Statement of the G-77 and China during the 27th session Part II of
the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization
(13-17 November 2006), delivered by H.E. Ambassador Mr. Horacio Bazoberry, Permanent
Representative of Bolivia
At the outset, let me once more express the satisfaction of the State Signatories of the Group of 77 and China in seeing you chairing the 27th session, Part II of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization in 2006. The Group believes that under your stewardship, discussions will lead to fruitful conclusions and I assure you of our full cooperation.
The Group expresses its appreciation to Ambassador Abdulkadir BN Rimdap, Chairperson of Working Group A, and to Mr Hein Haak, Chairperson of Working Group B, for guiding the work of the subsidiary bodies of the Preparatory Commission.
The Group takes note of the recent ratifications by Andorra, Armenia and Ethiopia and encourages other States that are in a position to do so to sign and/or ratify the Treaty at the earliest possible date with the view to achieving the universality of the Treaty and facilitating its early entry into force.
The Group takes note with appreciation of the Executive Secretary's comprehensive written and oral reports and would like to express its views on the following agenda items, which will be considered during the present meeting of the Preparatory Commission:
AGENDA ITEM 3: CONSIDERATION OF THE REPORT OF WORKING GROUP B
The Group would like to thank Mr Hein Haak, Chairperson of Working Group B for presenting the report of the session and accordingly takes note of the report. The Group recalls the decision of the 26th Session Part II of Working Group B that established a set of principles and operating rules for the provision of data related to tsunami warning organizations. In this regard and with reference to recommendation 13 on the adoption of the principles and operating rules for the provision of data to tsunami warning organizations, the Group reiterates its view and supports that the principles upon which available primary seismic, auxiliary seismic and hydroacoustic data for tsunami warning purposes should be provided on a continuous and real time basis shall include respect for the CTBT and the function and integrity of the IMS, transparency, confidentiality, cost effectiveness and practicability. The Group agree that due to the mandate of the Commission; such provision of data continue until the entry into force of the Treaty and be reviewed by the first session of the Conference of the States Parties. The Group would like to express its appreciation to those countries that showed their utmost flexibility on this issue for the sake of humanitarian purposes.
AGENDA ITEM 4: CONSIDERATION OF THE REPORT OF WORKING GROUP A
The Group wishes to extend its appreciation to Ambassador BN Rimdap of Nigeria, Chairperson of WGA for presenting the report on the 30th Session.
The Group wishes to re-emphasise that the seven year service limit for professional and internationally recruited general service staff members should be strictly observed. In exceptional circumstances, when the seven-year limit is exceeded, the PTS should endeavour to inform State Signatories accordingly.
Nevertheless, the Group notes with concern that the overall representation of States Signatories in the Provisional Technical Secretariat remains unbalanced. The Group would like to reiterate the need to increase the presence of staff members from developing countries and calls upon the PTS to give due attention to the equitable geographical representation of States Signatories in the recruitment process of new staff members.
The inadequate representation of women, including from developing countries, should also be addressed. The Group would like to request the Secretariat to report on efforts made on those two issues, for consideration at every session of the Preparatory Commission.
The Group has consistently advocated for experts from developing countries to attend meetings of the Policy Making Organs for the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO, especially in Working Group B. Developing countries have not been able to attend and effectively contribute to the decisions of Working Group B meetings due to the duration and excessive number of meetings, and severe financial constraints that they face. The Group has circulated its position on the financing of experts from developing countries in Working Group B meetings as contained in document CTBT/PC-27/CL/1. This paper, and without prejudice to the Group's initial position, took into consideration comments and proposals by States Signatories during the consultations and the meetings of Policy Making Organs. The paper describes the Group's principles and methodology for developing a mechanism in this regard.
The Group would like to reiterate its appreciation to Mr Andre Gue, Chairperson of the open-ended informal consultations for the objective and impartial manner in which he conducted proceedings and for presenting his proposal with the aim of finding possible consensus. The Group thanks those delegations that have shown flexibility on this issue.
