STATEMENT OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA DURING THE 17TH JOINT
MEETING OF WORKING GROUPS A AND B OF THE PREPARATORY COMMISSION OF THE COMPREHENSIVE
NUCLEAR-TEST-BAN TREATY ORGANIZATION 5 SEPTEMBER 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 seventeenth 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 2012 Programme and Budget proposals, the Group of 77 and China would like to thank the Provisional Technical Secretariat for the Adjustments to the initial draft of the proposals made by the PTS (CTBT/PTS/INF.1142, dated 26 August 2011). While the Group welcomes this document and appreciates the efforts undertaken by the PTS in describing further adjustments to the proposals contained in the initial submission (CTBT/PTS/INF.1123, dated 28 April 2011), it would like to make the following considerations on this relevant issue brought to the consideration of this joint session:
2.1 The Group fully supports the development of the OSI capabilities of the PTS, an important strategic objective that needs to be pursued in accordance with the guidelines provided by the Policy Making Organs. The Integrated Field Exercise scheduled for 2014 is a key component in this process. For this field exercise to reap the most benefits, the PTS should present a complete, systematic and detailed IFE14 plan as soon as possible, for consideration by the Policy Making Organs. Meanwhile, the OSI Operational Manual needs to be sufficiently developed by the time it takes place. All the more reason for the discussions in Working Group B to capitalize on the working modalities agreed upon at its Thirty-Sixth Session and to gain the momentum needed for the draft OSI Operational Manual to reach a level of maturity and internal coherence adequate for its effective testing during the IFE14.
2.2 As stated by the Group in its opening statement to the Thirty-Seventh Session of Working Group B, the Group fully supports the request made to the PTS by Working Group B at its Thirty-Sixth Session, that the PTS continue to systematically seek efficiencies among the Major Programmes of the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO, and encourages this effort as an ongoing process within the context of the informal consultations that are being ably chaired by you, Ambassador Guerreiro.
2.3 The Group of 77 and China reiterates its position in favour of a zero real growth budget. Nevertheless, it is ready to engage constructively in discussions over the financing of the IFE14.
2.4 The supplementary budget to finance IFE14 needs to be considered in conjunction with the 2012 Programme and Budget, in terms of the actual extent and implications of the financial burden to be borne by States Signatories.
2.5 The Group welcomes the information and prospects presented by the PTS in this respect, during the first round of the informal consultations held on 31 August. However, for the issue of funding of the IFE14 to be thoroughly and realistically considered by States Signatories, it is essential that the PTS further adjusts the estimated costs as contained in the Concept for the Preparation and Conduct of the Next Integrated Field Exercise (CTBT/PTS/INF.1105, dated 27 January 2011) by giving further precision and content to the projected figures as the PTS obtains relevant information inexistent at the time of producing its proposal, and that, concomitantly, it seek further efficiency gains and savings, as the discussions on the funding of the IFE14 via the regular budget evolve.
3. The Group of 77 and China would like to conclude with a welcoming note over 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 also the distribution of IDC data processing software. The Group 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 fulfill 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, synchronized software updates and capacity building.