A meeting aimed at promoting the entry into force of a nuclear test ban accord is slated to begin this weekend at United Nations Headquarters in New York, with Secretary-General Kofi Annan expected to lead the opening events, a UN spokesman said today.
The Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) will begin on Sunday, with Mr. Annan expected to preside over the election of a President for the meeting, spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva said. Mexico's Foreign Minister, Jorge Castaneda, is expected to be elected to the post.
Afterwards, the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization, Wolfgang Hoffmann, will brief the delegates on that body's work.
The Conference will end on 13 November and is expected to conclude with the adoption of a final report, the spokesman said.
So far, 161 countries have signed the CTBT, while 84 have ratified it, including three nuclear-weapon States: France, the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom. The Treaty will only enter into force once all 44 countries listed in its Annex II have ratified.