APLN warmly congratulates Dr. Robert Floyd, currently head of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office, on his election as Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).
Dr. Floyd, a scientist with extensive leadership, management, and diplomatic experience, is the first from the Asia-Pacific region to lead the organization which plays a crucial role in monitoring global observance of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) through its international network of 321 monitoring stations and sixteen radionuclide laboratories.
His appointment will bring welcome enhanced focus on the nuclear threats menacing our region and hopefully assist in their reduction. A major ongoing challenge for the incoming Executive Secretary is bringing formally into force the CTBT, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1996 to ban all nuclear tests in all environments. Of the 44 nuclear-capable states whose ratification is required under Annex 2, the only non-signatories are all in our region: India, Pakistan, and the DPRK. Efforts to engage India and Pakistan could include encouragement to at least contribute to the global coverage of the CTBTO’s monitoring network.
A further priority in our region is to secure the ratification of the CTBT by China – one of the five-member states (and along with the United States the only remaining Non-Proliferation Treaty nuclear-weapon state) to have signed but not yet ratified it.
Dr. Floyd will take up his office on 1 August, succeeding Dr. Lassina Zerbo of Burkina Faso who has provided outstanding leadership of the Provisional Technical Secretariat since 2013. APLN records its particular appreciation for Dr. Zerbo’s role in building the CTBTO’s impressive technical capability and public profile and maintaining an energetic dialogue with relevant states, including in our region. We are confident that Dr. Floyd will be an equally outstanding successor.
Image: Courtesy of Robert Floyd