US President Barack Obama to Chair United Nations Security Council Meeting

Liberia Ratifies Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty


On 17 August 2009, Liberia ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Liberia is the 149th State to have ratified the Treaty, bringing the total number of ratifications closer to the hallmark figure of 150. A total of 181 States have signed the Treaty.

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The Hiroshima and Nagasaki Anniversaries


A commemoration for the victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings was held at the United Nations (UN) in Vienna on 7 August 2009. In his message, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described the anniversary as "not just a day to remember the past, but a day to re-commit to a common future of peace - a world free of nuclear weapons".

Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) spokesperson Annika Thunborg also addressed the ceremony, saying that the CTBT will ensure that nuclear explosions will become and remain a matter of the past.

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Click to view the PDF: 30 Ways the United Nations in Vienna Makes a Difference

Watching Over the Planet from Vienna


This month marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the UN in Vienna. The CTBTO opened its doors in Vienna in March 1997. To mark its anniversary, the UN in Vienna listed 30 ways in which the organizations based here addressed the many problems in today's world. The list includes the CTBTO as making it "almost impossible to develop nuclear weapons" and as having set "a powerful norm against nuclear testing".

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New Movie on On-Site Inspections


The CTBTO released a new movie on the on-site inspection exercise that took place during the month of September 2008 in Kazakhstan. This project was one of the largest and most ambitious projects in the history of nuclear disarmament. Once the Treaty enters into force, on-site inspections will be a key component of the verification regime which the CTBTO is building to monitor the globe for nuclear explosions.

View the movie here.

Obama to Bolster Nuclear Disarmament at UN

(IPS News)

U.S. President Barack Obama will be chairing a meeting at Heads of State level of the UN Security Council on 24 September 2009 to discuss nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, including the CTBT and its entry into force. It will be the first time since 1992 that such a meeting is convened.

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U.S. Aiming to Ratify Nuke Test Ban Treaty By Next Spring


UN diplomatic sources say the U.S. Administration is looking to ratify the CTBT by next spring. The U.S. is said to have told Japan, China, and Russia that it will seek to have the CTBT ratified before the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference that will be held next year in May.

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The Long Road From Prague

(U.S. State Department)

Rose Gottemoeller, U.S. Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Verification, Compliance, and Implementation, recently explained the steps needed to "seek the peace and security of a world free of nuclear weapons” that President Obama outlined in Prague. Gottemoeller stated: "The second major arms control objective of the Obama Administration is the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)... We have embarked on a significant set of efforts that will prepare the Administration to seek the advice and consent of the Senate. And even as we pursue ratification, we will work hard with others to ensure that the requirements for the CTBT’s entry into force are met at the earliest possible date".

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CTBT Mentioned by the U.S. and China at the Conference on Disarmament

(U.S. and China government websites)

Positive statements with regards to entry into force of the CTBT were made by the U.S. and the Chinese delegations at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

The U.S. delegation stated: "Once [U.S.] ratification is achieved, the Obama Administration will work hard with others to ensure that the other requirements for CTBT’s entry into force are met at the earliest possible time".

China's delegation stated: "The Chinese Government is dedicated to promoting early ratification of the Treaty and will continue to make active efforts toward this end. We are ready to work with the international community for the early entry into force of the Treaty".

Read the full statements here:

U.S. / China

Experts Say New Sensing Tools Could Help Ease Concerns on Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty


At a gathering in Washington DC experts discussed the International Scientific Studies (ISS) Conference held in June 2009 in Vienna, Austria. 600 researchers from 99 countries evaluated the verification capabilities of the CTBT verification regime. Discussing the possibility of a small nuclear explosion going undetected, the Head of the ISS project, Ola Dahlman, said that the system had a 90% detection probability for such small tests and asked:"What risk are you going to take if you're going to cheat? Are you going to take 90% [probability] of being detected?" An on-site inspection expert confirmed that such an inspection would be instrumental in clarifying such amibiguities.

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Contributing to a Safer and More Secure World

(World Meteorological Organization)

Peter Chen of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) discusses the contributions the WMO has made to strengthening the CTBT over the past 15 years. Chen states that the WMO assisted with atmospheric transport and dispersion modelling (ATM), which is "closely linked to numerical weather prediction". ATM is used as part of the CTBT verification regime "to help determine the region of origin of a suspicious radionuclide following its detection".

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Past Nuclear Horrors, Future Nuclear Hopes

(Sun Journal)

On 9 August 2009, the Physicians for Social Responsibility held a ceremony in Maine, U.S., to remember the victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings of World War II. Although over "30,000 nuclear weapons still exist", the organization's Daniel Oppenheim believes that today's situation is "not all gloom and doom". He states that the U.S. is now on track for taking steps necessary to eliminate them. An essential part of this process is the CTBT, considered as "the best tool we have to prevent nuclear terrorism, regional nuclear conflicts, or even the next Hiroshima or Nagasaki".

Read more here.