CTBTO head gives keynote speech at IPU meeting, meets WMO head

CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo addressing the IPU's Standing Committee on Peace and International Security

The Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Lassina Zerbo, visited Geneva, Switzerland from 16 to 17 March 2014.

Zerbo gave a keynote speech to a meeting of the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) on “The CTBT, Parliaments and a Nuclear Weapons-free World” (full speech - PDF), highlighting the need to seize every available opportunity to advance the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the Treaty's mutually supportive relationship with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Zerbo then attended the IPU’s debate on the resolution “Towards a Nuclear Weapons-free World: the Contribution of Parliaments” - see adopted resolution (PDF), which has language in support of the CTBT on both its preambular and operative parts. In introducing the draft resolution, co-rapporteur Blaine Calkins (MP) from Canada emphazied the importance of the CTBT's entry into force. The Executive Secretary also met with the Secretary-General of the IPU, Anders B. Johnsson and other high-level IPU officials.

Reiterates the need for the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, and urges those States identified in Annex 2 of the Treaty that have not yet done so to accelerate the process of signing and ratifying it, as a matter of priority and an indication of their political will and commitment to international peace and security;OP 6 of the draft IPU resolution "Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world: the contribution of parliaments"

Zerbo commended the IPU for the importance it attaches to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and highlighted the two resolutions on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban-Treaty (CTBT) it adopted in 1999 and 2009 on the Treaty’s entry into force.

Parliamentarians, both individually and through the many networks in which they participate, can spread the message on banning nuclear testing better than almost anyone else.CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo

Zerbo also met with the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Michel Jarraud. The CTBTO’s cooperation with the WMO is governed by a special agreement (PDF). WMO’s meteorological data helps the CTBTO to improve its Atmospheric Transport Modelling (ATM). By this method, the three-dimensional travel path of a radionuclide particle is backtracked from where it was detected by a monitoring station, to the area where it may have originated. See also article (PDF) by Michal Jarraud in CTBTO Spectrum (September 2011).

At the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Zerbo met with Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction to discuss deepening the cooperation between both organizations. CTBTO monitoring data can enhance disaster mitigation efforts, for example by helping tsunami warning centres issue more timely warnings or to monitor airborne radioactivity after nuclear accidents.