.

Click to watch the video on CTBTO's Global Infrasound Experiment.

Global Infrasound Experiment helps to better detect nuclear tests

Low frequency waves from the controlled detonation of 100 tons of high explosives in the Negev Desert in Israel were detected as far as 6,500km away by CTBTO infrasound stations, including in Russia, Kazakhstan and in Mongolia.

Watch how this new CTBTO scientific experiment involving over 20 countries, helps scientists fine tune how they interpret infrasonic waves — a capability crucial for detecting atomic explosions and to better establish where and when they occurred.

For more background, read here.

Watch the video on CTBTO's Global Infrasound Experiment here.

The United States is one of the nine remaining Annex 2 States whose ratification is still required for the CTBT to enter into force.

Kyodo News reports new push to win U.S. Senate support for CTBT

According to Kyodo News, a new National Intelligence Estimate scheduled to be submitted in March to the U.S Senate will provide technical evidence supporting CTBT ratification.

Also an analytical report by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is expected in the spring. In 2002 the NAS released a positive report on the CTBT and the capabilities of its verification regime.

U.S. Administration Embarks on Preparatory Work on CTBT (Kyodo News)

The CTBTO has a split budget, expressed partly in US$ and partly in Euros. The total budget, which for 2011 amounts approximately to US$ 110 million, is a combination of the two.

U.S. Administration requests $33 million for 2012 to fund Nuclear-Test-Ban efforts

The U.S. Administration requested the approval of $33 million for the fiscal year 2012 to be contributed to the CTBTO. The amount will cover the annual contribution by the U.S. to the organization, assessed at around $25 million. The remainder will be used to fund specific projects to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the [Comprehensive Test Ban] Treaty's verification regime," acoording to the U.S. Administration.

The amount requested for next year matches the request for 2011 of which $30 million have already been approved so as to cover this year's assessed contribution to the CTBTO plus payments in arrears from 2010.

U.S. Seeks Funds for Test Ban Monitoring, by Daryl Kimball (Arms Control Today)

The UN Office at Geneva where the Conference on Disarmament (CD), the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum, holds its meetings.

Russia and U.S. express strong support for CTBT entry into force

"Once again we encourage all countries which have not yet done so to sign and ratify this Treaty [CTBT]. Unilateral moratoriums on nuclear tests are useful, but they cannot substitute for enshrining this key obligation for global security in the international law," said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaking at the Geneva-based UN Conference on Disarmament on 1 March

Addressing the same body on 27 January, Rose Gottemoeller, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, reminded delegates that “while the Administration prepares for U.S. Senate consideration of the Treaty, the [U.S.] has increased its level of participation in all of the activities of the [CTBTO] … especially with respect to the Treaty’s verification regime.” Gottemoeller reiterated her optimism about the prospect of U.S. ratification when speaking at the ASEAN Regional Forum held in Las Vegas on 26 February.

On 5 February, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton exchanged ratification letters, thus bringing the 'New START' agreement on bilateral reductions in nuclear arsenals into force.

Read the 1 March statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Conference on Disarmament here.

Read the 27 January statement by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller at the Conference on Disarmament here.

Official Thinks OK of Nuclear Test Ban Possible, by Keith Rogers (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Strengthening the International Framework to Prevent the Spread and Use of Nuclear Weapons, Remarks by U.S. Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher at the Third Nuclear Deterrence Summit

Russian parliament's upper house ratifies U.S.-Russia arms cuts deal (RIA-Novosti)

Read the full statement by Tibor Tóth on ratification of the "New START" by the Russian Federation here.

Read the full statement by Tibor Tóth on ratification of the "New START" by the United States here.


Dr Richard Garwin

Dr Richard Garwin keynote speaker at CTBT scientific conference

Eminent physicist Richard Garwin will be one of the keynote speakers at the opening session of the 2011 Science & Technology conference in Vienna on 8 June. Garwin has been one of the most widely respected scientific advisers to the United States government on a range of issues including the safety of nuclear weapons and arms control for the last 50 years.

One of the fathers of the thermonuclear bomb, Garwin has openly voiced his support for the CTBT.  In 1999 he told the U.S Senate: "On the basis of my experience in the nuclear weapons program, I agree with those U.S. military leaders who have reviewed the benefits and costs to U.S. security from a CTBT and strongly support the Treaty. Our national security will be improved by ratification and impaired by further delay. It is thus greatly in our interest to ratify the CTBT now.”

Read more here.

Read more on the CTBT 2011 S&T conference here.

Civil society has always been on the forefront of the efforts to ban nuclear testing. In this photo: 'Women Strike for Peace' founded by Dagmar Wilson (deceased 30 January 2011) protest outside the Nevada Test Site.

Civil Society voices its support for early entry into force of the CTBT

Daisaku Ikeda, President of the Soka Gakkai International, a lay Buddhist movement for the promotion of peace, culture and education, released his 2011 Peace Proposal on 26 January. On the subject of nuclear disarmament, Ikeda recognizes the need to stop all forms of nuclear testing as a high priority and the importance of bringing the CTBT into force.

The United Religions Initiative, a circle of personalities from around the world, released their 9-point proposal on nuclear disarmament on 4 February. The early entry into force of the CTBT features as the very first of the proposed measures.

