The CTBTO remains mission capable for monitoring and data analysis despite the pandemic [fr]

Since 16 March 2020, more than 90% of the CTBTO staff is working from home. Nevertheless, the Provisionnal Technical Secretariat has been able to maintain his capacities, with the support of the States signatories, to assure the adequate functionning of the Internatnional Monitoring System and of the International Data Centre. Discussions have started with the States Signatories to enable that the upcoming official meetings could take place according to adapted modalities.

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In agreement with decisions taken by the Austrian authorities, the international organisations hosted inside the Vienna International Centre, including the Comprehensive nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), have ordered their staff to stay at home and work remotely. The continuity of the missions given to these orgnizations has been achieved through "home office".

Maintaining the data analysis capabilities

Among the 300 staffs of the CTBTO, less than 10 people presently work on the VIC premices everyday : in addition to the directors, it is mainly technical staff of the IT Department and a few experts for the analysis of specific data. Since that date, CTBTO staff members are monitoring from their home the reception of data from the International Monitoring Stations (IMS) stations and are successful in producing daily reports and bulletins, according to the missions given to the International Data Centre (IDC).

Commitments from States Signatories to maintain the operation of stations on their national territories

In the CTBT framework, hosting States are responsible for ensuring the operation and the sending of data from stations installed on their territories. While the CTBT has not entered into force, such requirements are non binding and all States signatories implement them on a voluntary basis. Despite confinement measures, States Signatories have done their best to allow that station could still be operated and the on-going according data to be sent to the CTBTO.

Since mid-March, the monitoring and analysis capabilities of the CTBTO have remained "mission capable". A few natural events have been detected and made public : the earthquake that hit Zagreb (Croatia), the eruption of the Anak Krakatau volcano (Indonesia) or the detection of the entering in the atmosphere of a celestial body in the sky of Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic.

Preparing the upcoming policy making organ sessions of the CTBTO

Aware of the travel and social restrictions that will likely stay in place in the near future, the Provisionnal Technical Secretariat, in close cooperation with the Algerian Chairmanship of the Preparatory Commission, has started discussions with all States Signatories to study the technical possibilties that could be used for the upcoming sessions in a dedicated format. The goal of the States Signatories, of the PrepCom Chairwoman and of the Provisionnal Technical secretariat is to ensure that these policy making organ meetings can take place according to the 2020 agreed agenda in order to make all necessary decisions.

The CTBTO "Science and Diplomacy" Conference has been postponed to fall 2020. On-line capacity buidling is all the more used while workshops and meetings will start again according to the local authorities decisions (in Vienna or in the country hosting the meeting).

More information

-* CTBTO website->

Dernière modification : 04/06/2020

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