The Group has studied Mr Gue's proposal carefully and views it in a positive manner. Nevertheless, the Group will limit itself to introducing two amendments on the proposed compromise. The first one has the objective of introducing some assurances for a successful implementation, while the second one aims at improving the assessment mechanism.
Concerning the funding of the pilot project, the Group believes that it is important that a reserve fund be created of seed money or surplus funds if sufficient funds are not available from voluntary contributions. The Executive Secretary could be authorised to make a reimbursable advance from the CTBTO's programme and budget to initiate the project. The advance could be reimbursed from subsequent voluntary contributions.
Concerning the assessment mechanism, the Group is of the view that the Preparatory Commission should make the overall assessment of the project based on reports of the PTS on the implementation of the pilot project.
The Group has made many concessions and requests delegations to show flexibility on the suggested amendments to enable this session of the Preparatory Commission to take a decision on the establishment of the pilot project.
AGENDA ITEM 5: CONSIDERATION OF THE REPORT OF THE ADVISORY GROUP
The Group would like to commend Mr Andre Gue for presenting the Advisory Group's recommendations as contained in document CTBT/AG-27/1. The Group takes note of the recommendation by the Advisory Group that the PTS prepare a comprehensive analysis of the consequences of increasing shortfalls in payments of assessed contributions, which would include various scenarios on the financial impact on the Organization and what actions should address the situation. The Group reiterates its view that such an analysis should take into consideration the severe financial constraints placed on developing countries. The Group is of the view that the analysis should be in conformity with the resolutions establishing the PrepCom.
AGENDA ITEM 6: CONSIDERATION OF THE FINAL DRAFT 2007 PROGRAMME AND BUDGET
The Group of 77 and China would like to thank the Provisional Technical Secretariat for the review of the final Draft 2007 Programme and Budget Proposals and would like to reiterate the views expressed in its previous statements, in particular that any proposal should be guided by the following main elements:
- The actual prospect of the Entry into Force of the Treaty (EIF),
- The capabilities of the Member States to pay their assessed contributions,
The capability of the PTS to consolidate the budget, and adjustments should take
into account the views expressed by State Signatories.
The Group takes note that the 2007 budget for the verification related programme is based on a number of factors, such as the PTS capacity to absorb new work, and the need to propose a budget that is realistic and reasonable to cover the costs of the build-up and provisional operation and maintenance of the International Monitoring System.
The Group would like to reiterate its call that the budget should be realistic and reasonable to cover the cost of the build-up and provisional operation and maintenance of the International Monitoring System in the most efficient manner. The budget should also take into consideration the completion of the IMS system and the prospect of the entry into force of the Treaty. The Group appreciates the efforts of the PTS to keep State Signatories informed of any additional costs on the process of establishing the verification regime. The Group believes that as indicated by the PTS on several occasions, the restructuring process should contribute in reducing the budget in the forthcoming years.
AGENDA ITEM 7: CONSIDERATION OF THE RESTRUCTURING OF THE PROVISIONAL TECHNICAL SECRETARIAT
The Group recalls its previous position on this issue concerning the implementation of the final report of the external review team on the restructuring of the PTS. The Group commends the PTS for conducting consultations in an open and transparent manner. The Group notes that the restructuring of the PTS is being implemented in accordance with the 'road map' contained in document CTBT/PTS/INF.777. The Group further commends the PTS for establishing a PTS-wide installation and certification task force to concentrate on the remaining build-up tasks. As enumerated before, the Group hopes that the restructuring process will lead to a reduction in the budget.
AGENDA ITEM 9: APPOINTMENTS AND ELECTIONS
Concerning the Chairmanship of Working Group A, Working Group B and the Advisory
Group, the G-77 and China has the following views:
a) The paramount criterion for the selection of Chairs for all three Groups should be that of technical qualification and competence.
b) The principle of geographical rotation must be observed, in order to duly take into consideration the participation of developing countries. The Group would like to recall that this is an established principle in the United Nations system.
c) The Group believes that the rotation policy should also be applied to the Friends of the Chair of Working Group B.
