In her welcoming remarks, Bente Angell-Hansen, the Permanent Representative of Norway, referred to the 6 January announced nuclear test by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) as an "unlawful act that constitutes a breach of the universally accepted norm against nuclear testing, a norm that has been respected by 183 countries since 1996". Norway is financially supporting the symposium.
Cristian Istrate, Permanent Representative of Romania and Chair of the CTBTO PrepCom, the organization's highest decision-making body, highlighted the international community's unity against renewed nuclear testing, as demonstrated in the unanimous condemnation of the DPRK's announced nuclear test. Istrate described the 20th anniversary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) as "a golden opportunity to take stock of the achievements of the PrepCom over the last two decades".
"We cannot really characterize this anniversary as a cause for celebration," Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo added in his address (PDF). "Until such time as it enters into force, the CTBT is unfinished business. Unless we finish what we started, there is a risk that we will lose twenty years of hard work and fifty to sixty years of negotiations on a world without nuclear testing. So the twentieth anniversary is a time for reflection. And hopefully that reflection will bring about a time for action."
The next two weeks bring into focus what a monumental accomplishment it was to have the CTBT opened for signature twenty years ago.Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo
Keynote Address by David Strangway
The global sensor network of the CTBTO is one such platform which brings together researchers from different disciplines and different countries. You only have to look at the workforce of the CTBTO to see the impact on boundary-crossing.David Strangway, President Emeritus, University of British Columbia and Canada Foundation for Innovation
Interview with Joe Cirincione
Focussing his remarks on the prospects of CTBT ratification by the United States, Joseph Cirincione described the ongoing efforts by the U.S. administration to educate the wider public and the U.S. Senate about the security interests in favour of CTBT ratification. He expressed his optimism that with the backing of civil society and think tanks, the Treaty's profile would be raised in the national security debate.
The importance of a Treaty is not just that it becomes global law but that it establishes an international norm. Countries that used to explode nuclear weapons like firecrackers haven't tested in over 20 years.Joseph Cirincione, President, Ploughshares Fund
20 Years On: Reflections on the Negotiations of the CTBT
A lively panel debate on the negotiations of the Treaty featuring former lead negotiators in the Conference on Disarmament who played key roles in the Treaty’s negotiation. The panel explored the dynamics that led to the final Treaty text, including the entry into force clause - Article XIV - and offered the opportunity to reflect on the current impasse with regard to the Treaty’s entry into force.
We seized the window of opportunity that opened after the Cold War had ended. Three years [to negotiate] an international treaty is not much time, so we had to make haste.Wolfgang Hoffmann, Executive Secretary Emeritus
Achieving entry into force: Confronting the challenge 20 years later
We have seen with chemical weapons issue in Syria and the JCPOA [the Iran nuclear agreement] that agreements are possible, but you have to invest a lot of time, goodwill, effort and a willingness to work together to get something.Angela Kane, former UN High Representative for Disarmament and GEM member
Nuclear Testing and the Arms Race
James Acton, Co-Director, Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Pierce Corden, Visiting Scholar, American Association for the Advancement of Science and Zia Mian, Director, Project on Peace and Security in South Asia, Princeton University discuss nuclear weapons technology, the decision-making process in nuclear testing, and the linkages between nuclear testing and the arms race.
President Carter decided that the test ban was possible, verifiable and was in the U.S. national interest. ... We could have had a nuclear test ban treaty in 1980. The reason that the talks failed [according to U.S. chief negotiator Herbert York] was that most of the U.S. military including the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the entire permanent civilian nuclear establishment opposed it.Zia Mian, Director, Project on Peace and Security in South Asia, Princeton University
Where's the News? (Under-) reporting on the CTBT
Living with nuclear weapons became normal. In that sense, it's not surprising that it has ceased to become an urgent issue. Not that people don't care about it, we've lived with them and none of the apocalyptic scenarios predicted or suggested has come to pass.Louis Charbonneau, Thomson Reuters Bureau Chief, UN New York
Keynote Address by Paul Richards
We have achieved a very good verification system and I see every prospect of it getting even significantly better. ... [but] this Treaty is not run for the benefit of those who do verification, it is about a serious effort with serious arms control goals.Paul Richards, Special Research Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
The Foundation of the CTBT Verification Regime
The Group of Scientific Experts worked under the Conference on Disarmament from 1976 to 1996 ... the course of the work was steady, but at the same time the technologies underpinning the verification system developed dramatically. Svein Mykkeltveit, Norwegian Seismic Array (NORSAR)
The first strong positive of the CTBT verification regime is its democratic nature - the involvement of multiple States in the verification regime in terms of hosting facilities and the availability of data from that verification regime to States. Translating this democraticness to other treaties and verification regimes is not straigthforward and requires a lot of thinking but is a real positive that I think is important to build upon.James Acton, Co-Director, Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Rebooting Nuclear Security
Non-proliferation is only talked about in terms of terrorist activities; it is really not talked about in a broader sense. And to my mind, maintenance of international peace and security is very much related also to looking at treaties, to looking at being a good citizen and joining those treaties. So that is where the leadership comes in.Angela Kane, former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs
CTBT as a regional confidence building measure
