Participation of Ambassador Mitsuru KITANO in the IFE14 (Integrated Field Exercise) in Jordan

On 15 November, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) held a high-level field visit of the IFE14 near Amman, Jordan, in which Ambassador Kitano participated.

The IFE14 is intended to test the current status of the OSI (On-Sight Inspection) component, an important pillar of the verification system of the CTBTO, in the largest simulated OSI training event ever undertaken by the CTBTO. Approximately 154 tons of equipment were shipped to Jordan to conduct the exercise within a 1000 km2 radius.

The Jordanian government has given its full support to the conduct of this training event. HRH Prince Feisal Al-Hussein of Jordan, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources for Jordan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriate Affairs, and Minister of Information and Communication Technology, welcomed the high-level visitors. Other high-level participants included U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, Ms. Rose Gottemoeller, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Ms. Angela Kane, and CTBTO Executive Secretary, Dr. Lassina Zerbo, as well as about 30 Ambassadors stationed in Vienna, Austria. In the opening session, Dr. Zerbo expressed his hope that the exercise creates the conditions for early ratification by Annex 2 states in the region (i.e. Iran, Israel, and Egypt).

After the opening session, the field visit to the operational centre of the inspection area was conducted. The delegation of the Permanent Mission of Japan observed that the PTS staff and inspectors sent by States Signatories were conducting the exercise in a professional manner, despite logistical challenges. It was possible to confirm that the in-situ transportable gamma-ray measurement system, a contribution-in-kind from Japan, is being put to good use in the field exercise. Japan will send an OSI expert to Jordan from 21 November to further contribute to the logistical expertise available for the exercise.

It is hoped that this exercise confirms that the OSI is approaching full readiness. The OSI is one of the pillars of the verification regime, together with the IMS (International Monitoring System) and IDC (International Data Centre), which have already been used in practice and have shown their utility in the detection of the DPRK’s nuclear tests. It is also hoped that the exercise will enhance the prospects for ratification by the remaining Annex 2 states in the Middle East.