The Next Step for Current International Monitoring System (IMS) Host Countries:
Facility Construction Mentorship with “lessons learned”
It was very clear from Monday’s panel discussion “The International Monitoring System: Challenges from Installation Through Certification to Sustainment of this Unique Global Network” that current IMS host countries offer incredibly useful insights into the process of building and running such facilities.
A topic that has come up recently in relation to next steps in advancing CTBT ratification is the role of those countries that have already fulfilled all of their treaty obligations. Without a doubt, continued support for the CTBT is a must, and the opportunities for greater outreach are numerous. Countries that already have IMS facilities and have experience in constructing them, as well as the legal aspect of the process, are uniquely situated to serve as mentors for those countries that are looking to establish their first IMS facilities.
Some of the common struggles and problems in the establishment of monitoring systems are not surprising, such as the pain of paperwork and legal hoops to jump through. But most would not initially assume that landlines could turn into lightning rods and periodically shut down these stations, a problem in South Africa, or that setting up a station on private land would become inadvisable in the long run.
Mentoring from current IMS host countries can help in minimizing the struggles of establishing an IMS facility by learning from the past mistakes, and it can encourage greater international communication and cooperation.
CTBTO Youth Group member Kyle Pilutti
Vienna, 29 June 2017