The Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Lassina Zerbo, is visiting Israel from 19 to 22 June 2016. He is meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other political leaders and high-level representatives including Yuval Steinitz, Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Zeev Snir, the head of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC), the body responsible for cooperation with the CTBTO and with Jacob Nagel, acting head of the National Security Council. It is the first time a CTBTO Executive Secretary meets the Prime Minister of Israel.
Later today, Zerbo will address an official dinner to mark the 20th anniversary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, jointly hosted by the heads of the IAEC and the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS).
The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions, thus hampering both the initial development of nuclear weapons as well as significant enhancements (h-bomb). 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: In the Middle East, Egypt, Iran and Israel; outside the region, China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), India, 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 (IMS) facilities already in operation. The three IMS facilities in Israel are certified and sending data to the CTBTO in Vienna.
See also web story on Executive Secretary’s last visit to Israel in April 2015.