Media Advisory: High-level
conference to promote an
end to nuclear test explosions

High-level representatives from close to 100 countries are expected to meet in Vienna, Austria 17-18 September 2007 to promote the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. The Foreign Ministers of Austria and Costa Rica will chair the conference. There will be press briefings and events open to the media throughout the meeting. The main outcome is expected to be a Final Declaration which will call upon countries to adhere to the Treaty and propose concrete steps for how the Treaty can be promoted. Please check out the dedicated Conference area on for continuously updated information. Name: Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) When: Monday 17 September, 15.00-18.00, and Tuesday 18 September, 10.00-18.00. Where: Hofburg Congress Center, Vienna, entrance Josephsplatz 3. Press briefing When: Tuesday 18 September at 11.00 Where: Kleiner Redoutensaal at the Hofburg Congress Center The Presidents of the Conference HE Ursula Plasnik, Minister for European and International Affairs of Austria, and HE Bruno Stagno Ugarte, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica, will brief on the political highlights of the Conference. The UN Secretary-General?s High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Mr. Sergio Duarte, and CTBTO Executive Secretary Mr. Tibor Toth will also participate. Austrian Government Reception When: Monday 17 September 13:30-15:00 Where: Dachfoyer, 4th floor, Hofburg Congress Center. CTBTO Exhibition Verifying the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Experts from the CTBTO's technical divisions will demonstrate how a seismic station works, how data is processed, and how an on-site inspection is conducted. When: all day Where: Dachfoyer, 4th floor, Hofburg Congress Center. CTBTO Movie: CTBT: For a Safer and More Secure World This updated version includes CTBTO findings with regards to the announced nuclear test by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in October 2006. When: all day Where: Dachfoyer, 4th floor, Hofburg Congress Center Seminar CTBT: achievements, challenges and opportunities The Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC) and the Arms Control Association (ACA) hold a seminar on the Treaty and its verification system. Speakers: Executive Director Daryl Kimball, Professor David Hafemeister, and Ambassador Jaap Ramaker. A light luncheon will be served in connection with the seminar. When: Tuesday 18 September, 13:00-15:00 Where: Kleiner Redoutensaal, Hofburg Congress Center. Practical information Media registration All media must be registered. If you are already accredited to the Vienna International Centre or to the IAEA General Conference, please present your accreditation card to the CTBTO registration desk at the Austria Center, Sunday 16 September at 9.00 ? 18.30 and Monday 17 September 8.00 ? 18.30, or at the Hofburg Congress Center (see times below), and you will be given a registration sticker. If you are not in possession of valid accreditation to the Vienna International Center or to the IAEA General Conference, please find the registration form on and return it to [email protected] or (fax) +43 1 26030 5823, or register on site: When: Sunday 16 September 15.00-18.00, Monday-Tuesday 17-18 September 8.00-18.00 Where: Entrance hall, Hofburg Congress Center, Josefsplatz 3, Vienna. If you are not in possession of valid accreditation to the Vienna International Center or to the IAEA General Conference, you also need to bring one piece of journalistic photo ID and a letter from the editor. Press working area Where: Dachfoyer, 4th floor, Hofburg Congress Center. Press liaison during the Conference Where: Entrance hall and the Dachfoyer, 4th floor, Hofburg Congress Center. Telephone: 43/664/512 9409 or +43/699/1459 6457 Please refer all enquiries, including requests for interviews and visual coverage, the booking of interview room, and the purchase of photographs, to these desks. Conference documents Where: Outside the Conference plenary hall (Grosser Redoutensaal), in the Rauchsalon. For further information on registration and practical issues, please contact Christian Evertz, tel: +43 1 26030 6200/6108 or + 43/664/512 9409, fax: +43 1 26030 5823, email [email protected] For further information on the Treaty and the Conference, please contact Annika Thunborg, Spokesperson and Chief Public Information, tel: +43-1-26030-6375 or +43-699-1459 6375, e-mail [email protected] Background information The Conference It is the fifth time since the adoption of the CTBT in September 1996 that the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, also known as Article XIV Conference, will take place. At the request of the 139 States that have ratified the Treaty, the Secretary-General of the United Nations convened this years Conference. Representatives of ratifying States