Head of CTBTO meets with French Foreign Minister Fabius

Lassina Zerbo, the executive secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, met with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius during his first official visit to Paris in December.

Fabius said France would continue to support the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. He said the treaty was a central element of the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament agreement.

Zerbo told Fabius to take advantage of opportunities in related political developments as they make progress toward the treaty's entry into force.

Zerbo said advances in the CTBTO's monitoring system have made it the only system with the ability to detect nuclear-related noble gas and infrasound signals.

The Group of Eminent Persons and its French member, Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, were discussed at a meeting between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Defence Ministry and the Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission. Brichambaut is able to act as a catalyst for the treaty's entry into force. The group also discussed the status of CTBTO monitoring stations.

France signed the CTBT in 1996, and was the first official nuclear weapon State, with the United Kingdom, to ratify it. France is the only nuclear weapon state to have dismantled its nuclear test sites. It is one of the largest financial contributors to CTBTO, and has 17 monitoring sites.