Workshop on CTBTO International
Cooperation and National
Implementation of the Treaty
for States in the Pacific concludes
A two-day workshop on CTBTO International Cooperation and National Implementation of the Treaty for States in the Pacific has concluded in Nadi, Fiji. The workshop, which took place from 16 to 17 June, brought together 25 participants from 15 States in the Pacific. Representatives from Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Mineral Resources, Energy and Environment attended. Three non-signatory States, Palau, Tonga and Tuvalu, also took part. The Honourable Kaliopate Tavola, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Fiji, and Mr Wolfgang Hoffmann, Executive Secretary of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission, addressed the opening session.
The workshop provided participants with an overview of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) verification technologies and the work of the Commission in building up the verification system, and discussed national implementation of the Treaty in the region. The potential benefits of the civil and scientific applications of the technologies were also examined. Workshop discussions centred around the contribution of the CTBT to regional security, the legal aspects of national implementation and the prospects for advancing the build-up of the International Monitoring System (IMS) and national data centres in the region through technical cooperation. In particular, participants focused on identifying practical steps aimed at, inter alia, fostering cooperation among States of the region, facilitating the establishment of the verification regime and promoting national legislative measures on the CTBT.
The workshop participants, in keeping with the outcome of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Heads of Governments Meeting in Suva, Fiji, in 2002, strongly urged States with nuclear capabilities which have not yet signed or ratified the Treaty to do so, and called upon other States that are not Members of the Commission to sign and ratify the Treaty as soon as possible. They also made several recommendations for promoting cooperation in verification activities. These included exploring the possibility of establishing a cooperation agreement between the CTBTO Preparatory Commission and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat which would enhance Commission efforts to promote the Treaty among PIF Member States, while at the same time furthering cooperation in the civil uses of the verification technologies. With regard to preparing national legislation, States were encouraged to build on the expertise of States that already have experience with legislation for Treaty implementation. The Commission was requested to provide appropriate legal technical assistance to interested States. Participants also called upon the Commission and advanced States to provide appropriate technical assistance and training in IMS technologies, as well as for operation of National Data Centres and the use of International Data Centre data products, which was seen as an important element of capacity building.