Statement of the G-77 and China during the CTBTO-Working Group B 23rd session, 30 August - 10 September 2004 (second session) delivered by H.E. Ambassador Taous Feroukhi, PR of Algeria

Mr. Chairman,
On behalf of State Signatories of the Group of 77 and China, I am pleased to see you chairing the second part of the 23rd session of Working Group B. I believe that under your chairmanship and guidance, discussions will lead to fruitful conclusions and I assure you of our full cooperation.

The Group wishes to thank the Executive Secretary, Ambassador Wolfgang Hoffmann, for his comprehensive written and oral reports and we would like to express our appreciation for the diligent efforts of the whole PTS in implementing the mandates of the Preparatory Commission for the establishment of the verification system at the Entry Into Force of the Treaty. We note that since the beginning of 2004, additional progress has been made in the establishment of the verification system, eleven more stations have been certified, bringing the total number of facilities certified to 94 (90 stations and 4 designated, radionuclide laboratories) out of 337, training courses for the NDC were organized, IDC Software integration work continued in the areas of software development, maintenance and configuration management and the Eighth OSI Introductory Course was conducted successfully and preparation for OSI major field exercise to be conducted in 2007, has been initiated.

Since Mr Vladimir Kryuchenkov, OSI Director, disengaged from service with the PTS on 12 July 2004 , The group would like to use this opportunity and expresses its appreciations to the excellent job that has been done by him. The group also welcomes Mr Boris Kvok new director of OSI.

The Group would like to express its views on the following issues, which will be considered during the present meeting of Working Group B.

1. In considering the guidance to the PTS for preparing programme and budget for 2005, the Group would like to reiterate the views expressed in its previous statements, in particular that any proposal for the programme and budget for 2005 and thereafter, should be guided by the three main principles of the G-77 which have been stated in previous occasions.

The Group takes note with appreciation of the efforts of the PTS for the implementation of a realistic approach towards the program and budget for 2005 and for trying to keep the 2005 at the same level as 2004 with no programmatic increases over the 2003 funding level, or in PTS staffing levels, and by sticking to the two assumptions of last year, namely no programatic or staff increase and accommodation of proposed changes by prioritization and reallocation of resources.

We also take note with appreciation of the adjustments to the 2005 programme and budget document (CTBT/PTS/INF.686), in which the PTS took into account the guidance given by the Preparatory Commission and describes the programme and budgetary adjustments proposed by the Executive Secretary to the 2005 Programme and Budget Proposals: Initial Draft (CTBT/PTS/INF.660). The Group welcomes the efforts of the PTS in reallocating resources to provide for the costs for the second phase of the System-Wide Performance Test (SPT1) and the estimated 2005 costs related to the external review of the Organization, which is in keeping with a ' zero real growth' budget. The Group also notes that the enhanced security requirements, addressed in the section on 'Incremental Programmatic Requirement: Security' are now incorporated in the request for Major Programme 7 and remain the only real increase for 2005.

Mr. Chairman,

The Group would like to stress that the recommendations for enhancing security measures should be decided by the State Signatories after discussion in a transparent manner with the secretariats and with due regards to cost efficiency and a realistic and practical approach based on a real threat perception and on the local security situation. The Group therefore welcomes any voluntary contribution and further consultations between the PTS and other organizations as well as with the UN Secretariat in New York. We expect that the State Signatories will be fully informed about any developments in this regard.

We believe that there is still room for further cost efficiency in the 2005 budget, in the following areas:

Funding for the Capital Investment Fund (CIF) may further decrease as a lot of progress has already been made in the IMS Major Programme, and the majority of stations have been site surveyed, installed and are being certified and we are at the stage of organizational transition of the PTS and its departure from station installation orientation.

We also believe that in the Post Certification Costs there is a possibility for savings and cost efficiency, taking into account the already approved guidelines in the WGB (CTBT/WGB-19/1 para 15) and WGA (CTBT/WGA-22/1 para 15).

Mr. Chairman,

2. The Group attaches great importance to the National Data Centers (NDCs) and welcomes the establishment and the work of the joint theme Task of NDC in the framework of Working Group B and supports the main objectives of this Task as articulated by its distinguished task leader. We believe that the PTS should play a more active role in promoting the NDCs of developing countries especially in providing hardware and software. More training courses for NDCs are required to provide the necessary capabilities for the States Signatories, especially for developing countries, to take greater advantage of the data, products and services of the IDC. In this regard we welcome the initiative of the PTS to convene 3 regional training courses on the NDC data analysis for regional groups of the G-77. The Group encourages wider participation of the developing countries in NDC and IDC training courses.

