Australian news, and some related international items

Australian Robert Floyd to head the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation.

‘Never in my wildest dreams’: The Australian set to head UN body policing nuclear weapons has grand plans, SMH, By Anthony Galloway, May 30, 2021  When Australian Robert Floyd began his career as a biological scientist, he had no aspirations of heading a United Nations body charged with policing the world for any signs of nuclear tests. He did not foresee a life of negotiating with the world’s major powers to ban all testing of nuclear weapons.

But that is exactly what is in store for him after last week being elected as the first Australian executive secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation.

…………  He will take up his position in Vienna in August, after 10 years as the Director-General of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office, which implements Australia’s treaty obligations on weapons of mass destruction……..

The CTBTO is the organisation charged with policing the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1996 and seeks to ban all nuclear tests.

But the treaty is not legally binding because eight countries have held off on ratifying it: the US, China, North Korea, India, Pakistan, Iran, Israel and Egypt.

Floyd concedes it is unlikely that he will convince all eight countries to ratify the treaty, but he is going to try to get some of them across the line before his four-year term is up.

……..  The CTBTO has an arsenal of more than 300 monitoring stations that can pick up seismic vibrations or radioactive particles in the air, ocean or atmosphere. Floyd says this allows it to detect a nuclear explosion “anywhere, anytime”.

“That network produces data that no country can have by themselves. So everyone sees value in the treaty,” he says.

………. Unlike other nuclear treaties, the CTBT is not about nuclear getting states to rid themselves of nuclear weapons; it is focused on convincing them not to test them. ………..

May 31, 2021 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war

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