The irony of CBMs [Confidence Building Measures] is that they are most likely to succeed when they are least required, and they are least likely to succeed when they are most required… And it’s no coincidence that some of the best CBMs that have come through, came in that very brief period after the end of the Cold War, when in fact tensions between the two super powers, between the western and eastern bloc, diminished.Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu, Senior Fellow, Brookings India
Unterstanding the CTBT
An enforceable CTBT is more than just a signed and ratified document. It also means a legal situation, which includes the signature and ratification of the treaty. But it also means a verification regime that in all its technical aspects is fully operational.Sonya Brander, Chief, Legal Services Section, CTBTO
The Preparatory Commission and the future organization
No matter how much our views differ in terms of CTBT or nuclear related issues, I think that this time we should be more united than ever to work for the entry into force of the Treaty. I would regard this as a main task for the Prep Com for this year, this 2016.Cristian Istrate, Permanent Representative of Romania and Chair of the Preparatory Commission
Enforceability of the CTBT: International Politics and International Law
It is important in this 20th anniversary year for the international community, perhaps the security council itself, to recognize the value the CTBTO already provides… to make sure that the organization is well supported, healthy enough, and recognized for what it is already doing, which is to detect, and today to deter nuclear testing even though the treaty has not entered into force.Daryl Kimball, Executive Director, Arms Control Association
Evaluation of a very small seismic event in the DPRK, 12 May 2010
The signals [of this event] were 3000 times smaller than those generated on January 6, by the last nuclear test by North Korea.Paul Richards, Special Research Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Enhancing National Security through Science-based Verification
A moderated discussion exploring perspectives of the impact of the CTBT on national and global security with discussants Raymond Jeanloz, Professor of Astronomy, University of California Berkeley and Gideon Frank, former Director General, Israel Atomic Energy Commission. Moderator: Patrick Grenard, Special Assistant, Office of the Executive Secretary, CTBTO.
As one learns to deploy in the field, in the context for training for on-site inspections, helps educate us about other types of deployments in that in the future may apply to other treaties and other kinds of activities.Raymond Jeanloz, Professor of Astronomy, University of California Berkeley
Introduction and Overview, International Monitoring System Technologies
“The system as it is today has shown its effectiveness. Recently we had the North Korean test where the seismic component of IMS lit up like a Christmas tree."David Jepsen, Coordinator, International Monitoring System Division
IMS Data and International Data Centre (IDC) Products
The member states are “hungry” for data and for products and that is very true. I think we move about between 10-14 Terabytes of data information a day. In last year through different vehicles that we have to access the information at the IDC we had close to half a million requests for information in raw data and products of the IDC.Gerhard Graham, IDC Programme and Project Coordinator
Roles, Responsibilities and Challenges Maintaining the IMS Verification System
The life’s cycle cost of the station is minimized by good planning and design and to follow the technological developments and to invest in high quality components and infrastructure when building the station. In that way the station will deliver a 100% data for a long time.Jan Fyen, Special Advisor, Norwegian Seismic Array NORSAR
The IMS Verification System in Action
[The 2006 announced nuclear test] was just one of the 104 events that were in the reviewed event bulletin for that day. The event was not screened out. Robert Pearce, Senior Scientist, International Data Centre
Civil and Scientific Uses of IMS Data
After the Fukushima accident, first only the station in Takasaki measured radioactivity... After, detections were made on all [radionuclide] stations in the Northern hemisphere.Klas Elmgren, IDC Radionuclide Operations Officer
The Way Forward for CTBT Technical Verification
Panel discussion, moderated by Gerardo Suárez, National Autonomous University of Mexico. Panellists: Federico Guendel, former Director, International Monitoring System Division, CTBTO; Raymond Jeanloz, Professor of Astronomy, University of California Berkeley; Joachim Schulze, Chairperson of the CTBTO PrepCom Working Group B; John J (Jay) Zucca, Principal Deputy Global Security Directorate, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
’I think high performance computing over the next 10 years is going to change the game for all kinds of technical areas. It could potentially, in the future, play a role in the IDC.John Jay Zucca, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Introduction and Overview of OSI Activities and Techniques
The sole purpose of an on-site-inspection is to clarify or find facts on the ground whether a nuclear explosion or a breach of obligation of the Treaty has been conducted.Oleg Rozhkov, Director, On-Site Inspection Division
OSI Regime Implementation Challenges- Treaty and Protocol Issues
’We only have 40 persons to deal with a 1,000 km2 and then you have [tight] time frames…So it’s not like you can go there for six months or something along those lines, with a large group of people coming to countryside.Gordon MacLeod, Chief, OSI Policy Planning & Operations Section
How to Become a “Surrogate” Inspector
Over the last 18 years we can define 3 periods - the initial period, the experimental training period and since 2007 the build-up of a roster of surrogate inspectors.Ron Gavish, Chief, OSI Training Section
Continuous Development of the OSI Regime
...by hosting this important event, Jordan has contributed to bringing the treaty into force, which is an important step and crucial step toward realizing a world free nuclear arms and weapons.Hussam Al Husseini, Permanent Representative of Jordan to the UN Vienna
Introduction to Executive Council Simulation
The symposium featured a simulation of an Executive Council discussion on whether to launch an on-site inspection. The future Executive Council will consist of 51 Member States. Jean Du Preez, Chief, External Relations and International Cooperation Section, explains the simulation's rules and procedures.
The purpose of the whole Simulation is to provide you with the opportunity to role play and utilize the knowledge that you have developed not only at this Symposium but in other forum about this Treaty and to actually put into play.Jean Du Preez, Chief, External Relations and International Cooperation