By Alicia Sanders-Zakre
The member states of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) reappointed Lassina Zerbo as executive secretary for a second four-year term. The CTBTO, established in 1996, supports the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) verification regime and promotes the treaty’s eventual entry into force. To date, 183 states have signed the CTBT, and 166 have ratified it. Eight remaining Annex 2 states, including the United States, must ratify the treaty for it to enter into force.
In an address to the EU Nonproliferation and Disarmament Conference on Nov. 4, Zerbo noted the high-level conference in June to mark the CTBT’s 20th anniversary. He applauded UN Security Council Resolution 2310, adopted on Sept. 23, which reaffirmed support for the international moratorium on nuclear weapons testing, calling it an “inspiration.” Zerbo acknowledged several challenges to the treaty, such as continued North Korean nuclear testing, the failure of U.S. and China to ratify, and completing and maintaining the international test monitoring system.