On 25 April, Pugwash co-hosted an event with the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) in Geneva, in the margins of the 2nd PrepCom of the 2020 NPT Review Conference.
The meeting showcased the work of both the young and older generations in bringing the CTBT into force, as represented by the two inter-generational panels. Dr Zerbo and the representatives of the CTBTO Youth Group highlighted how young people provide fresh thinking and ideas, thereby closing a gap on what is not being said in disarmament and non-proliferation discourse at the more senior level.
Participants reflected on the intertwined nature of the CTBT and NPT: as mutually reinforcing treaties, the CTBT plays a fundamental role in the non-proliferation order as well as a crucial mechanism for fulfilling Article VI of the NPT. However, it was noted that both treaties face huge challenges principally from three key areas of nuclear risk: the Middle East, South Asia, and North East Asia. Presentations took note of those Annex 2 States in such regions and addressed the particular security challenges that must be overcome to induce them to ratify the CTBT. More generally, participants stressed the important role both youth and seniors can play in reducing the prestige of nuclear weapons, particularly in those countries who have or host nuclear weapons, as well as their populations more widely.
A video of the event is available on the CTBTO facebook page.