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MEPhI hosts First International Conference of Youth group of Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization


The National Research Nuclear University “MEPhI” has hosted the first international conference of the Youth group of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), held under the auspices of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation and the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO. In addition, members of the Group of Eminent Persons (GEM) also took part in the event.

The event has become a meeting place for members of the youth group of the CTBTO, primarily from states that have not signed (North Korea, India and  Pakistan) or have not ratified the Treaty (the U.S., China, Israel, Iran and Egypt). The conference was also attended by members of the Youth group from Russia and students of MEPhI. The purpose of the conference is to promote the exchange of knowledge between young participants of the conference about the issues of signature, ratification and implementation of the Treaty. Given that more than 21 years have passed since the Treaty was opened for signing, it becomes clear that the Treaty's entry into force and its implementation are in the hands of the next generation of leaders and senior officials. Involvement of young people in the solution of nuclear test ban problems becomes a primary objective. The Youth group of CTBTO is open to all students and young professionals who aim their career to global peace and security and those who want to actively promote the CTBTO and its verification regime.

Prominent Russian and international experts discussed possible steps to overcome political and regional contradictions that impede Treaty’s entry into force, exchanged best practices in the field of public information activities and effective communications to promote the Treaty, as well as talked about nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation in general.

At the moment there is a stalemate in the ratification of the Treaty, because of the position of a number of countries, stressed the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Ryabkov, speaking at the opening of the conference. “The long-drawn process of the USA in formation of its position and a doubt that the outcome of this process can be in favor of the CTBT are undermining our hope that the current situation can be turned around in the near future,” said Sergei Ryabkov. He added that Russia regards the Treaty as the only almost universal, effectively checking international instrument for the comprehensive nuclear-test-ban.

The rector of MEPhI Mikhail Strikhanov expressed confidence that the conference of the CTBTO Youth group would give additional impulse to that process which had been launched more than 20 years ago. "In this regard, it is especially important to pay attention to the work with youth, which actually affect the future of the world and our country in particular. We hope that such meetings will promote the international community to a proper solution of arising problems,” said Mikhail Strikhanov.

“The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation will fully support the Youth group of the CTBTO as one of the key factors in the popularization of the document,” said the head of the 12th Main Directorate of the Defense Ministry – Major General Igor Kolesnikov. He reminded that Russia is committed to nuclear non-proliferation and strengthening of the global strategic stability. In 2000, Russia ratified the Treaty. According to him, most of the objects included into the Russian segment of the international monitoring system, are in operating condition.

The Chairman of the Preparatory Commission of the CTBT Lassina Zerbo praised the efforts of Russia in the support of the treaty, and also drew attention to the fact that the entry of this document into force can be stopped by North Korea's nuclear tests. “I hope that the countries will work in the direction so as North Korea to join the moratorium on nuclear testing and eventually sign the CTBT in the framework of the solution of the denuclearization issue,” he said. Lassina Zerbo expressed hope that eventually “multilateral diplomacy will prevail and will be able to reduce tension and prevent the Earth from suffering from the nuclear war”.

During the event the participants visited the National data centre of the Russian Federation, which is located in Dubna, Moscow region. There they had the opportunity to see one of the facilities of the CTBTO International monitoring system. The center collects data from 32 stations located on the territory of the Russian Federation since 1998.

Also the participants visited the experimental complex “NEVOD”. The guests were told about the unique scientific results, where the important role is played by young workers and students, as evidenced by the 15 medals of the Russian Academy of Sciences, obtained at the contests of young scientists and students.

At the end of the event, young participants made a video message to their peers. They proposed their vision for further work in the implementing the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and pledged to contribute to the creation of an environment which will facilitate the CTBT's entry into force.


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