CTBTO Images Now Available on Flickr
CTBT Entry into Force Conference - Media Advisory
Foreign ministers from among more than 100 countries will meet at the United Nations Headquarters in New York 24 and 25 September, 2009, to promote the entry into force of the CTBT. They are expected to propose concrete actions that States can take towards that goal. The conference takes place amidst growing international political support for the Treaty.
CTBTO Images Now Available on Flickr
The CTBTO is now sharing its images free of charge on the online photo management platform flickr. An ever increasing number of high quality images depicting the work of the CTBTO are available and can be used by media representatives, publishers and the public at large.
Building Up the Regime For Verifying the CTBT
(Arms Control Today)
CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth details the significant progress made in building up the CTBT's unique verification regime. Currently, 248 certified monitoring stations scan the globe for nuclear tests. Tóth states that the system "is already more powerful than expected by the Treaty’s negotiators. Therefore, there is a very high probability today that a militarily significant nuclear test anywhere on the planet will be detected by the system."
Review and Update of Technical Issues Related to the CTBT
(The National Academies)
The U.S. National Academies Committee on International Security and Arms Control will review and update a 2002 report on technical issues related to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. The report will focus on the maintenance of the safety and reliability of the U.S. stockpile in the absence of nuclear testing and nuclear test detection capabilities of the CTBTO's International Monitoring System and U.S. national technical means.
Obama Facing Hurdles to Nuclear Disarmament Goals
U.S. President Obama is facing difficult political hurdles in trying to gain ratification of the CTBT, AP reports. Health care reform, violence in Afghanistan and a START successor have forced the President to take his focus away from the CTBT. Experts say the Obama administration needs to "work faster and harder" in order to win Senate ratification of the treaty.
Indian nuclear experts debate necessity for more nuclear tests
Leading Indian nuclear weapons experts are debating whether India should join the CTBT, deriving their arguments from contradictory interpretations of the 1998 Pokhran-II nuclear tests results. Former coordinator of India's nuclear weapons programme K. Santhanam argues that the failed test in 1998 requires new testing and that India should therefore not sign and ratify the CTBT. Other experts including former President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and former Head of the Indian atomic energy commission Rajagopala Chidambaram maintain that the tests were successful and that no further tests were needed.
Read more on the Indian nuclear testing debate click on these links.
Inside Obama Administration, a Tug of War Over Nuclear Warheads
(Global Security Newswire)
U.S. President Obama's administration is divided over the idea of reinstating the Reliable Replacement Warhead program to replace the aging nuclear stockpile with new warheads, GSN reports. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates advocates its renewal. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden blocked efforts by the Department of Defense to restart the program in June. Opponents of the program say that it would undermine efforts of non-proliferation and portray the U.S. as backtracking on its nuclear disarmament commitments.
Transform U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy
Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association in Washington, D.C., says that the nuclear doctrines of the Cold War are "no longer appropriate" and that the U.S. and Russia need to significantly reduce their nuclear arsenals. Kimball emphasizes the need for U.S ratification of the CTBT: "Without U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, our ability to harness the international support necessary to prevent nuclear terrorism and strengthen the beleaguered nuclear nonproliferation system will be greatly diminished."
Global Insights: Chinese Offer Hope, Obstacles for Obama Nuclear Agenda
(World Politics Review)
Richard Weitz, a Hudson Institute senior fellow, analyzes China's recent statement at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. He concludes that the U.S. and China agree on nuclear disarmament as a political goal, but still disagree on the road map for getting there. Referring to the CTBT, Weitz notes China's commitment to achieving the Treaty's entry into force, but suggests that ratification may only come after U.S. ratification.
UN Conference Mulls Over Nuclear Abolition
A United Nations Conference on nuclear disarmament in Japan focused on how to translate the vision of a nuclear weapons-free world into concrete actions. Participants included government representatives and academics from 21 countries, including from nuclear weapon States China, France and the United States. They called for efforts to bring the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty into force and to negotiate a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty.