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Dr Lassina Zerbo - Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ba...

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RHLT1

Rutherford House, Victoria University

23 Lambton Quay

Wellington

New Zealand

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NZIIA invite you to a talk by Dr Lassina Zerbo, the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) on Advancing nuclear disarmament through the CTBT: a verifiable and enforceable prohibition on nuclear testing 60 years in the making.

Since its opening for signature in 1996, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) has served as the backbone of the global norm against nuclear testing. It has been so effective that each and every test conducted since then has been met with near universal condemnation by the international community.

New Zealand has for many years been among the foremost advocates for a worldwide ban on nuclear testing. Dr Zerbo’s visit provides an opportunity to discuss how New Zealand’s vision for an end to nuclear testing is being translated into reality by the organisation charged with implementing the Treaty.

Lassina Zerbo has served as Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) since August 2013. In this role, he has cemented the CTBTO’s position as the world’s centre of excellence for nuclear test-ban verification and has led efforts towards the entry into force and universalization of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Key achievements under his leadership include the swift diplomatic response by the Organization to the 2016 and 2017 nuclear tests conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), through the provision of data and analysis of the events to CTBTO Member States in near-real time; the successful Integrated Field Exercise 2014 in Jordan, a simulated on-site inspection; the establishment of the Group of Eminent Persons (GEM) and the CTBTO Youth Group to reinvigorate efforts towards entry into force and engage the next generation; the establishment of a permanent Equipment, Storage and Maintenance Facility (ESMF) to further develop the monitoring and verification system of the Treaty; as well as significant structural and administrative forms to make the Organization fit for purpose and integrated into the United Nations system.

Prior to his appointment, Dr Zerbo held the post of Director of the CTBTO International Data Centre, where he spearheaded the responses to the 2006, 2009 and 2013 DPRK nuclear tests, as well as to the 2011 triple disaster in Japan. He established and led the CTBT Science and Technology Conferences series and managed the successful deployment of the CTBT virtual Data Exploitation Centre (vDEC), which provides an innovative framework for interacting with the wider scientific community.

Dr Zerbo holds a PhD in Geophysics from Université de Paris XI and previously worked in leadership positions at BHP-Billiton and Anglo American plc, overseeing activities in Africa, Asia and Australia.

In 2013, he was awarded “Arms Control Person of the Year” by the Arms Control Association. He was also decorated as Commander of the National Order of Burkina Faso in 2015, and received the Grand Cross in the Chilean Order of Bernardo O’Higgins in 2016. Dr Zerbo was also awarded the Presidential Medal on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Republic of Kazakhstan for his leadership in enhancing nuclear non-proliferation efforts. In August 2017, Dr Zerbo received Special Honorary Citizenship of the City of Hiroshima for his initiatives to “preserve, disseminate and convey” the reality of atomic bombings, and his leadership efforts—including through the activities of the GEM—to promote the message of Hiroshima and the hibakusha. He recently received the 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Award for Science Diplomacy.

He is a member of several think tanks on energy, science, technology and development, and peace and security, and was a member of the World Economic Forum and Vice-Chair of the Global Agenda Council on Nuclear Security from 2014-2016. Dr Zerbo has published widely on both technical and policy-related topics, including in a range of scientific publications as well as in the general and specialized media. He has been a keynote speaker and high-level panellist in several conferences and international seminars.

Dr Zerbo is a national of Burkina Faso and is married with three daughters.

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Rutherford House, Victoria University

23 Lambton Quay

Wellington

New Zealand

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