In the latest issue of Spectrum, several world leaders reinforce the importance of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty’s (CTBT) entry into force. President Jurelang Zedkaia of the Marshall Islands describes the legacy of nuclear weapon testing on his country and urges full global acceptance and ratification of the Treaty. Kanat Saudabayev, the Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan, summarizes the 13 years of cooperation between Kazakhstan and the CTBTO and his country’s strong support for the CTBT. The Foreign Minister of Australia, Stephen Smith, and the Foreign Minister of Mexico, Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, both reiterate the unwavering commitment of their respective countries to a CTBT in force and outline the different ways in which Australia and Mexico have supported the Treaty and the CTBTO over the years. Ambassador Stephen Ledogar, the U.S. chief negotiator of the CTBT, expands on a number of key issues from the Treaty’s negotiations, which continue to be relevant for today’s debate.
Spectrum 14 also covers a range of verification-related issues and some of the Treaty’s potential scientific applications. On-site inspection expert, John Walker, highlights the main lessons of the Integrated Field Exercise 2008, the largest ever on-site inspection exercise carried out by the CTBTO in Kazakhstan in September 2008. Data mining experts, Stuart Russell, Sheila Vaidya and Ronan Le Bras, describe different machine learning concepts. Flore Samaran, a specialist in bioacoustics and whale conservation, writes about the use of hydroacoustic data for monitoring large whales. And members of the CTBTO’s Public Information team, Peter Rickwood and Kirstie Gregorich Hansen, explain how developing countries benefit from the CTBTO’s capacity building activities.