are invited to participate in deliberations. Signatory States, non-signatory States, international organizations and non-governmental organizations are invited to attend as observers. Article XIV of the CTBT specifies the conditions for the Treaty?s entry into force. This will take place 180 days after all 44 Annex 2 States have ratified the Treaty. Under Article XIV, the negotiators of the CTBT included a mechanism of regular conferences to promote the Treaty?s entry into force, if this had not taken place three years after its opening for signature. The first such Conference took place in Vienna in 1999. Subsequent Conferences were held in New York in 2001, in Vienna in 2003 and in New York in 2005. CTBT Drafted at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Switzerland, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty bans all nuclear explosions on Earth, including underground, under water and in the atmosphere. It thus constrains the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons and constitutes a cornerstone of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. The CTBT was adopted on 10 September 1996 and opened for signature on 24 September 1996. The Treaty is nearing universality, having been signed by 177 States. A total of 139 States have ratified it. The most recent State to have ratified the Treaty is Palau who did so on 1 August 2007. Particular attention is paid to the States listed in the Treaty?s Annex 2, as they have to ratify the Treaty for it to enter into force. These States participated in the negotiations of the Treaty in 1996 and possessed nuclear capacities at the time. Of the 44 Annex 2 States, 34 have ratified the Treaty, including the three nuclear weapon States France, Russian Federation and the United Kingdom. The ten remaining States are China, Colombia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States of America. The DPRK, India and Pakistan have not yet signed the Treaty. The CTBT and the establishment of the verification regime The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) prepares for the Treaty?s entry into force. The organization is mandated to develop the tools needed to monitor compliance with the CTBT. These tools are integrated in the verification regime which will ensure that no nuclear explosion goes unnoticed. Once the Treaty enters into force, the planet will be monitored by a monitoring network, the International Monitoring System (IMS), using four technologies: seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasound and radionuclide. The 337 facilities of the IMS cover the entire globe - all continents and all oceans. Already now, the system works in test mode with 210 of its installations confirmed as meeting all technical requirements set by the CTBTO. These facilities transmit data to the International Data Centre (IDC) in Vienna for analysis. All monitoring data and their analysis are made available to States Signatories for their final assessment. The verification regime includes additional measures, such as consultation and clarification mechanisms and the option to conduct an on-site inspection in case of a suspicious event. On-site inspections can only be invoked after the CTBT enters into force. The event in the DPRK The CTBT global alarm system was put to the test by the announcement of the Democratic People?s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on 9 October 2006 to have conducted a nuclear test. Although completed only partially and operating in test mode, the CTBT?s verification system proved that it was capable to meet the expectations set for it. Over twenty IMS monitoring stations registered signals originating from the event. Monitoring data were sent to the IDC in Vienna in near real-time. Already two hours later, the first automatic estimation of location, magnitude and time of the event was made available to States Signatories. Analysts at the IDC conducted further analysis of the first estimate and provided States Signatories with the final analysis within 48 hours of the event. Two weeks after the event, the radionuclide noble gas station in Yellowknife, Canada, registered a higher concentration of the radioactive noble gas Xenon 133 which is a substance released at a nuclear explosion. Models on atmospheric movements were used to show that the observations at Yellowknife were consistent with the hypothesis of a Xenon 133 release at the time and location of the DPRK event. The event in the DPRK subjected the emerging verification system to a real test. The system passed this test with impressive results, proving its reliability and timeliness. It was a unique opportunity to show the potential value of this global alarm system to States Signatories.

For further information on the CTBTO, please see or contact:
Annika Thunborg, Chief, Public Information  
T    +43 1 26030-6375  
E    [email protected]
M    +43 699 1459 6375