Mongolia twelfth State Signatory to sign Facility Agreement

A Facility Agreement was signed on 5 June 2000 between the Minister for Science, Technology, Education and Culture of Mongolia, Avirmediin Battur, and the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission (CTBTO Preparatory Commission), Wolfgang Hoffmann. The ceremony took place at Ulaanbaatar. Mongolia is the twelfth State Signatory, after Finland, to have signed such an agreement.

The purpose of the Facility Agreement is to grant the necessary legal authority to the CTBTO Preparatory Commission to undertake work on Mongolian territory on the three facilities that it is hosting as part of the International Monitoring System (IMS) to verify compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Mongolia is hosting a primary seismological station at Songino, a radionuclide station at Ulaanbaatar and an infrasound station at Songino. The infrasound station is established and is already transmitting data via France to the International Data Centre in Vienna. The other two stations are being constructed and will be completed this year.

The CTBT, signed by Mongolia on 1 October 1996 and ratified on 8 August 1997, recognizes that halting all nuclear-weapon-test explosions is an effective measure of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Under the Treaty´s global verification regime, a network of 321 monitoring stations - spanning some 90 countries - will be able to record shock waves generated by possible nuclear explosions and other sources in the atmosphere, under water or underground.

The network includes 50 primary and 120 auxiliary seismic stations whose data can be used to help distinguish between possible nuclear explosions and the thousands of earth tremors registered annually. It also includes 80 radionuclide stations to sample radioactive debris which may have been released during a possible nuclear explosion and, in addition, 16 laboratories to assist in the analysis of samples. Furthermore, 60 infrasound and 11 hydroacoustic stations will be able to record acoustic signals in the atmosphere or under water that may have come from a nuclear explosion. The monitoring stations will transmit, via satellite, in near real time, data to the IDC in the CTBTO Preparatory Commission in Vienna, where the data will be used to detect, locate and characterize events. These data and IDC products will be made available to the States Signatories for final analysis.

For further information on the CTBTO, please see www.ctbto.org or contact:
Annika Thunborg, Chief, Public Information  
T    +43 1 26030-6375  
E    annika.thunborgping@ctbtopong.org
M    +43 699 1459 6375       
I    www.ctbto.org