Regional Workshop on CTBTO International Cooperation for States from South East Asia held in Malaysia

In cooperation with the Government of Malaysia, the CTBTO Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) organized a Regional Workshop on CTBTO International Cooperation for States from South East Asia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 9 to 11 December 2003.

Twenty-three participants from South East Asian States participated in the workshop. The United Kingdom contributed one speaker.

The workshop aimed to provide an overview of the work of the Preparatory Commission and the technologies of the CTBT verification regime in order to facilitate movement towards the effective implementation of the CTBT through the early establishment of the verification regime and the facilitation of the entry into force of the Treaty. In this context, the workshop explored ways and means to promote cooperation among States of South East Asia for CTBT purposes, including in verification technologies, and possible cooperative arrangements to that end.

Dato' Dr. Ahmad Sobri Hashim, the Director-General of the Malaysian Institute for Nuclear Technology Research (MINT), provided opening remarks at the event.

In his welcoming address, the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission, Mr. Wolfgang Hoffmann, reviewed the efforts of the PTS in supporting international cooperation activities and the range of measures taken to promote cooperation among States. He mentioned that the Commission encouraged regional cooperative arrangements aiming at the early establishment of the International Monitoring System (IMS) and the entry into force of the Treaty.

H.E. Hon. Dato' Seri Law Hieng Ding, the Malaysian Minister of Science, Technology and the Environment, opened the workshop with a review of Malaysia's position regarding the Treaty. The Minister confirmed that although CTBT does not provide immediate guarantees for the total elimination of nuclear weapons, the Treaty represented a step forward and remained an important instrument contributing to nuclear non-proliferation and thus to international peace and security and regional stability.

The Minister, the Executive-Secretary and MINT Director-General convened a press conference following the opening session.

A technical site visit was organized for participants on December 10 to the Malaysian Centre for Remote Sensing.