Fifth anniversary of the Secretariat takes place

The Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission marked its fifth anniversary at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) with a number of special events on Monday, 18 March 2002. The celebrations started with a well-attended breakfast for press and non-governmental representatives hosted by the Executive Secretary, Mr Wolfgang Hoffmann.

The well-known verification NGO VERTIC then held a seminar entitled 'CTBT Verification: Achievements and Opportunities' which was opened by the Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Benita Ferrero-Waldner and chaired by Mr Oliver Meier of VERTIC. Presentations were made by three experts on CTBT verification, Ambassador Grigory V. Berdennikov, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the International Organizations in Vienna, Mr Hein Haak, Head of the Seismological Division, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, and Mr Daryl Kimball, Executive Director of the Arms Control Association, Washington, DC. The discussion from the floor raised issues such as data transmission, verification and usage, the ratification process and the role of NGOs in supporting the work of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission. Participants were also interested in Russia's proposal to further develop and expand the verification regime following the CTBT entry into force. A report of the seminar in pdf format can be found here.

In the afternoon, the new corporate identity of the organization was introduced to the staff by the Executive Secretary and the Chief of Public Information. The Executive Secretary pointed out that as a mature organization with a global reach, it is very important that the Secretariat presents itself to the world in a consistent manner. The new corporate identity with its clear design and subdued natural colours will determine the distinctive public face of the Provisional Technical Secretariat from now on and will, in addition, contribute to a unified sense of identity and community for the organization.

The fifth anniversary celebrations ended with a cocktail reception for the Secretariat staff at the VIC and a reception hosted by the Austrian Foreign Ministry for the Vienna-based delegations.