Executive Secretary addresses
48th regular session of the
International Atomic Energy
Agency General Conference
The Executive Secretary, Mr Wolfgang Hoffmann, today addressed the 48th Regular Session of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference in Vienna. The Executive Secretary is invited to speak at the IAEA General Conference each year to inform the IAEA community of the work of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission.
In his statement, Mr Hoffmann informed the delegates of the steady rise in the number of signatures and ratifications of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), and noted that the Treaty is becoming increasingly universal in status. Today, the Treaty has 172 signatures and 116 ratifications. To enter into force, the CTBT must be signed and ratified by the 44 States listed in Annex 2 to the Treaty. These States formally participated in the work of the 1996 session of the Conference on Disarmament and possessed nuclear power or research reactors at that time. To date, 32 of the Annex 2 States have ratified the Treaty.
The Executive Secretary also provided an overview of activities to establish the CTBT's global verification regime. He informed delegates that significant progress has been made in preparing for the effective implementation of the Treaty over the past year. Out of the 337 IMS facilities provided for in the Treaty, site surveys have been completed for 322 facilities. Altogether, 190 facilities in the four Treaty-specified monitoring technologies (seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasound and radionuclide) have already been installed or upgraded and substantially meet the Commission's specifications. The total number of facilities certified is 96. An additional 78 stations are either under construction or in contract negotiation. More than 70 International Monitoring System (IMS) facilities are currently funded for operation and maintenance, either for testing and evaluation prior to certification or for post-certification activities. The number of facilities contributing data to the International Data Centre (IDC) has increased to 134.
Noting that IMS and IDC data are useful not only for international security, but also for civil and scientific purposes, the Executive Secretary said that more than one thousand technical requests from authorized users of the data system have been received and answered. Mr Hoffmann also noted that as the IMS build-up increases, the PTS is dedicating more time to the operation and maintenance of the system. This year, the first system-wide performance test was conducted, and analysis of the findings is on-going.
The full text of Mr Hoffmann's statement to the 48th regular session of the IAEA General Conference can be found on the CTBTO web site at www.ctbto.org in the Press Centre area.