STATEMENT OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA DURING THE 16TH JOINT
MEETING OF WORKING GROUPS A AND B OF THE PREPARATORY COMMISSION OF THE COMPREHENSIVE
NUCLEAR-TEST-BAN TREATY ORGANIZATION 28 FEBURARY 2011, DELIVERED BY AMBASSADOR
ALI ASGHAR SOLTANIEH, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE IR OF IRAN
1. On behalf of the States Signatories of the Group of 77 and China, I wish to
thank you and Mr. Hein Haak, Chairperson of Working Group B, for convening the
sixteenth joint meeting of Working Groups A and B. The Group also thanks the Executive
Secretary, Ambassador Tibor Tóth, for his opening remarks at the commencement
of the meeting.
2. Regarding Agenda Item 3, the Update to the Medium Term Plan: 2009-2013, the Group
of 77 and China would like to thank the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) for the
third update to this important document, as contained in CTBT/PTS/INF.1115, dated 10
February 2011. The Group appreciates the efforts undertaken by the PTS in describing
further adjustments in priority activities and products identified by it.
3. Specifically, the Group of 77 and China would like to highlight the following elements
referred to in the said document:
4. With respect to the International Monitoring System (IMS), the Group welcomes the
announcement made by the PTS in paragraph 2.7, in that, with the funding approved at
the Thirty-Fifth Session of the Preparatory Commission, it will begin to implement
repair and reconstruction work at the hydroacoustic station HA3 and infrasound station
IS14, collocated in the Juan Fernández Islands (Chile). The Group takes note of the
statement made by the PTS in terms that this will be the "costliest" IMS station
repair/reconstruction so far and that works are expected to continue through 2013, and
hopes that the PTS will complete the repairs and reconstruction required to have both
stations fully operational at the earliest. The Group expects regular progress reports
from the PTS on this issue.
5. The Group of 77 and China wishes to reiterate its position on the IMS network: priority
should be given to duly safeguarding investments already made to sustain the facilities
that have been installed and certified, to maintaining the network, and to completing
those facilities where work is under way. The Group encourages the PTS to pursue its
work with these core objectives in mind, for the purpose of testing and trial operation of
the network for validation.
6. The Group of 77 and China supports the attention given by the PTS to the introduction
of measures relating to station performance/reliability and data availability, timeliness
and quality, matters identified by the Policy Making Organs to be a priority. It
welcomes the addition of infrasound and noble gas data processing to provisional
operations, and the subsequent inclusion of all technologies mandated by the Treaty to
the daily products of the IDC. This development calls for realistic, sustainable, long
term arrangements that will allow the IDC to properly and efficiently process the
unprecedented volume of data thus generated. Such developments might require, inter
alia, a reallocation of staff and funds from other Major Programmes, as necessary, as
well as seeking efficiencies in order to optimize the use of the human resources and
technical expertise already available, especially as far as the newly implemented
monitoring technologies are concerned.
7. The Group of 77 and China welcomes the work conducted by the PTS on building
technical capacity for National Data Centres (NDCs) and station operators through
workshops, training courses and voluntary contributions to accelerate the build-up of
relevant technological infrastructure in developing countries. The Group deems of high
importance strengthening technical capabilities of States Signatories through an
improvement of their ability to benefit more from the global verification regime, in
particular the use of data collected by the IMS and IDC products resulting from data
analysis, and is convinced that all efforts pursued in the realms of capacity building and
training will doubtlessly enhance the capability of all States to participate fully in the
verification system, by helping NDCs to fulfil their tasks and station operators to sustain
the IMS network. The Group wishes to see synchronized capacity advancement between
the IDC and the NDCs, with particular emphasis being put on availability of resources
and capacity building.
8. As far as the On-Site Inspection (OSI) programme is concerned, the Group of 77 and
China takes note of the strategic objective as outlined in the third update to the Medium
Term Plan, continuing to develop and prepare OSI capabilities in order to reach initial
operational readiness for the conduct of an OSI at entry into force, and, in this context,
of the action plan developed as a result of the Review and Follow-Up Process for the
2008 Integrated Field Exercise (IFE) (CTBT/PTS/INF.1020, dated 4 August 2009), and
the Adjustment of the OSI Action Plan (CTBT/PTS/INF.1106, dated 19 January 2011).
