CTBTO international cooperation
workshop in Baku concludes


A workshop on CTBTO international cooperation for States from Central Asia and the Caucasus closed on 27 March in Baku, Azerbaijan. The workshop, hosted jointly by the Government of Azerbaijan and the CTBTO Preparatory Commission, brought together representatives from eight States in the region. Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Turkey and Uzbekistan attended. The workshop built on the work of the 2001 Interregional Workshop for CTBTO International Cooperation and National Implementation/Ratification Procedures in Istanbul, Turkey. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Vilayat Mukhtar ogly Guliyev, opened the workshop. The Executive Secretary of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission, Mr Wolfgang Hoffmann, also spoke, briefing the workshop participants on the status of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the work of the Commission. The goal of the workshop - to provide an overview of the work of the Preparatory Commission and the technologies of the Treaty's global verification regime, and to encourage cooperation among States in the region - was supported by various presentations on the verification regime and the technologies and data processing capacities which support it. The workshop also aimed to enhance the sharing of information and experience for the effective implementation of the CTBT and the establishment of the verification regime in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Topics including "CTBT as a Pillar for Regional and International Security: National Views" were discussed, and national experiences in promoting CTBT work were exchanged. Participants, recognizing that the International Monitoring System (IMS) provides an unprecedented opportunity for the scientific community, considered possible benefits of the scientific and civil application of verification technologies, data and products. Ways and means to promote cooperation in the verification technologies among States Signatories in the region were explored. Participants were encouraged to benefit from training opportunities and cooperation programmes to upgrade their scientific capabilities for the implementation of the Treaty. The important role of National Data Centres (NDCs) in receiving, analyzing and benefiting from data and products was reaffirmed, and a proposal was made to set up a "Partnership Programme" for the establishment of NDCs and the promotion of interaction through such centres between States in the region. Initiatives on the establishment of a "Central Asian Regional Cooperation Centre on CTBT Work" and a "Regional Network of Technical Experts" to facilitate the exchange of experiences, data and research were also presented. While in Azerbaijan, the Executive Secretary was received by the President, H.E. Mr Haydar Aliyev, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Vilayat Quliyev, and the President of the National Academy of Sciences, Mr Mahmud Kerimov. Political, technical and scientific aspects of the Treaty were discussed, and full support for the Treaty was expressed.

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