A CTBTO international cooperation workshop for ECOWAS Member States was held in Abuja, Nigeria

Participants at the workshop in Abuja

At the invitation of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) held a two-day international cooperation workshop for ECOWAS Member States in Abuja from 30 November to 1 December 2006. The workshop was organized by the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO in collaboration with the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the ECOWAS Secretariat.

About eighty participants took part in the workshop. They included representatives of Governments, universities, research institutes, the Eastern and Southern African Regional Seismological Working Group (ESARSWG) and PTS staff.

The main objective of the workshop was to provide a forum to enhance the understanding of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in order to facilitate the earliest possible establishment of the verification regime and to promote the universality of the Treaty through ratification by those States that had not yet done so. In this context, the workshop explored ways and means to promote, within the sub-region, the civil and scientific applications and benefits of the CTBT verification technologies as well as increase cooperation among ECOWAS States in areas such as capacity building, public enlightenment and sharing of information within the CTBT framework.

Presentations were made by experts on different aspects of the verification regime including the International Monitoring System (IMS), opportunities for technical cooperation with the CTBTO as well as the civil and scientific benefits of the CTBT verification technologies.

In his opening statement read by Dr. Julius A. Aremu, Director of the Department of Industrial Technology and Energy Research, Professor Turner T. Isoun, Minister of Science and Technology of Nigeria, recalled that the Treaty's primary objective to contribute effectively to the prevention of the proliferation of nuclear weapons in all aspects and to nuclear disarmament was a noble objective given the controversial nature which nuclear technology had generated in today's world. He reaffirmed that Nigeria's Nuclear Energy Programme (NNEP) was designed for peaceful purposes such as electricity generation, agriculture, health, industry, science and technology research and development.