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H.E. Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel presented Letters of Credence to H.E. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization

H.E. Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel presented her Letters of Credence to H.E. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO-PrepCom). The Ambassador now also serves as Permanent Representative to the CTBTO-PrepCom, an independent international organization within the UN family, having signed a Relationship Agreement with the UN in 2000.  The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was created to guarantee a world free forever of nuclear testing. Afghanistan fervently supports this goal and signed and ratified the CTBT in 2003 and continuously promotes the entry-into-force of the Treaty, which needs to be signed and ratified by 44 specific nuclear technology holder countries, with 8 of them still pending — hence the appendix “Preparatory Commission”. Nonetheless, the CTBT has already created a de facto norm against nuclear testing: While more than 2,000 nuclear test explosions were carried out between 1945 and 1996, including in the neighborhood of Afghanistan, only half a dozen tests took place since the CTBT was created in 1996. Afghanistan has profited from the organization’s training workshops and similar programmes for stakeholders from developing countries. Furthermore, the International Monitoring System of the CTBTO-PrepCom can also be used for civilian purposes, such as early-warning in the event of earthquakes and similar natural disasters. Ambassador Ebrahimkhel and the entire team at the Permanent Mission look forward to strengthened cooperation between the CTBTO-PrepCom and Afghanistan.

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) bans nuclear explosions by everyone, everywhere: on the Earth’s surface, in the atmosphere, underwater and underground. The treaty has a unique and comprehensive verification regime to make sure that no nuclear explosion goes undetected. The International Monitoring System consists of hundreds of facilities which monitor the planet for signs of nuclear explosions. Afghanistan was the 169th state to sign the CTBT and the 105th to ratify it in 2003. The PM of Afghanistan in Vienna works closely with CTBT in order to ensure that all nuclear safeguards are in place in Afghanistan and is fully dedicated to strengthening the international nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime.