February 9, 2017
On February 3, 2017 the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Dr. Lassina Zerbo, traveled to Monterey to spend the day at CNS.
Dr. Zerbo held individual consultations with students in the NPTS program, as well as Center staff members. The focal point of Dr. Zerbo’s visit was a lunchtime seminar at CNS moderated by CNS Director Dr. William Potter and attended by members of the CTBTO Youth Group at MIIS and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Institute Dr. Jeffrey Dayton-Johnson. The CTBTO Youth Group is an international organization established by Dr. Zerbo in February 2016 to support the efforts of the next generation in facilitating the entry into force of the Treaty. CNS boasts a particularly active and diverse group of CTBTO Youth Group members, many of whom hail from the so-called Annex 2 countries, whose ratification is required in order for the Treaty to enter into force. Along with other participants around the world, these Youth Group members in Monterey have worked to elevate the profile of the CTBT in domestic and international contexts over the past twelve months. Projects that Monterey Youth Group members have undertaken include analyses of recent challenges to the CTBT, explorations of new ways to move the entry into force forward at the CTBTO’s Ministerial Meeting, and the publication of articles and editorials on issues affecting the CTBT.
Thus far in 2017, the Monterey chapter of the Youth Group has developed a robust agenda of activities that includes debates, guest lectures, research activities and side events at domestic and international conferences scheduled for the coming semester. Members described their current and future activity ideas to Dr. Zerbo, who encouraged and applauded their efforts.
Dr. Zerbo has visited CNS numerous times over the past three years to interact with students, faculty, and staff. His most recent visit took place over the summer, when he met with CNS summer interns, Visiting Fellows, and Graduate Research Assistants. He has also opened the general debate portion of Prof. Potter’s seminal course simulating the Review Conference of the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons. His remarks in each instance have reinforced the special importance of youth in increasing awareness about the CTBT and bringing creative, informed approaches to nonproliferation issues.