Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | September 27, 2018

Interview with FRANCE 24


The ongoing diplomatic process between the US and DPRK is  a good start in the process of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the CTBTO said in an extensive interview FRANCE 24. He said the CTBT is important to  stopping vertical proliferation, preventing countries with nuclear weapons from developing more powerful weapons,  as well as horizontal proliferation, preventing new countries from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Watch the full interview here.

Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | September 26, 2018

The Arms Control Believer

CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo is called the “The Arms Control Believer” in an article by Sharon Squassoni published in Foreign Policy.

“Traditional arms control and disarmament treaties feel like vestiges of a bygone era,” Squassoni reports Zerbo as declaring.”But the 54-year-old geophysicist, born in Burkina Faso, insists that they are relevant.”

She writes that Zerbo says it is “high time to bring the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty into force.” At a conference in Kazakhstan in 2018 he said, “We owe it to ourselves and to future generations” Squassoni reports.

Since his election to lead the CTBTO in 2013, Zerbo has met foreign ministers, prime ministers, and presidents, “he even managed to get the Chinese to install monitoring stations and agree to share data”, Squassoni says.

Unfortunately alongside all of his successes, some efforts are still out of his hands. “Fifty years in the making, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) has been caught in legal limbo since 1996, hung up on its own provision that requires 44 specific states to ratify it,” concludes Squassoni.

Read full article here.

Secretary General of the CTBTO Zerbo gestures during an interview in Vienna

Portrait Dr Lassina Zerbo CTBTO 2015

Portrait Dr Lassina Zerbo CTBTO 2015 by Photo Simonis

Title translation: Science Diplomacy in action: North Korea and the prohibition of tests

“The concept of science diplomacy is not new, but it makes more and more sense in a world marked by increasing complexity,” writes CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo in an op-ed for EFE, the Spanish international news agency. It is logical that scientific experience is fundamental in the search for solutions to political problems, he writes, and it can “transcend political differences and build trust.” It is for this reason that “the CTBT is one of the best examples of the nexus between science and diplomacy, and can be of service in resolving the crisis on the Korean peninsula,” says Zerbo. With trust a keyword in the North Korean crisis, the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) missed an opportunity to provide additional confidence in its declared intention to work towards the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula,” Zerbo writes,

Therefore, the “CTBTO is ready, within the framework of its mandate, to make available its experience and monitoring capacity as part of any process led by the United States – or the international community – to provide reliable verification of the irreversible dismantling of the test site,” says Zerbo.

Read the full op-ed (in Spanish) here.

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