Dr Lassina Zerbo, the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test -Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) paid a courtesy call to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Lt General (Rtd.) Dr. S.B. Moyo at his Munhumutapa offices on 13 February 2019.
Later that day Dr Zerbo met H.E President E.D Mnangagwa.The meeting coincided with the deposition of Zimbabwe’s Instrument of Ratification of the CTBT with the United Nations. At the meeting H.E. The President announced the ratification of the CTBTO, and Dr. Zerbo welcomed Zimbabwe into the CTBTO family. Zimbabwe stands a chance to receive positive media coverage because of the global significance of the Treaty as an instrument for disarmament, non-proliferation, international peace and security. Zimbabwe signed the Treaty in October 1999.
Mr. Zerbo, a Burkinabe national, has been Executive Secretary of the CTBTO since 1 August 2013. He was re-appointed for a second four-year term in November 2016. His term will end on 31 July 2021.
The CTBTO seeks to ban all nuclear testing and explosions. While the Treaty is enjoying near-universal support, with 183 signatories and 166 ratifications, the Treaty has not yet entered into force, due to its exceptionally demanding Article XIV provision which prescribes that 44 specified countries listed in Annex II of the Treaty must ratify before the Treaty enters into force. All the 44 Annex II countries have ratified except China, DPRK, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the USA.
While the CTBT has not been enforced, in practice the Preparatory Commission and the CTBTO have virtually become operational and indispensable, offering valuable services in disaster warning, and promoting civil and scientific applications of CTBTO data. It helps with the detection and real time warning of earthquakes and tsunamis, radiation dispersal from nuclear accidents and volcanic eruptions. It undertakes research on the earth’s core and crust, meteorology, oceans and marine life, meteors, etc.