On 4 July, the TLG met with Dr. Lassina Zerbo to discuss the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The current Director of the International Data Centre at the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) outlined his vision for bringing the Treaty into force.
Dr Zerbo will take over as Executive Secretary at the CTBTO in August 2013 and highlighted the achievement and the value of the Treaty and the Organisation at the meeting. However, he stretched, that until the Treaty enters into force, the danger of nuclear testing will remain.
The CTBT bans nuclear explosions on the Earth’s surface, in the atmosphere, underwater and underground. Before the Treaty opened for signature in 1996, over 2,000 nuclear tests had been conducted globally and after 1996, the number of tests was reduced drastically with only three countries having conducted tests since then: India and Pakistan in 1998 and North Korea in 2006, 2009 and 2013.
This universal Treaty has already established a de facto international norm against nuclear testing. Since 1996, 183 countries have signed and 159 have ratified the Treaty, however the CTBT cannot enter into force until eight remaining states – the United States, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, Egypt, Iran and North Korea – ratify.
The TLG was joined by members of the Committees on Arms Export Control and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Security and Non-proliferation at this meeting.