Page 2: 1993-95 Prelude and formal negotiations

The Group of Scientific Experts (GSE) cont.

Dr. Ola Dahlman, Chairman of the GSE from 1982-1996

In an interview with the CTBTO, Dr. Ola Dahlman, who chaired the GSE from 1982-1996 and would later chair the CTBTO Preparatory Commission’s Working Group on verification issues from 1996-2006, specified three examples of how the GSE had contributed to the success of the CTBT.

First, because political progress had been slow during the Cold War, the GSE was able to design and test technical features of the seismic monitoring system. Second, 30 to 40 countries met regularly in Geneva to conduct hands-on work, which built confidence in the system and reinforced the global nature of the verification regime.

Third, the GSE’s work was “one big training exercise.” Through global training courses, GSE members built on their knowledge of the four technologies (i.e., seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasound and radionuclide), and educated each other on how to incorporate them into a global nuclear explosion detection system.

The work of the Group of Scientific Experts was »one big training exercise« where they could build on their knowledge of the four verification technologies and educate each other on incorporating them into a global nuclear explosion detection system.
Dr Ola Dahlmann, GSE Chair 1982 - 1996

1993: The Ad Hoc Committee on a Nuclear Test Ban

(Left to right) Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on a Nuclear Test Ban in 1993, Ambassador Y. Tanaka of Japan; C. Ongoni of Kenya; and the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee in 1994, Ambassador M. Marin-Bosch of Mexico

At the 659th plenary meeting of the Conference on Disarmament on 10 August 1993, Member States adopted the decision to commence negotiations on a Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). The mandate to negotiate a CTBT was given to the Ad Hoc Committee on a Nuclear Test Ban, with consultations on the structure of the negotiations to be held between 3 September 1993 and 17 January 1994.

When the CD finally decided to start the negotiations, there was already a foundation to build upon. The GSE had rigorously studied many of the technical aspects of the Treaty in the years preceding the negotiations.

Politically speaking, the NPT and the PTBT served as legal precedents with which delegates could refer to while negotiating a CTBT. Both treaties made specific mention of achieving the cessation of nuclear testing through continued negotiations between Member States.