As put in the opening statement of the Group of 77 and China to the Thirty-Sixth
Session of Working Group B (CTBT/WGB-36/NAT.1, dated 21 February 2011), the
Group considers further developing and, if necessary, adjusting the OSI action plan.
However, it is the view of the Group that this process should, indefectibly:
(1) Be conducted in accordance with the guidelines provided by the Policy Making
(2) Include, for the effectiveness of the process a thorough assessment of the experience
drawn from the IFE conducted in Kazakhstan in 2008, in this respect, the Group is
pleased to note that, in its latest update to the Medium Term Plan, the PTS has
clearly set the development of OSI capabilities in the framework of a review and
follow-up process of IFE08.
(3) Take realistically due account of all cost and sustainability considerations involved
within the actual prospects of entry into force of the Treaty. In this respect, further
consideration should be given to any proposal that may impose additional expenses
on States Signatories, in particular on the developing countries at this important
9. The Group of 77 and China welcomes the commencement by the PTS of a detailed
planning of the implementation of an IPSAS-compliant Enterprise Resource Planning
(ERP) platform, a project considered by the Group to be a priority in light of the
expected discontinuance of IMIS and the prospective efficiency associated with the
introduction of the ERP platform.
10. Also, the Group views favourably the commitment of the PTS as outlined in paragraph
6.7 of the document, to continue to improve its support to the sessions of the
Commission and its subsidiary bodies by further enhancing transparency in its reporting
to States Signatories by, inter alia, rationalizing written reports and presentations to the
Commission and its subsidiary bodies, seeking further efficiencies in supporting the
work of the Commission through the use of information technology, and increasing the
functionality of the Experts Communications System (ECS).
11. The Group of 77 and China takes note of the Note by the Executive Secretary on the
Personnel Situation of the Secretariat as of 31 December 2010 (CTBT/PTS/INF.1112,
dated 10 February 2011), and expresses its concern over the persistent imbalance in
terms of geographical distribution of the staff members recruited by the PTS. The
referenced document shows that as much as 41.87% of staff members originate from the
region of North America and Western Europe alone, a fact that, as far as its staffing is
concerned, renders the PTS unrepresentative of the wide array of States Signatories
forming part of the international community of the CTBT. Regrettably, it has also come
to the attention of the Group that, as shown in the document's summary providing
information on the composition of regular staff members by gender, a meagre 29.38%
of the staff in the Professional category is female, whereas, in comparison, in the
General Services category, the female staff add up to 60.47%.
12. These figures depict in an incontestable manner the persistent under-representation at
the PTS both of developing countries as well as of female professionals. The Group of
77 and China stresses again the need to respect the criteria of an equitable geographical
distribution and of gender balance, and calls on the PTS to take, when recruiting its
staff, the necessary steps to rectify the current distortion as soon as possible.
13. Also on human resources, the Group hereby recalls its concern over the fact that some
non-regular staff at the PTS should be carrying out tasks typical of regular staff and its
expectation in that the PTS shall strive to replace such positions with regular positions,
within available resources.
14. Finally, on Agenda Item 4, guidance to the PTS for preparation of the initial draft 2012
Programme and Budget, the Group of 77 and China would like to reiterate that the need
to minimize the financial burden to be borne by States Signatories is considered crucial,
taking into account the current well-advanced status of the verification system, the
mandate of the Preparatory Commission on the provisional operation of the system,
and, as I mentioned before, the actual prospects of entry into force of the Treaty. As a
corollary to these elements, the Group of 77 and China has been consistently calling for
a strict observance of a zero real growth budget policy. The Group hopes that, in
preparing its first draft, the PTS will duly take into account the impact of the past
economic and financial crisis that has affected all States Signatories, and undertake all
efforts to identify and focus on priority tasks and activities.