Member States elect Lassina Zerbo as new CTBTO head from August 2013

Vienna, 23 October 2012

The Member States of the highest decision-making body of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) today elected a new Executive Secretary.

Lassina Zerbo from Burkina Faso has been selected from the five candidates considered by Member States for the position (see overview by VERTIC). Zerbo has served as Director of the CTBTO’s International Data Centre Division since November 2004. A geophysicist by profession, Zerbo has held academic positions in France and Canada and managerial positions with international mining companies, including Anglo American. On 1 August 2013, he will take over from the current Executive Secretary, Tibor Tóth, who has held the office since August 2005 and will remain in the position until 31 July 2013.

Member States also echoed the Final Declaration of last month’s conference in New York to promote the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). They called on the eight States that have yet to ratify the Treaty for it to enter into force (see interactive map) to do so without delay. The recent decision by the Parliament of Iraq to ratify the CTBT was welcomed.
The finishing line is not far away. We should keep pushing to secure more signatures and ratifications. With persistence, perseverance and political leadership, we will get to that finishing line

Delegates reviewed and commended the organization for the progress in the build-up of the International Monitoring System: 287 of 337 planned facilities have been established to date. Data availability from the stations has increased to around 90%. The budget for 2013 was also adopted. With U.S. $ 119.6 million, the regular budget remains slightly below zero real growth for yet another year. In addition, the European Union has announced a voluntary contribution of € 5 million.

The organization’s highest decision-making body, the PrepCom, has elected Ambassador Jan Peterson of Norway as its new chairman for 2013. The current chairperson is Ambassador Ana Teresa Dengo of Costa Rica.

Background on the CTBT

The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions by everyone, everywhere: on the Earth’s surface, in the atmosphere, underwater and underground. 183 countries have signed the Treaty, of which 157 have also ratified it. Of the 44 countries that have to ratify the Treaty for entry into force, 36 have already done so. The remaining eight are: China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States.

For further information on the CTBT, please see – your resource on ending nuclear testing, or contact: Annika Thunborg,
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