Regional Symposium for the Caribbean Provides Overview of CTBT and Ways to Enhance Regional Cooperation
St. Ann, Jamaica, 3-5 December 2002

States that have not yet signed and ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and whose ratification is necessary for its entry into force were called upon to do so at a three-day workshop for the Greater Caribbean States in St. Ann, Jamaica. The meeting drew 28 participants from 15 States in the region, including members of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) and the participation of three non-signatory States - the Bahamas, Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago. 

Building on the recommendations of the Regional Workshop in Lima of November 2000, the Jamaica workshop gave an overview of the Preparatory Commission’s work and of the CTBT’s verification technologies.

Participants concluded that the Latin American and Caribbean States played a pioneering role in promoting nuclear non-proliferation in the region through the Treaty of Tlatelolco, the first NWFZ in a populated region. The CTBT constituted another effective nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation measure and contributed to the enhancement of global peace and security, they agreed. Further, as the CTBT verification regime supported the nuclear-test-ban monitoring needs of States in multiple environments, they also noted the civil and scientific possibilities that the verification technologies could contribute to sustainable development and human welfare. 

The Provisional Technical Secretariat requested support from States in the region in several areas, namely: setting up the legal framework for the International Monitoring System, facilitating the licenses for the Global Communications Infrastructure, and ensuring a timely payment of assessed contributions. Several participants were interested in incorporating their own national technical facilities as Cooperating National Facilities.

Recommendations were made on ways to promote cooperation in verification activities. First, a cooperation agreement between the CTBTO PrepCom and the ACS would enhance efforts to promote the CTBT among ACS Member States. Second, more cooperation in the civil and scientific uses of the verification technologies was suggested. Other recommendations called for setting up national working groups in institutions dealing with CTBT issues (Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Science and Technology, Defense, universities) and establishing a network for CTBT information and assistance in national implementation, including training opportunities, database access and possible regional data centres. 

Assessment of regional capabilities and involvement of regional institutions like the Caricom Secretariat and the Caribbean Research Institute were also considered.