Press Releases

    For information only - not an official document

    21 June 2017

    Re-issued as received


    Experts gather in Vienna to Discuss Nuclear Test Verification Science and Policy

    26-30 June 2017

    Vienna, 21 June 2017 (UN Information Service) - The CTBT: Science and Technology 2017 Conference (SnT2017) takes place from 26 to 30 June 2017 at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria. It is the sixth in a series of multidisciplinary conferences designed to further enhance the strong relationship between the scientific and technological community and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty Organization (CTBTO), as well as with policy-makers.
    CTBTO's Science and Technology Conferences provide a forum for scientists from around the world to exchange knowledge and share advances in monitoring and verification technologies of relevance to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Such interaction helps ensure that the Treaty's global verification regime remains at the forefront of scientific and technical innovation.
    In addition to nuclear test monitoring, scientists use CTBTO data in a wide range of applications, from observing volcanos and icebergs, to studying marine mammals and improving disaster mitigation strategies, and more. A full programme and list of posters and presentations is available online.
    For the first time, the 2017 Conference includes a special focus on youth and young scientists, with active participation of members of the CTBTO Youth Group.

    The conference is open to the media. For accreditation, please see below. For interview requests with keynote speakers, panellists, and other participants, please contact CTBTO Public Information (


    A high-level opening will be held on Tuesday, 27 June 2017 from 10:00 - 13:00 in the "Zeremoniensaal". It includes welcoming remarks by CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo and Michael Linnart, Secretary-General for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, Austria, as well as keynote addresses by Princess Sumaya of Jordan, Maria Candida Pereira Teixeira, Minister for Science and Technology, Angola, and Pascale Ultré Guérard of the French National Centre for Space Studies. The Opening also includes a panel discussion on "Seizing Opportunities and Overcoming Challenges: The CTBT's Relevance in a Dynamic Global Context".

    Media Resources:
    •     Live stream on the website
    •     Daily updated image packages on FlickR
    •     CTBTO Youth Group Vlogs and impressions
    •     CTBTO Twitterstream
    (#SnT2017 is the hashtag for the conference)
    •    B-Roll made available upon request:
    Email CTBTO Public Information


    Special Events

    Collisions: A Virtual Reality Journey
    Collisions is a virtual reality journey to the remote Western Australian Pilbara desert, the land of indigenous elder Nyarri Morgan and the Martu community who lived largely untouched by Western culture until the 1960s. The award-winning virtual reality film by Lynette Wallworth tells Nyarri's story of witnessing first-hand a nuclear test in the 1950s. This cataclysmic event was a dramatic collision between his traditional world view and the cutting edge of science and technology.

    HA04: The Final Hydroacoustic Station
    On 19 June 2017, the eleventh IMS hydroacoustic station was certified, following its installation in December 2016, completing that part of the network. An exhibit, film, presentations, and hands-on displays tell the story of the extraordinary 20-year-long quest to install a state-of-the-art station in the challenging environment of the remote Crozet Islands (France) in the South Atlantic.

    Interactive Globe
    Experience the IMS "at work" with this interactive 3-D visualization of how the four technologies - seismic, hydro-acoustic, infrasound, and radionuclide - interact to detect nuclear tests, as well as a range of other phenomena and events, from tsunamis and meteors, to tracking radioactivity after the Fukushima accident.

    On-Site Inspection Hands-On Experience
    An On-Site Inspection (OSI) is the final measure to verify compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and it can be launched to establish whether or not a suspicious event was in fact a nuclear explosion. CTBTO experts will be on hand at an OSI tent to demonstrate some of the equipment used to search for signatures of a clandestine nuclear explosion.


    Accreditation & Practical Information:
    All conference sessions are open to the media with prior accreditation. Filming and recording is allowed: kindly inform us in advance of the equipment you intend to bring. Wi-Fi is provided free-of-charge at the Hofburg, Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna, Austria. Please note that access to SnT2017 is only possible through the Heldenplatz entrance of the Hofburg Palace.
    We would also like to advise you that for security reasons, media representatives will be required to present their photo ID upon arrival and should allow extra time for security checks at the entrance.
    It is highly recommended to register in advance to facilitate easy access to the venue. The deadline for registration is 23 June 2017, 12:00.
    Please send your name, full job title, media affiliation, and country to CTBTO Public Information ( Upon registration, you will receive an email with a link to upload a passport picture for the accreditation badge. Please note that Vienna International Centre media accreditation badges are not valid for the conference.
    For more detailed information on the venue and registration, please see Information for Participants.


    The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions, thus hampering both the initial development of nuclear weapons as well as significant enhancements. The Treaty also helps prevent harmful radioactive releases from nuclear testing.
    The CTBT has so far been signed by 183 States and ratified by 166 (map). However its demanding entry-into-force provision requires 44 particular "nuclear technology holder" States to ratify the Treaty for it to enter into force. Eight of them have yet to ratify: China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, and the United States (China, Egypt, Iran, Israel, and the United States have already signed the Treaty).
    A verification regime to monitor the globe for nuclear explosions is nearing completion with around 90 per cent of the 337 planned International Monitoring System (IMS) facilities already in operation. The system has proved its capabilities to detect even small nuclear tests during the announced DPRK nuclear tests in 2006, 2009, 2013 and 2016.
    The data from the IMS facilities are also used by the wider scientific community to study a range of unrelated issues, from climate change to marine mammal migration, and contribute to disaster risk reduction, such as tsunami early warning systems and monitoring volcanic activity.

    * *** *

    For further information on the CTBT please contact:
    Elisabeth Wächter
    Chief, Public Information
    Telephone: +43 1 26030-6375
    Email: elisabeth.waechter[at]
    Mobile: +43 699 1459 6375