Statement of the G77 and China for the 17th session of the CTBTO Prep Com delivered by H.E. Ambassador Victor G. Garcia III, Permanent Representative of the Philippines

Mr. Chairman,
On behalf of the Signatory States of the Group of 77 and China, I would like to congratulate you on your Chairmanship of the 17th session of the preparatory commission of the CTBTO.

I would also like to express our appreciation to the Executive Secretary for his comprehensive written and oral reports and commend the Secretariat for its ongoing efforts to fulfill its mandate, ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of the Preparatory Commission. Also the Group of 77 and China welcomes with satisfaction the 5th anniversary of the PTS and congratulates it on the intense work carried out so far. We remain confident that the PTS will keep its high level of professionalism and dedication in the years ahead.

I would also like to seize this opportunity to thank Mr. Sato, the Director of the Legal and External Relations Division for his presentation on the external and international cooperation activities of the PTS during the year 2001 and wish him all the success in his future endeavours. These activities contribute indeed to increase the awareness of the official and public opinion in the signatory states of the various aspects related to the treaty and its objectives.

Mr. Chairman,
The Group notes with concern the negative impact of recent developments in the international arena, which would jeopardize the Treaty and its main objective which is, I quote the preamble: "to contribute effectively to the prevention of the proliferation of nuclear weapons in all its aspects, to the process of nuclear disarmament and therefore to the enhancement of international peace and security".

The current situation in the Middle East in particular the reoccupation of Palestinian territories, the recent actions of terror perpetrated against civilians and innocent people, and the damage to the prospects of peace in the region may have a negative effect on the prospects of entry into force of the Treaty, by virtue of their effect on international peace and security. In this sense the Group of 77 and China calls upon all parties to implement Security Council Resolutions 1397/2002, 1402/2002 and 1403/2002.

We also express our concern over further negative implications on CTBT as a result of the tendency to resume nuclear testing as highlighted recently by one State. Such a tendency would severely affect international efforts in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation to the detriment of CTBT and other relevant non-proliferation regime. In this context, and in observance of especially Paragraph 2, Article 1, we call upon all State Signatories for the strict and complete compliance with treaty obligations, especially the cessation of nuclear weapon test explosions and all other nuclear explosions, by constraining the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons and ending the development of any new types of nuclear weapons. We also call upon all States to maintain a moratorium on nuclear-weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions, pending the entry into force of the CTBT.

Mr. Chairman,
Considering the current prospect of the entry into force of the treaty and the increasing number of the IMS facilities, the Group is of the view that the question of the mode of technical testing and the provisional operation of IMS facilities in the period before the entry into force of the Treaty, is crucial. In this connection, the Group welcomes future discussions on the guidelines for this issue in accordance with the relevant terms of the treaty in the context of WGB. The Group believes that the legal and financial concern of States Signatories should be duly taken into account during the negotiation of these guidelines. The Group maintains the view that relevant future budgets be planned in accordance with the result of this discussion.

The Group of 77 and China attaches high importance to Nuclear Weapons Free Zones Agreements as useful instruments for the non-proliferation and disarmament. Therefore it welcomes and supports the initiative of the Provisional Technical Secretariat in order to conclude a Cooperation Agreement between the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL) and the Preparatory Commission.

Finally, as stated already during last year's April Prep Com, the Group is of the opinion that the PTS should cooperate with the Member States in order to identify possible solutions to impediments preventing them from making their payments, as recommended by the 10th session of the Prep-Com in November 1999, including constitutional impediments.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.

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