Special events, civil and
scientific applications and symposia
Aside from the regular meetings of the policy-making organs and the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT (also called the “Article XIV Conference”). The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) has also held other events with an emphasis on the civil and scientific uses of the verification regime’s technologies.
For more information on the civil and scientific applications, click here.
Coinciding with the CTBT’s tenth anniversary, the CTBTO held a scientific symposium entitled "CTBT: Synergies with Science, 1996-2006 and Beyond" in August/September 2006 in Vienna in conjunction with the Austrian Foreign Ministry.
The symposium was opened with addresses by Hans Winkler, State Secretary, Austrian Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth. The keynote speaker was Mohammed ElBaradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Other guest speakers included the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, Nobuaki Tanaka, and Wolfgang Hoffmann, the former Executive Secretary of the CTBTO.
The aim of the symposium was to encourage increased interaction amongst the scientific community worldwide, the CTBTO and States Signatories to the Treaty in order to build global capacity in science and technology fields related to the activities of the CTBTO.
Discussions at the symposium included subjects ranging from Earth imaging to data mining. Other topics included the development of new analysis methods and procedures to increase the understanding of infrasound observations, large data volumes, and new tools to compute and understand wave propagation, as well as an improved understanding of earthquake sources.
The CTBTO convenes various seminars and symposia to emphasize the civil and scientific uses of the verification regime’s technologies.
The symposium also emphasized the role the verification technologies could play in improving early warning systems for tsunamis, volcanoes and disastrous chemical explosions, as well as tropical cyclones. It concluded by confirming that the interaction between the CTBTO and the scientific community had been further strengthened by many of the new ideas expounded. It concluded that continuing to stay abreast of new advances in science and technology would certainly be useful to the global verification regime.
For more information on the symposium including presentations given by eminent scientists and other participants, please click here.
International Scientific Studies Conference ISS09
The International Scientific Studies (ISS) Conference took place in Vienna, Austria, from 10 to 12 June 2009. It's purpose was twofold: to assess the capability and readiness of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) verification system; and to further develop the cooperation between the scientific community and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).
The Conference was the culmination of a year-long series of independent assessments and studies of the CTBT’s ability to detect nuclear explosions anywhere on the planet. Around 500 scientists from 99 countries came together to contribute ideas, data and research findings. Over 200 scientific posters were submitted to the Conference covering the eight topic areas addressed by the project.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed participants through a video message. The Conference was opened by the Austrian Foreign Minister, Michael Spindelegger (address), and Tibor Tóth, the Executive Secretary of the CTBTO (address).
The Conference involved a series of presentations and panel discussions in which some of the world’s most eminent scientists in the verification field participated. Various themes were discussed in detail including:
• Advances in the detection capabilities of the four CTBT verification technologies over the last decade.
• Synergies between the different technologies.
• On-site inspections.
• Potential civil and scientific applications of verification data.
• Science for security.
• Future collaboration between the CTBTO and the scientific community.
Two major events preceding the conference provided ample topics for discussion: the May 2009 declared DPRK nuclear test and the major on-site inspection exercise conducted in September 2008 in Kazakhstan.
Read a summary of the conference's main findings here or see the conference webpage here.
CTBT: Science and Technology Conference 2011
The third and most recent conference in the Hofburg series was the Science and Technology 2011 conference from 8 to 10 June. The event attracted around 750 scientists, diplomats, representatives of civil society and the media, representing a total of 105 countries. Participants discussed advances in science and technology relevant to test ban verification and explored scientific applications of the CTBT verification infrastructure.
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty [CTBT] is widely recognized as a milestone, in promoting nuclear non- proliferation and disarmament. But above and beyond that central mission, and even before entering into force, the CTBT is saving lives.United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger assured the conference that his country “will continue to work to convince the remaining States that still have to join for the Treaty to come into force”, describing the CTBT’s entry into force as “long overdue and necessary”.
Keynote speakers included Dr Richard L. Garwin, one of the most widely respected scientific advisers to the United States government on a range of issues including the safety of nuclear weapons and arms control, and Dr David Strangway, geophysicist and former chief of NASA's Geophysics Branch. Professor of Earth and Planetary Science Raymond Jeanloz moderated their discussion.
I am personally humbled by the dedication of so many scientists so enthusiastically reacting to a renewed call to scientific arms. CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Toth
The conference was structured into five themes (click to view the corresponding abstracts):
- The Earth as a complex system
- Understanding the nuclear explosion source
- Advances in sensors, networks and observational technologies
- Advances in computing, processing and visualization for verification applications
- Creating knowledge through partnerships, training and information / communication technology
A special session was devoted to the 11 March 2011 Japanese Event and its aftermath.
Organizational structure of the PTS