AGENDA ITEM 9.1: APPOINTMENTS AND RE-APPOINTMENTS OF DIRECTORS OF THE PTS
Regarding the appointment of the Directors of the PTS Divisions as contained in document CTBT/PTS/INF.851, the Group believes that priority should be given to candidates with the highest qualifications and relevant knowledge to the Division that they will be appointed in. The Group is of the view that these candidates should come from States Signatories that are politically committed to the objectives of the Treaty.
The Group also requests the Executive Secretary to announce future vacancies for Directors at least six months in advance so that all State Signatories would have a chance to nominate qualified candidates. The Group believes that a selection process pursued in a more transparent and democratic manner would further enhance confidence in, and the credibility of the Preparatory Commission.
AGENDA ITEM 10: SCHEDULE OF MEETINGS OF THE POLICY MAKING ORGANS FOR 2007
The Group recalls its request at the 30th Session of WGA when it called for more consultations on the draft schedule of meetings for the PMO's for 2007. The Group has circulated an alternative calendar of meetings for 2007 taking into account the prospect of entry into force of the Treaty, reducing the financial burden on all State Signatories and the constraints of the developing countries, as contained in document CTBT/PC/27/CL/2. The Group reiterates its view that these meetings should not, as far as possible, overlap or run parallel with meetings of other UN bodies in Vienna. The Group is of the view that consideration could be given to reducing the number and duration of the meetings of the policy-making organs as the current schedule of meetings places a considerable strain on developing countries to effectively participate in the meetings of the Policy Making Organs.
The Group proposes that only one Preparatory Commission meeting take place in November. The June Preparatory Commission meeting is optional and should only take place, for a period of up to two days, if decisions are required to be made. The Group further proposes that the sessions of Working Group A be shortened to a maximum of three days for each of its two sessions. The Group also proposes that Working Group B meetings could be shortened to two sessions of two weeks each in February and August 2007 and therefore that the meeting scheduled for 21 May to 1 June 2007 not take place. Furthermore no parallel meetings should be held in WGB. Concerning joint meetings of WGA and WGB, the Group recalls that there was broad agreement that the current practice for such joint meetings, including reporting arrangements, was working well and should therefore continue. Therefore, consideration should be given that joint meetings are held at the two Working Group B meetings.
The Group requests this Session to adopt the aforementioned calendar of meetings for the PMO's for 2007.
AGENDA ITEM 12.1 REQUEST FROM PALESTINE FOR OBSERVER STATUS WITH THE COMMISSION
The Group recalls the decision of the Commission at its 26th session to place this important issue on the agenda of the 27th Preparatory Commission. The Group regrets that after one year the Preparatory Commission has not reached a decision on this issue. In view of the fact that Palestine has been accorded observer status in other United Nations Organisations, the Group is of the view that its request to receive this recognition at the Preparatory Commission should not be treated any differently.
The Group therefore expresses its strong support for the request by Palestine to be granted observer status within the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO and believes that there is no justification for further postponement of this issue and the time for a decision at this session of the Preparatory Commission has been reached.
AGENDA ITEM 12: ANY OTHER BUSINESS: FINANCING OF THE ARTICLE XIV CONFERENCE FOR 2007
The Group takes note of the informal consultations that were held on 6 November 2006 on the financing of an Article XIV Conference in 2007. The Group supports in principle that a conference held in accordance with Article XIV should contribute to facilitating the early entry into force of the Treaty.
The Group strongly believes that any cash surplus in the General Fund at the close of any financial year shall be apportioned among Member States in proportion to the scale of assessments applicable to that financial year in accordance with financial regulation 6.1 of the Preparatory Commission. The Group is of the view that consistent with the financial rules of the CTBTO, States Signatories in the future should be afforded the opportunity to decide what to do their share of the cash surplus.
In this regard, the Group reserves its right to comment on the draft decision of the Preparatory Commission on financing of the Article XIV Conference in 2007. The Group would like to request the deletion of the words "do not" from operative paragraph 2 of the draft decision, which will now read as follows:
"Approves … whereby States that wish their share of the surplus to be used for this purpose shall inform the Provisional Technical Secretariat not later than 30 November 2006".