CTBTO Executive Secretary Meets with Future Leaders

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July 11, 2016
Masako Toki

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty Organization (CTBTO) Executive Secretary Dr. Lassina Zerbo visited the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) on July 1 to meet with CNS summer undergraduate interns and Davis United World College (UWC) fellows.

CNS DIrector WIlliam Potter and CTBTO Executive Secretary Dr. Lassina Zerbo

CNS DIrector WIlliam Potter and CTBTO Executive Secretary Dr. Lassina Zerbo

This is his second visit to CNS this year, following his April visit for the high-level US-Russian Dialogue on Nuclear Weapons.

Dr. Zerbo is strongly committed to youth education as a way to promote entry-into-the force of the CTBT, the treaty negotiated twenty years ago that seeks to ban nuclear testing. He believes that young people can uniquely help accelerate progress toward that goal, and that it is the responsibility of the next generation of leaders and policy makers to implement the treaty. He therefore highly values the work of CNS to promote nonproliferation and disarmament through education and training.

In recognition of CNS’s pioneering disarmament and nonproliferation education efforts, Dr. Zerbo presented a CTBT commemorative medal to Dr. William Potter, CNS founding director.

Dr. Zerbo spent the entire morning with the undergraduate students discussing the importance of CTBT’s entry-into-force as a key step toward nuclear disarmament and ensuring nonproliferation. He also congratulated all the undergraduate interns and fellows on their opportunity to work and study at CNS over the summer to enhance their knowledge and skills on nonproliferation and disarmament issues.

Dr. Zerbo also discussed the CTBTO Youth Group with summer interns, fellows, and graduate students at CNS. The CTBTO Youth Group is open to all students and young professionals pursuing careers that promote global peace and security and who wish to actively support the CTBT and its verification regime.

In the afternoon, Dr. Zerbo joined a discussion with CNS experts and undergraduate interns following presentations by two CNS experts, Dr. Jeffrey Lewis and Ms. Melissa Hanham, on open-source tools in nonproliferation.

Dr. Zerbo encouraged young people to come up with creative ideas to contribute to the early entry-into-force of the CTBT. He also asked participants to promote the importance of the CTBT and stimulate discussions among their peers through different ways, including social media, op-eds, and reaching out to policy makers in respective constituencies and local communities. He emphasized the importance of raising public awareness of the CTBT’s vital contribution to global security.

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