3. The Group believes that according to the resolution on the establishment of the Prep Com, technical testing and provisional operations, as necessary, pending the Entry Into Force (EIF) of the Treaty, are a task of the Prep Com. The operation of IMS stations before the EIF of the Treaty is provisional and testing in nature and only for the purpose of evaluating the performance and data quality of IMS stations. The Group welcomes the adoption of the guidelines for technical testing and provisional operation of certified IMS stations, the GCI and the IDC in the 19 session of Working Group B [CTBT/PC-19/1/AnnexII, para 13]. We believe that the mode of operation of IMS certified stations should be determined exclusively in the light of actual needs of testing and maintenance of the IMS network. The legal and financial concerns of State Signatories should also be duly taken into account during the negotiation of contracts for post certification activities. We take note of the decision of Working Group B in its 21st session, as stipulated in para 10-12 of CTBT/WGB-21/1, on the proposed system-wide performance test. We are of the view that this test should be carried out only when the majority of the IMS stations, especially certified stations, are in place and connected to the IDC and after enough preparation for this wide scale test has been made by the PTS. The only purpose of this test is to evaluate the performance of the whole system. We take note of the fact that Working Group B in its 21st meeting (para 12 of CTBT/WGB-21/1) agreed "the schedule for the phases of wide scale testing as well as their duration should be flexible". However, we believe that the test should be done in a very limited timeframe, taking into account the sole purpose of testing the system. In the light of this position we believe that option one of level of operation as reflected in document CTBT/PTS/INF.664 could be a basis for further consideration subject to reducing the monitoring level by PTS staff to normal working hours.

The Group also takes note of the initial report of the PTS on the first, developmental preparatory phase of the IMS/GCI/IDC System-Wide Performance Test (SPT1) in 2004 in document CTBT/PTS/INF.685 which indicates that a total of 130 stations and four certified radionuclide laboratories participated in the test.

4. The Group believes that all the elements of the verification regime of the treaty including IMS, IDC and OSI, are important and in this regard attaches great importance to a balanced approach dealing with all those elements. Due to the complexity of the OSI issues, active participation of all members is important. From our point of view the elaboration of the draft OSI Operational Manual, based on the Initial Draft Rolling Text (IDRT), remains a priority task for all members of the Commission. We appreciate the efforts of the PTS in supporting the elaboration of the draft On-Site Inspection (OSI) Operational Manual, especially the contribution of the PTS in chapter 6 on inspection of underground events, search logic, software checking, point of entry and base camp activities.

The Group takes note of the Strategic Plan for the OSI Major Programme (CTBT/PTS/INF.677). and the three strategic goals that have been defined in order to achieve full OSI readiness by entry into force (EIF) of the Treaty. We also note that preparation for FE07, a major field exercise to be conducted in 2007, has been initiated.

The Group appreciates the efforts of the PTS in providing drafting materials, advice and comments on highlighted issues and missing elements in the IDRT that are of a technical and administrative nature, taking into account the lessons learned from various OSI activities. We request the continued and enhanced contribution of the PTS, based on the experience of workshops, tabletop exercises and field experiments, to the discussion of draft OSI Operational Manual. The group also notes with appreciation that the Eighth OSI Introductory Course was conducted successfully from 26 to 30 April 2004 in Vienna (CTBT/PTS/INF.672) in which 44 trainees, including PTS staff, from 32 States Signatories attended.

From our point of view, adequate resources should be allocated to the OSI major program in order to enable the necessary preparations for the establishment of the OSI regime at Entry Into Force of the Treaty. This should include testing and evaluation of all OSI equipment, establishing supporting infrastructures and preparing a comprehensive programme for training of the inspectors and inspection assistants after the EIF of the Treaty. We believe that the report which has been prepared by the External Evaluation Team of the OSI (CTBT/WGB-21/INF.5), contains many important recommendations for further improving the functionality and effectiveness of the OSI Major Programme, so we would like to ask the WGB to discuss and consider this report in full and with great care, as well as the response of the PTS in this regard.

5. In accordance with the provisions of the Treaty, the text on the establishment of the Prep Com and the development of the work of the PTS, we believe that adopting a Confidentiality Policy for the PTS is a real and urgent need. The confidentiality policy should create a strict regime for handling all data and information available to the PTS and should not be limited to the procedures of the PTS in classifying the information. In this regard, we take note of document CTBT/PTS/INF.614/rev1, which contains the PTS policies and procedures for handling sensitive information. This document could be a basis for further discussion. However, we believe that the confidentiality policy of the PTS should be comprehensive and should include, i.e.,the definition of sensitive information, list of types of information available to the PTS, criteria for the classification and declassification, Procedures and Modalities for handling classified information, changing Classification or Designation of Information, roles and responsibilities of States Signatories. We believe that more time should be allocated in WGB for discussion of that important task.

Mr. Chairman,

6.Regarding the restructuring of the PTS the Group recalls that the tasks of the PTS include two main pillars namely political issues and technical issues. Therefore its our view that in any attempt at restructuring, the balance between political and technical tasks of the PTS should be maintained. We thus believe that in doing so, outreach activities and the international cooperation sections should be strengthened. The work of the verification sections should be defined based on the provisional nature of the PTS, bearing in mind that there is no verification work for the system before the EIF of the Treaty. The purposes of the restructuring should be only to increase coordination, to enhance efficiency and possible cost efficiency in the PTS. The experiences of the PTS should be taken into account. The whole process of restructuring should be fully transparent and in close consultation with the States Signatories. We reiterate that this issue is very sensitive and that the recommendations of the external Team can be implemented only after a thorough review by the States Signatories is undertaken, the corresponding recommendations are made by the WGs and the appropriate decisions are taken by the Prep-Com.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.

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