STATEMENT OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA DURING THE TWENTY-FOURTH JOINT MEETING OF WORKING GROUPS A AND B OF THE PREPARATORY COMMISSION OF THE COMPREHENSIVE NUCLEAR-TEST-BAN TREATY ORGANIZATION 31 AUGUST 2015, DELIVERED BY H.E. AMBASSADOR ARMIN ANDEREYA, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF CHILE
1. The Group of 77 and China would like to thank you, Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka, and Dr Joachim Schulze, for convening the Twenty-Fifth 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 issues on its agenda. We assure the distinguished Co-Chairs of the full cooperation of the Group.
2. The Group also thanks the Executive Secretary, Dr Lassina Zerbo, for his opening statement.
3. 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 is finalizing the Budget, which for the first time will be planned over two years.
4. The Group of 77 and China takes note of the draft of the Programme and Budget proposals for the biennium 2016-2017 contained in the revised document CTBT/PTS/INF.1321/Rev.1, and of the savings made by the PTS.
5. Regarding the proposed multiyear funds, the Group thanks the PTS for the information provided during the informal consultations on 10 July 2015 and looks forward to receiving comprehensive written information detailing the funds to be established.
6. While the Group values the importance for the PTS to continue seeking efficiencies in the Regular Budget, the Group is of the view that any further savings should not jeopardize the efforts by the PTS towards the effective enhancement of capacity building and training, which aim at increasing the capabilities of States Signatories to participate in the verification regime. Therefore the Group reiterates its position that capacity building activities should be funded in a sufficient manner through the Regular Budget.
7. 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 subsidiary bodies and the Advisory Group, and then approved by 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 outlined in the Programme approved by the Preparatory Commission.
8. Regarding the methods of work, the Group would like to reiterate its position that meetings of Working Group B should remain within the limits of the current sessions, so as to allow for efficient consideration of issues currently on the agenda of Working Group B, while facilitating the attendance to the meetings by experts, especially from developing countries.
9. To conclude, the Group believes that the process leading to the approval of the Programme and Budget should be rooted on robust, transparent and inclusive discussions. In this regard, the Group would like to thank Ambassador Azeez for the informal consultations on budgetary issues held on 22 May and 10 July 2015 and looks forward to continued substantive discussions on the Programme and Budget proposals.