Mr Chairman,

1. On behalf of the States Signatories of the Group of 77 and China, I wish to thank you Ambassador Enkhsaikhan and Mr Hein Haak, Chairperson of Working Group B, for convening the nineteenth 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. The Group fully supports the development of the on-site-inspection (OSI) capabilities of the Provisional Technical Secretariat (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 thus a key component in this process. The Group notes the recent presentation made to Working Group B on 13 August 2012 by the Director of the OSI Division on the implementation of the OSI Major Programme for 2012 and was encouraged by the preparations that have taken place thus far for the Integrated Field Exercise in 2014 (IFE14).

3. The Group of 77 and China urges all States Signatories willing to make contributions in kind, in particular of equipment for use in preparation for and during the IFE14 to do so in a timely manner, in order to facilitate PTS planning for that important activity.

4. However, the Group noted the budget implementation for the first half of 2012 for the IFE14 amounted to only US$389 000 of the $2 million and $84 000 that have been allocated for 2012. Having said that, the Group also notes that it is a multiyear account and that allocations have been made to unspent money. The Group is therefore encouraged by the OSI Division's undertaking that the allocated unspent money will be implemented accordingly within the coming months.

Mr Chairman,

5. As stated by the Group in its opening remarks to the Thirty-Ninth Session of Working Group B, the Group reiterates its request to the PTS that it continue to systematically seek efficiencies among the Major Programmes of the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO as well as maintain a zero real growth budget. Additionally, as stated by the Group on previous occasions, the verification related work programme for 2013 and future years should take into account the need to ensure balance in all areas of the verification regime.

6. The Group, during the Forty-First Session of Working Group A in May 2012 and then again during the opening plenary of the Thirty-Ninth Session of Working Group B, requested the PTS to provide States Signatories with a detailed proposal as to what the "Storage Area Network replacement and enhancements'' entailed. Whilst noting that the Director of the IMS Division has undertaken to make a presentation to States Signatories during the coming week, the Group of 77 and China would, however, like to reiterate its previous request that an Information Paper be issued in order to make an informed decision on the budgetary implications it may hold for States Signatories.

7. Regarding the 2013 Programme and Budget proposal, the Group of 77 and China would like to reiterate that an adjustments paper to the initial draft Programme and Budget proposal be issued as timely as possible, in order to allow States Signatories to study any amendments to the 2013 Programme and Budget proposal, before any decision can be made in Working Group A in September. The Group therefore looks forward to receiving such an Adjustments paper in due course.

Mr Chairman,

8. The Group of 77 and China also notes from the progress report of the IMS, more specifically, the issue pertaining to the re-establishment of hydroacoustic station HA3, three proposals that the PTS brought to the consideration of WGB, as to the way forward on this issue, namely, the repair of the north cable; the repair of the north/replacement of the south cable; and the PTS recommendation of the replacement of the north/south cables. Having noted the PTS proposed way forward, the Group notes that in the IMS presentation, the PTS states that although the financial component could be absorbed within the existing Capital Investment Fund - Sustainment (CIF-S), the PTS envisages that there could be some financial implications in the mid-term.

9. The Group of 77 and China would therefore draw the attention of the PTS to Information Paper CTBT/PTS/INF.1103, where a road map of the reconstruction of HA3 was presented to States Signatories along with risk mitigation measures and point out that additional costs were not foreseen amongst those risk mitigating factors. Furthermore, included in the "decision on supplementary appropriations for the 2010 Capital Investment Fund - Sustainment'' one of the operative paragraphs implicitly says that "no additional assessed contributions shall be sought from States Signatories'', so in light of this, the Group would encourage the PTS to stay within the agreed costs and to ensure that IMS sustainment is possible in the mid-term without an additional financial burden to be borne by States Signatories. The Group looks forward to feedback on this matter during the next session of WGA.

With these remarks, I thank you.

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