Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | January 20, 2016

Panel discussion: “Where’s the news? – (Under-) reporting the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)”

Media Advisory


Vienna, 20 January 2016

Panel discussion: “Where’s the news? – (Under-) reporting the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)”
The CTBTO and Atomic Reporters cordially invite journalists and interested parties to a panel debate on the topic “Where’s the news? – (Under-) reporting the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).” The panel is part of the symposium on Science & Diplomacy for Peace & Security from 25 January to 4 February 2016, which is open to the media.

12.30pm – 2.00pm, Tuesday 26 January 2016, Boardroom C (C-Building, 4th floor), Vienna International Centre, Wagramer Strasse 5, 1400 Vienna, Austria

(Confirm attendance to Awoba Macheiner:

Not in Vienna? Follow livestream & submit questions via Twitter to @CTBTO_alerts


Lou Charbonneau, Thomson Reuters Bureau Chief at the United Nations, New York

Rachel Oswald, Foreign Policy Reporter, CQ Roll Call, Washington DC

Siddhartha Varadarajan, Founding Editor of The Wire, New Delhi

Tal Shalev, Diplomatic Correspondent, i24 News, Tel Aviv


Edith Lederer, Associated Press Chief Correspondent at the United Nations, New York

The panel will be live-streamed on the symposium webpage, where a recording will also be made available.


The CTBT and its verification system represent the remarkable achievement of efforts born at the end of the Cold War to curb the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Yet despite the continued risk from such weapons, the Treaty and its global monitoring system are little reported – except for events such as the January 2016 explosion of a claimed nuclear weapon in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The threat of nuclear weapons has faded from public concern and news media provides little coverage of the subject. To explore what has happened since the CTBT opened for signature 20 years ago the panel will consider the following proposition: “If nuclear weapons and nuclear testing are a great risk to life on earth, are news media failing the public by not paying them more attention?”

The symposium

The symposium “Science & Diplomacy for Peace & Security: the CTBT@20” will be the first in a series of events in the year of the CTBT’s 20th anniversary. Eminent personalities, internationally recognized experts and thought leaders will stimulate the discussions. These will include some of the lead negotiators of the CTBT in the Conference on Disarmament in the mid-1990s. Keynote speakers are CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo, Joseph Cirincione, President, Ploughshares Fund and David Strangway, President Emeritus, University of British Columbia and Canada Foundation for Innovation. See programme (PDF).

The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions, thus hampering both the initial development of nuclear weapons as well as significant enhancements. The Treaty also helps prevent damage caused by nuclear testing to humans and the environment.

The CTBT has so far been signed by 183 States and ratified by 164. Its entry-into-force formula prescribes that 44 particular “nuclear technology holder” States need to ratify for it to enter into force. Eight of them have yet to ratify: China, the DPRK, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States (the DPRK, India and Pakistan have also not yet signed the Treaty).

A verification regime to monitor the globe for nuclear explosions is nearing completion with around 90 percent of the 337 planned International Monitoring System facilities already in operation.

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For more information, see or contact:

Elisabeth Wächter
Chief, Public Information, CTBTO
T: +43 1 26030 6375
M: +43 699 1459 6375

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