Government of the Solomon Islands hosts a national seminar on the CTBT

Participants at the national seminar on the CTBT in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

In cooperation with the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Government of the Solomon Islands organized a national seminar on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in Honiara.

The Permanent Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Barnabas Anga, opened the seminar on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Solomon Islands, Hon. Laurie Chan. Mr. Anga said that his Government supported the universalization of the CTBT which he considered a meaningful step towards nuclear disarmament and global peace and security. He called on all Nuclear Weapons States to continue their moratorium on nuclear weapons testing or any other nuclear explosions.

Around thirty participants representing Government Ministries and Departments as well as academic institutions attended the seminar. Representatives of the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO gave presentations on political, legal and technical aspects of the CTBT and on the work of the Preparatory Commission. Representatives of the Solomon Islands shared their experiences with regard to the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zones Treaty (Treaty of Rarotonga) and emphasized the urgency of ratifying the CTBT. They also presented the Solomon Islands' views on the ratification of the Treaty.

Discussions focused on the political significance and prospects of entry into force of the CTBT; potential benefits for the Solomon Islands arising from the CTBT regime, including training opportunities; obligations of the Solomon Islands after Treaty ratification; ratification procedures in the Solomon Islands as well as potential civil applications of the CTBT verification technologies. While sharing their technical experience regarding the operation of the auxiliary seismic station AS 98 in Honiara, seminar participants said that they had already gained a lot of benefits from participating in the work of the Preparatory Commission.

The seminar recommended the Solomon Islands to consider ratifying the CTBT as soon as possible. Pending the decision of the Cabinet on ratification, the Department of Foreign Affairs would be tasked to draft instructions for national Treaty implementation.