Panama signs Facility Agreement
A Facility Agreement between Panama and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) was signed today by Ambassador Jorge Enrique Halphen P?rez on behalf of Panama, and Mr Wolfgang Hoffmann, Executive Secretary, on behalf of the Preparatory Commission. The Agreement entered into force upon signature, and grants the Preparatory Commission the necessary legal authority to carry out work on International Monitoring System (IMS) facilities on Panama's territory. The Commission has now signed 28 Facility Agreements with States hosting IMS facilities. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which Panama signed on 24 September 1996 and ratified on 23 March 1999, bans all nuclear test explosions. Compliance with the terms of the Treaty is monitored by a global verification regime. The 337-facility International Monitoring System (IMS), a key part of the verification regime, uses seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasound and radionuclide technologies to detect evidence of possible nuclear test explosions. Under the terms of the CTBT, Panama hosts a radionuclide station (RN50) in Panama City. The IMS network consists of 50 primary seismic stations, 120 auxiliary seismic stations, 60 infrasound stations and 11 hydroacoustic stations which monitor vibrations in the atmosphere or under water that may result from a nuclear explosion. The IMS also includes 96 radionuclide facilities which sample or analyse radioactive material which may have been released during a possible nuclear explosion. Data from the IMS stations are transmitted to the International Data Centre (IDC) in Vienna, where they are processed and forwarded to the Member States for their review.