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Representante da República para a Região Autónoma dos Açores






Let me say a few words, in English if you allow me.

First of all, let me welcome you and express my thanks to all the participants in the workshop and especially to Dr. Floyd and to the CTBTO organizers of this important event.

My thanks also to Dr. Bolieiro, President of the Regional Government, who has so promptly adhered to the idea of having this workshop in Azores, and to all the authorities who made it possible, notably the Mayor of Ponta Delgada and the Dean of the University of Azores.

Let me underline also the role of Ambassador Damas Nunes, from the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign   Affairs, who is the President of the National Authority for the implementation of the CTBT and who was from the very beginning an enthusiastic advocate of having the workshop in Azores. Unfortunately, he was not able to come because of a health problem.

Finally, a word of thanks to Professor Wallenstein and Ms Sandra Saraiva, who, one in Ponta Delgada and the other in Lisbon, have coordinated all the details of the organization of the workshop.

Let me now stress that Portugal has been all along a strong supporter both of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which we acceded in 1977 and to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which we signed in 1996 and ratified in 2000.

I had myself the privilege to follow the work of the Disarmament Conference in 1996, in a time when I was Ambassador Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, and to participate in the adoption of the CTBT by the United Nations General Assembly and in its signature by Portugal in September 1996.


Twenty-six years have elapsed since the CTBT has been open for signature and the organization which was set up, and is now under the able direction of Dr. Floyd, has done a most valuable work keeping a watch on possible nuclear explosions and nuclear related activities.

We look at the CTBT as a complement to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and an instrument of enormous importance that reflects the universal conscience that we need to go beyond the principle of non-proliferation and to take all the practical measures that will make it difficult to circumvent or deceive that principle.

That is why is so important to have an international network of monitoring facilities that detect and register the vibrations from possible nuclear explosions underground, in the seas and in the air as well as radioactive debris released into the atmosphere.

And that is why also it is so important the infrasound research you have been conducting and the discussions you are going to have in the next few days here in Ponta Delgada on the scientific aspects of the operational capabilities of global and regional networks.

The Portuguese Government together with the Regional Government stood from the outset ready to cooperate with the establishment of an international monitoring system and accepted the installation of monitoring facilities in Azores, which are now in operation in the islands of São Miguel, Flores and Graciosa. We have also been assisting in the efforts aiming at the universalization of the Treaty through outreach actions with CPLP members.

Let me stress before you the strategic importance of the Azores, situated in the middle of the north Atlantic, and the historical and crucial role of the archipelago in many occasions in the past, namely during the Second World War.

Is a superb asset for Portugal, which has been, is and will be at the service of our allies and partners, both in NATO and in the European Union.  And the Central and Regional governments are decisively engaged in developing the immense potential of the Azores in the fields of maritime, airspace and digital communications. 


And for those that thought that we lived in a secure and peaceful world and that we could lower our guard, the unprovoked, vicious and brutal aggression against Ukraine and the terrible war which has followed have shown us that we must strengthen our defences and security by all ways and means.

Besides, the nuclear rhetoric expressed by the aggressor is indeed a matter of great concern.

Ladies and gentlemen, participants in the workshop.

Your work is crucial for the international security, for our security, for the future of mankind.

I wish you all the success and a pleasant stay in Azores and thank you for your endeavours.

God bless you.


Pedro Catarino

Ponta Delgada, 29 Janeiro 2023