STATEMENT OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA DURING THE TWENTY-THIRD
JOINT MEETING OF WORKING GROUPS A AND B OF THE PREPARATORY COMMISSION OF THE
COMPREHENSIVE NUCLEAR-TEST-BAN TREATY ORGANIZATION, DELIVERED BY
H.E. AMBASSADOR L.O. YPARRAGUIRRE, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PHILIPPINES
Vienna, 25 August 2014
1. The Group of 77 and China would like to thank you, Ambassador Azeez and Dr Haak, for convening the Twenty-Third Joint Meeting of Working Groups A and B. We trust that this session will be a good opportunity for States Signatories to exchange views on the issue in its agenda. We assure the distinguished Co-Chairs of the full cooperation of the Group.
2. The Group thanks the Executive Secretary, Dr Lassina Zerbo, for his opening statement and would like to make the following comments on the topic under consideration of this Joint Meeting of Working Groups A and B.
3. The Group of 77 and China took note at the Forty-Fifth Session of Working Group A of the initial draft of the Programme and Budget proposals for 2015 contained in document CTBT/PTS/INF.1280 and commented on this important document on that occasion. We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate some of our views.
4. It is important for Working Groups A and B to establish priorities and provide clear guidance to the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS), as the latter sets to work on the budget.
5. The Group strongly encourages the PTS to seek synergies with States Signatories making extrabudgetary contributions, which should go to activities that have been fully communicated to the Policy Making Organ of the Preparatory Commission. In this regard, the Group is of the view that voluntary contributions and contributions in kind should support the regular activities of the PTS, as defined in the annual programmes which are agreed by consensus by the Commission.
6. To this end, it is important that in the process leading to the approval of the Programme and Budget, discussions involving all parties concerned – that is, States Signatories, the Advisory Group, the subsidiary bodies and the Preparatory Commission as the plenary organ ultimately responsible for its approval – take place in a transparent and inclusive manner.
7. The Group notes that the 2015 proposal at 2015 prices entails a price adjustment of 1.7%, with a nominal increase of US$2.13 million with respect to the 2014 Budget, and takes note of the fact that of the 1.7% proposed price adjustment, 0.9% pertains to adjustments which exclude costs with an impact on post-certification activities. The Group takes note of the Executive Secretary’s announcement today that the final budget proposal will be released soon. The Group looks forward to further substantive discussions on the final budget proposal.
8. The Group takes note with satisfaction that the Key Major Programme Developments and Midterm Strategy Priorities for 2015 include a new entry for Capacity Building and Training. The Group believes that, like science and technology, capacity building plays a key role in addressing development challenges across a wide range of issues, including the Millennium Development Goals. The Group has been a steady upholder of the importance of capacity building and training and of the various activities carried out by the PTS in this field, aimed at increasing the capabilities of States Signatories. The Group has consistently advocated for the need to fund capacity building activities through the Regular Budget. The Group encourages the PTS to continue to pursue efforts towards the effective enhancement of capacity building and training.