Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor is expected to travel to Vienna, Austria, this weekend where she will participate at the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) Conference.
The CTBT: Science and Technology 2015 Conference takes place from 22 to 26 June 2015 and Minister Pandor is scheduled to deliver keynote address on Monday.
The conference aims to enhance the exchange of knowledge and ideas between the CTBTO and the broader scientific community, among other things.
The CTBT is an international agreement that was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 September 1996 and opened for signature on 24 September 1996 at the United Nations Headquarters, in New York.
This will be followed by a meeting and the signing of a Science and Technology Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Professor Reinhold Mitterlehner, the Austrian Federal Minister of Science, Research and Economy, on behalf of their respective countries.
On Sunday, Minister Pandor is expected to visit the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), where she will preside over the signing of a new agreement between IIASA and the South African National Research Foundation.
The CTBT organisation outlaws nuclear test explosions and has been tasked with verifying the ban on nuclear tests.
It operates a worldwide monitoring system and may conduct on-site inspections. In essence, the CTBT bans nuclear explosions by all sovereign states anywhere in the world.
This makes it difficult for countries to develop nuclear bombs for the first time or, for countries that already have them, to assemble even more powerful nuclear bombs.
It therefore seeks to prevent the enormous damage caused by radioactive fallout from nuclear explosions to humans, animals and plants.
In addition, the CTBT provides a global verification regime, including the international monitoring system, a worldwide network of 321 stations that will help to verify compliance with and detect and confirm violations of the CTBT, a communication system, the international data centre and on-site inspections.
Minister Pandor will return to South Africa on Tuesday.
Source : SAnews.gov.za