CTBTO head receives Commander of the National Order of Burkina Faso
9 January 2015, Burkina Faso
CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo has been awarded the title of Commander of the National Order of Burkina Faso, the country's highest honour, for his work towards the preservation of peace and international security as head of the CTBTO and prior to this, as Director of the organization’s International Data Centre Division. Zerbo received the award from the Grand Chancellor of the National Orders of Burkina Faso, Mamadou Djerma, in the name of the President of Burkina Faso.
Upon receiving the award on 9 January 2015, Zerbo said he felt both emotional and humbled: “I feel emotional because it is very moving to receive such an award in recognition of the work one has done for one’s country and for Burkina Faso’s standing in the international community. And I feel humbleness, because one must always remain humble and place one’s faith in God.”
He added: “Since this award is made in the context of peace and security, I ask God that peace and security prevail in Burkina Faso and that we continue to live in a harmonious world.”
Zerbo has served as the head of the CTBTO since August 2013 – an international organization with almost 190 Member States (see his CV here). The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) bans nuclear explosions in all environments and is one of the key instruments in the nuclear non-proliferation regime.
With regard to the CTBTO’s role in preserving peace and security around the world, Zerbo said that the organization works at a number of different levels to realize this goal: through National Data Centres in Member States, by encouraging research, and through its experts who ensure that the Earth, the oceans and the atmosphere are secure and that no nuclear explosion goes undetected.
The CTBTO has established a verification regime capable of detecting nuclear explosions anywhere on the planet. It features a network of 337 monitoring facilities – 90% of which have already been built – and detected all three North Korean nuclear tests. Once the Treaty enters into force, on-site inspections will further reinforce the CTBT’s verification regime.