Cook Islands signs the CTBT
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty prohibits all nuclear weapon test explosions and any other nuclear explosion anywhere in the world. Drafted at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, and adopted by the General Assembly on 10 September 1996, the Treaty was opened for signature on 24 September 1996 at the United Nations in New York. The Treaty will enter into force 180 days after it has been signed and ratified by the 44 countries that formally participated in the work of the 1996 session of the Conference on Disarmament and that possess nuclear power and research reactors, as listed in the Treaty. China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States were among the first States to sign the Treaty. A Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization is carrying out the necessary preparations for the effective implementation of the Treaty. The Commission is establishing the global verification regime foreseen in the Treaty, including an International Monitoring System, which will consist of a network of 321 seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasound and radionuclide stations. The System will verify that no nuclear tests are conducted in the atmosphere, underground or under water. The Provisional Technical Secretariat of the Preparatory Commission started work in Vienna on 17 March 1997 under its Executive Secretary Wolfgang Hoffmann of Germany.