Twenty-eight leading American academicians and experts from the field of nuclear non-proliferation as well as civil society leaders sent a letter to the President of the United States, Barack Obama, on 7 February congratulating his administration for the “strong and successful campaign” to bring the New START agreement into force. They also asked   President Obama to turn his attention to negotiating deeper nuclear reductions, to securing fissile materials worldwide, and to pursue CTBT ratification at the earliest date.

Peace Proposal 2011, Toward a World of Dignity for All: The Triumph of the Creative Life, by Daisaku Ikeda (Soka Gakkai International)

Call to Conscience: A Ban on Nuclear Weapons (United Religions Initiative)

Next Steps Forward on the Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament Agenda,
Letter to U.S. President

Participants at the workshop. Thomas Graham Jr., former U.S. Presidential arms control adviser, front row fourth from right.

Media Workshop in Beijing focuses on Disarmament Education

Nearly 20 journalists from Chinese news media, together with reporters and editors from other countries in East and Southeast Asia, as well as international experts on arms control and security policy issues, participated in a workshop in Beijing, China on “Strengthening the Capacity of the Media in Advocating and Promoting Peace and Disarmament in Asia and Pacific,” from 20 to 21 January 2011. The workshop was co-organized by China and the UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCD).

The CTBT was singled out for in-depth presentation and discussion. Thomas Graham, former Special Representative on arms control issues to the President of the United States and veteran arms control negotiator, reminded that the CTBT is of "greatest immediate importance" and that under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) "the principal quid for the quo of most nations of the world to never acquire nuclear weapons was the test ban."

Read more here.

For more background on the event, see UNRCD website here.

Nuclear questions pondered in Beijing, by Achara Ashayagachat (Bangkok Post)

Sunder Ramaswamy, President of the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth exchange letters.

CTBTO partners with James Martin Centre for Nonproliferation Studies

The CTBTO signed a collaborative agreement with the James Martin Centre for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) of the Monterey Institute of International Studies on 25 February. The two organizations will develop a series of courses addressing the technical, scientific, political and legal challenges facing the Treaty and its verification regime. The agreement is an element in the CTBTO's strategy for capacity development, which seeks long term political support for non-proliferation and disarmament by developing networks of partnerships and investing in expanded training activities.

The signing preceded the official opening of the new Vienna Centre on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP), which is sponsored by the Austrian Foreign Ministry and will be managed by CNS. Speaking at the opening of the new Centre, CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth stressed once more the importance of education for nuclear disarmament.

Read more here.

CTBTO partnership with the G77 continues to grow

The G77 was established in 1964 and has since expanded to 130 members although it retains its original name.

“Today, the Group’s efforts are needed more than any time in the past. This is a moment when we must do our utmost to search for common solutions to our common problems in a multilateral framework. This is the best guarantee for success,” Tibor Tóth said on 28 January on the occasion of the handover of the chairmanship of the G77 from Algeria to Iran.

The G77 was established in June 1964 to pursue the common economic objectives of its members and to strengthen their negotiating capacity. It has since expanded to 130 countries, making up the vast majority of States in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The G77 Vienna chapter represents 119 Member States of the CTBTO out of a total membership of 182, making it the largest political bloc in the organization.

Read more here.

João Gomes Cravinho and Tibor Tóth sign the agreement.

Facility Agreement signed with Portugal

On 17 February, Portugal became the 40th State out of the 89 Member States scheduled to host monitoring stations, to conclude a facility agreement with the CTBTO. The agreement was signed by Tibor Tóth, CTBTO Executive Secretary, and Dr João Gomes Cravinho, the Portuguese Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

By signing facility agreements, Member States and the CTBTO lay out the framework of their cooperation in establishing, testing, operating, upgrading and maintaining facilities of CTBTO's International Monitoring System (IMS) which are hosted in their respective territories. When complete the IMS will consist of 321 monitoring stations and 16 laboratories. To date, 264 of these facilities have been certified and are fully operational.

Turkey joins CTBTO tsunami watch

Turkish Ambassador Tomur Bayer and Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth exchange letters.

Turkey became the eighth State to enter into an agreement with the CTBTO to receive tsunami warning data on 4 March. Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth told Turkey’s ambassador to the organization, Ramalan Tomur Bayer, that the CTBTO is very proud of the quality and timeliness of its data.

Since 2006 the CTBTO, in collaboration with UNESCO, has been making data available from its international network of seismic facilities to domestic tsunami warning centres to complement their own monitoring of seismic events that could cause tsunamis.

Read more here.

Dismantling France’s Pacific Nuclear Test Centre – Darse 1987

Fifteenth anniversary of France's last nuclear test

On 27 January 1996, the last nuclear test explosion by France was conducted at the Moruroa and Fangataufa Atoll test site in the South Pacific. The 120kt underground explosion was six times the force of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The testing broke a three year moratorium by France and resulted in international protests and the boycott of French goods.

On 28 January 1996, President Chirac announced that France would no longer test nuclear weapons. France was among the first of 71 States, including its four fellow nuclear weapon States, Britain, China, Russia and the United States, to sign the CTBT when it opened for signature the same year on 24 September. In April 1998,   France together with Britain became the first of the nuclear weapon States to ratify the Treaty. France completed the dismantlement of its nuclear test site in 1999, the only nuclear-weapon State to have done so to date.

Read more here.