Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization

Since the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty is not yet in force, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization is called the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Organization, or CTBTO.  The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) was set up in 1996 with its headquarters in Vienna, Austria. It is an interim organization tasked with building up the verification regime of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in preparation for the Treaty’s entry into force as well as promoting the Treaty’s universality.  The CTBTO’s main tasks are the promotion of the Treaty and the build-up of the verification regime so that it is operational when the Treaty enters into force.

The Commission consists of two main organs: a plenary body composed of all State Signatories.  This plenary body is called the Preparatory Commission.  The Commission is assisted by three groups:  a working group on administrative and financial issues, another on verification-related issues, and an advisory group.

The other main body is the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) which assists the plenary body in carrying out its activities.  The PTS has three technical divisions: the International Monitoring System Division, the International Data Centre Division and the On- Site Inspection Division.  These are supported by a Legal and External Relations Division and a Division of Administration.  The CTBTO is financed mainly through assessed contributions by member states.

Apart from building up the verification regime, the PTS assists Member States in special outreach activities to promote the entry into force of the CTBT.  It also conducts a number of workshops to promote the Treaty or to strengthen the verification regime.

Article XIV of the Treaty notes that it will enter into force 180 days after the date of deposit of the instruments of ratification of the 44 States listed in Annex 2.  the entry into force of the treaty will also bring in organizational changes.  First, the Preparatory Commission will cease to exist.  In its place, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty will be established.  Other developments after the Treaty enters into force will include the establishment of three new CTBTO organs: the Conference of States Parties, the Executive Council and the Technical Secretariat.

The Conference of States Parties will be the main organ of the future Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.  Its first session will be convened not later than 30 days after the Treaty enters into force.  After this initial meeting, it will convene regularly once every year and may in addition hold special sessions at the discretion of the Conference or as requested by the Executive Council or a State Party supported by a majority of other States Parties.

The Conference will mainly consider issues related to the Treaty, as well as to the other organs of the CTBTO; namely, the Executive Council and the Technical Secretariat.   It will have authority to make recommendations and decisions concerning the implementation of the Treaty and will also have the power to elect members to the Executive Council.


Inside Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization