Test-ban Verification Taken to the Next Level

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Nucleat Aboltion News | CTBTO
By CTBTO

VIENNA – The 182 Member States of the highest decision-making body of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) today approved a plan to boost the organization’s on-site inspection capabilities. They endorsed a budget for the next Integrated Field Exercise (IFE for short) amounting to US$ 10.3 million.

This exercise, to be held in 2014, will test and train the organization’s on-site inspection capabilities in an all-encompassing way. The plan also foresees a host of preceding smaller (“directed”) exercises and other run-up activities. IFE 2014 will be the second large-scale undertaking of its kind after the IFE 2008 in Kazakhstan in September 2008.

Member States also echoed the Final Declaration of last month’s conference to promote the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). They called on the nine States that have yet to ratify the Treaty for it to enter into force (see map) to do so without delay. (Watch the video Building Momentum for the CTBT.) The recent ratifications by Ghana and Guinea were welcomed.

Delegates reviewed and commended the organization for the progress in the build-up of the International Monitoring System: 285 of 337 planned facilities have been established to date. They also applauded the system’s performance during the Fukushima crisis and the CTBTO’s close cooperation with other relevant international organizations, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The repair of the two stations on the Juan Fernandez Islands (Chile) that were destroyed by a tsunami in February 2010 continues at a steady pace.

These enterprises will significantly enhance our verification regime and contribute to smart and optimal use of the resources of the [CTBTO].

CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth
on the planned Integrated Field Exercise, the repair of the Chilean stations and a new management software system

Budget below zero real growth

The CTBTO adopted the budget for 2012. With U.S. $ 117.4 million, the regular budget remains slightly below zero real growth for yet another year.

New Chairs

The organization’s highest decision-making body, the so-called Preparatory Commission elected as its new chairman for 2012 Ambassador Alfredo Labbé of Chile. The new chairman for the subsidiary body for budgetary and administrative issues (Working Group A) will be Ambassador Jargalsaikhan Enkhsaikhan of Mongolia, while Hein Haak of the Netherlands was re-elected as chairman of the subsidiary body for verification issues (Working Group B).

Background on the CTBT

The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions by everyone, everywhere: on the Earth’s surface, in the atmosphere, underwater and underground. 182 countries have signed the Treaty, of which 155 have also ratified it. Of the 44 countries that have to ratify the Treaty for entry into force, 35 have already done so. The remaining nine are: China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States. [October 24, 2011]

 

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