|Work to prepare detailed
procedures for effective verification continues
The fifth plenary session of the Preparatory Commission (Prepcom) of the Comprehensive
Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization met in Vienna April 6 - 9, and reaffirmed the
Prepcom’s work to establish the Treaty’s verification regime.
The Prepcom was established to prepare detailed procedures for the effective
implementation of the CTBT, and to lay the foundations for the Comprehensive Nuclear
Test-Ban Treaty Organization that will come into being when the Treaty enters into
force. The Preparatory Commission convened its first meeting Nov. 20, 1996, and began
the process of developing Rules of Procedure, Financial Regulations, and other necessary
measures for the future operation of the Organization.
The principal tasks of the Prepcom are to establish:
1. The International Monitoring System: four global networks of sensors to detect
2. The International Data Centre: the collection and dissemination point of data
from the sensors, including a global communications infrastructure for transmitting data
from the sensors and analytical reports to the Parties; and
3. The on-site inspection infrastructure.
The Treaty establishes a far reaching verification regime, based on 321 seismic,
hydro-acoustic, radionuclide, and infrasound sensors that comprise the International
Monitoring System (IMS). Data provided by the IMS will be analyzed and disseminated
by the International Data Centre (IDC). The Prepcom must develop and approve the
technical and operational details to ensure the effective operation of the IMS and the
IDC, and install the stations, computers and communications hardware and software.
Under the direction of the Prepcom, work is being carried out by the
Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS), which is co-located with the International Atomic
Energy Agency in Vienna, where it can draw on a large talent pool and save money by sharing
administrative services with other organizations.