The Science and Technology Conference 2017 was held in Vienna on 27 June 2017. This conference focused on strengthening the relationship between the scientific community and authorities for compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the CTBTO emphasized the importance of science in "making progress on other global challenges, such as disaster risk reduction and mitigation, climate change, and sustainable development." Moving forward, Mr. Zerbo encouraged to make the CTBT into law, taking a substantial action. Having been opened for signature and ratifications 21 years ago, the CTBT is currently signed by 183 countries and ratified by 166 countries.
Due to the fact that the CTBT is not yet in force, the treaty is called the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. Mr. Zerbo expects the scientific community to inspire diplomatic actors to engage and bring the CTBT into force.
I agree with Mr. Zerbo that science is essential for any kind of global change, especially in modern times. However, the connection between advancements in science and the compliance with the CTBT was not clear to me. Obviously, in developing and utilizing nuclear power, the science communities should be extra-careful with the materials. Yet, I was not sure how this scientific development would help advancing the CTBT. Had it been difficult for countries to sign and ratify the CTBT for past 21 years, it will still be difficult now. Thus, in order to make the CTBT into law, the action of diplomatic actors is required. As global community, we should educate the public, the government officials and the companies that develop nuclear power on the importance of the CTBT and the possible consequences that can result when we do not enforce it.
APPA UN NGO intern
Cornell University Information Science major