What is CTBTO?
‘CTBTO’ stands for ‘Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization.’ It is basically an organization composed of various countries in the world, and it is aimed at banning nuclear testing and explosions in any part of the world by any member country of the UN. This particular organization is tasked with conducting on-site inspections as a form of monitoring in countries that are involved with any type of nuclear-related activity.
As an organization, the CTBTO was formed once the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed or became effective worldwide. Under this treaty, nuclear testing and explosions are banned whether these activities are done for a particular government or military or for public and civilian purposes. This particular treaty has been adopted by member countries of the United Nations since 1996. Until recently, however, the CTBTO was not officially established. This was mainly due to the fact that 44 countries or states were needed to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty before the CTBTO could be established 180 days thereafter. At present, only 41 countries have signed the treaty, and only 36 of them have ratified it. Countries like the U.S. and China have signed the treaty but have not ratified it while India, Pakistan, and North Korea have not even signed the international treaty.
To prepare for the eventual establishment of the CTBTO, the Preparatory Commission was created back in 1997 to ensure the smooth implementation of the treaty’s guidelines. One of their basic tasks is to formulate the systems and procedures involved in the monitoring system for on-site inspections. Included within the Commission’s tasks are the preparation of manuals for operations and other procedures in doing the inspections. There are also various tasks relating to operational guidelines within the Commission and future CTBTO compliance standards for the nuclear monitoring system must be implemented.