Nuclear weapons test ban treaty boss Dr Robert Floyd in Uganda

Nuclear weapons test ban treaty boss Dr Robert Floyd in Uganda
Dr. Robert Floyd

Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | The Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) Organization, Dr. Robert Floyd, embarked on his inaugural visit to Uganda, advocating for a global stance against nuclear weapons testing.

His participation in the 19th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Uganda is perceived as part of a broader initiative to fortify nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament efforts.

The Non-Aligned Movement has played a pivotal role in the Treaty’s negotiation and adoption within the UN General Assembly. Chaired by President Museveni, the NAM Summit addressed pressing political issues amid heightened global tensions, notably the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Israeli conflict in Gaza.

Against this backdrop, Dr. Floyd’s visit holds significance, especially as some nations involved in these conflicts have yet to ratify the Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. Notably, Russia revoked its ratification on October 18, 2023.

The Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) Organization, Dr. Robert Floyd in Uganda.

Uganda, having ratified the treaty in 2001, stands as a proactive member within the East African Community (EAC), hosting an International Monitoring System (IMS) facility in Mbarara. Tanzania is another East African country contributing to the CTBT with its own IMS facility.

Despite challenges in the treaty’s entry into force due to the non-ratification of key states, Dr. Floyd highlighted progress, emphasizing that nine countries recently committed to the treaty.

Africa, with all 54 states signing and ratifying, plays a crucial role in CTBT verification, boasting the largest number of IMS facilities in the form of seismic, infrasound, radionuclide stations, and a radionuclide laboratory.

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Dr. Floyd’s engagement extended to exploring Uganda’s uranium resources for peaceful purposes. While acknowledging global fears of uranium diversion, Uganda maintains its commitment to harnessing these resources for nuclear power plants, reinforcing the dual-use potential of nuclear technology.

In an online briefing, Dr. Floyd underscored the CTBT’s positive impact on global peace and disarmament, emphasizing a growing international movement rejecting nuclear tests. Despite contemporary concerns, he expressed optimism about building momentum to end nuclear testing, citing recent commitments from nine nations, including the latest ratification by Sri Lanka.

“This century, only one country. Colleagues that is success. We are also building momentum to end nuclear testing,” he said.

“There is a global movement of governments standing up to say we will not repeat the mistakes of the past. We will not accept a future that includes nuclear tests,” revealed Dr. Robert Floyd.

As part of his visit, Dr. Floyd toured Uganda’s Directorate of Geological Surveys and Mines Department, including the National Data Center, emphasizing the CTBT’s overarching goal to ban nuclear explosions universally and for all time.