Statement of the G-77 and China during the 28th session of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (15-22 June 2007), delivered by H.E. Ambassador Mr. Sayed Galal Elamin, Permanent Representative of Sudan


At the outset, let me congratulate you on your assumption as the Chairperson of the Preparatory Commission and express the sincere appreciation of the State Signatories of the Group of 77 and China in seeing you chairing the 28th Session of the PrepCom. The Group believes that under your stewardship, discussions will lead to fruitful conclusions and I assure you of our full cooperation.

2. The Group would also like to thank the Executive Secretary for his oral and written 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:



3. The Group would like to thank Mr Hein Haak, Chairperson of Working Group B for presenting the report of the 28th Session of WGB and takes note of it.

4. Regarding the re-examination of the duration and organization of WGB meetings, including avoiding the holding of parallel sessions, as mandated by the PrepCom, the Group thanks the Chair of Working Group B (WGB) for his efforts including conducting informal consultations with the Group. The Group expects that this issue be finalized through presenting a comprehensive and acceptable proposal to the next PrepCom meeting in November. The Group has expressed its viewpoint on this issue in the previous WGB meeting and expects that the concerns raised, in particular regarding the reduction of the number and duration of the meetings and avoiding parallel sessions will be reflected in the next paper of the WGB Chairperson.

5. The Group shares the view of WGB in welcoming the participation of three technical experts from developing countries in WGB meetings and looks forward to the continuation and enhancement of the pilot project, in particular through wider participation of developing countries, more voluntary contributions, and the assurance of sustainable and predictable financial support by establishing a reserve fund.

6. The Group takes note of the On-Site Inspection (OSI) Integrated Field Exercise (IFE), which is to be held in Kazakhstan in 2008, and shares the view of WGB that close cooperation with States Signatories is needed in order to achieve the agreed objectives of the IFE. In this regard the Group calls on the PTS to take into account the balance in selecting the participants as potential inspectors for this exercise, in particular from developing countries. The Group also calls on the PTS to report on the last status of the selection of the participants and the related process, to this PrepCom meeting.

7. Regarding the procedure for the changing of responsibility for an IMS station from one State Signatory to another, the Group proposes that Working Group A (WGA) consider the legal and administrative aspect of this issue and report back to the PrepCom.



8. The Group wishes to extend its appreciation to Ambassador Abbdulkadir Bin Rimdap, Chairperson of WGA for presenting the report on the 31st Session of WGA.

9. The Group reiterates its concern that the overall representation of States Signatories in the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) remains unbalanced. It is critical that the PTS continue its efforts to increase the presence of staff members from developing countries in the PTS. The Group calls upon the Secretariat to give due attention to this criteria in the recruitment process of new staff members who will replace those who have reached their service limit. The Group expresses its concern that some countries are over represented in the PTS and believes that a limitation should be put on the recruitment of the staff for each of the States Signatories.

10. The Group urges the PTS to observe the policy of establishing a seven-year service limit for Professional and internationally recruited General Service staff members. The Group reiterates its view that it is important that the seven-year limit be strictly adhered to in spirit and letter.



11. The Group takes note of the reports of the 28th meetings of the Advisory Group and commends Mr André Gué for presenting them. The Group has expressed its detailed views on this report in the WGA meeting, therefore it now limits itself to the following remarks:

12. The Group believes that the current gap in the financial rules and regulations regarding the status of savings resulting from the cancellations of the unliquidated obligations (ULOs) needs to be addressed and therefore proposes that the Advisory Group be tasked to work on this issue and report back to WGA and the PrepCom respectively. The Group also proposes that the Advisory Group review the financing mechanism of the Capital Investment Fund (CIF) including putting an expiry date for the contracts and a time limit on carry forwards.

13. Regarding the station by station cost estimate, the Group believes that in the improvement of this new approach on budgeting for the stations and defining the criteria for the costs, the "provisional operation" costs of the stations should be taken into account, in which, further to annual cost estimates, the daily and monthly cost of each station be evaluated.

14. The Group takes note that, as estimated by the PTS, the total cost of the International Monitoring System (IMS) network would be US$328 million, which presents an increase of $43 million over the previous projection of $285 million. In this regard, the Group would like to know how much of this $43 million has already been spent and how much is going to be spent in the future, and how much has already been invested in the IMS.



15. Regarding the draft Budget proposals for 2008 as contained in document CTBT/PTS/INF.880, the Group expressed its general views in the joint meeting of WGA and WGB on 21 May 2007 and at the 31st Session of WGA. However, the Group would like to reiterate its position as follows:

16. The Group believes that there is a need to review the Medium Term Plan (MTP) and take a realistic and reasonable approach towards the Programme and Budget in general, rather than an ambitious or conservative approach. To avoid future budgetary challenges, we need to review and change our assumptions, taking into account the following realities, as elaborated before:

1. The current well advanced status of the verification system,
2. The mandate of the PrepCom on the provisional operation of the system,
3. The actual prospect of entry into force of the Treaty, and
4. The financial burden on States Signatories.

17. The Group believes that if this realistic and reasonable approach is taken, the PTS will be relieved from the budget burden. The PTS would also not be under pressure regarding the human resources and difficulties in the turnover of the staff.

18. The Group also shares the view of WGB and concurs that a balance should be established between all elements of the verification regime, namely IMS, International Data Centre (IDC) and OSI.

19. Regarding the assessed contributions, the Group is concerned about the non-payment by a major contributor of its financial obligations to the PrepCom and notes that during the recent years a large amount has not been paid by this major contributor. Such a situation, if it continues, would create a serious challenge to the CTBT verification regime and jeopardize the future of the whole system. In this regard the Group urges this State Signatory to reconsider its political position and selective approach towards the Treaty, and support fully the PrepCom. Chairperson,

20. The Group re-emphasizes that the zero real growth budget is most important to the Group and should be applied to the 2008 Programme and Budget. In the light of the above mentioned realities and review of the assumptions, the Group even expects that the Budget for 2008 and for the following years to be decreased, in particular, in light of the flexibilities showed by the Group and resulted in a recommendation by WGA that near $8 million savings as a result of cancellation of ULOs in the CIF be used for the 2008 Programme and Budget.

21. In conclusion, the Group expresses that at this stage it is not in a position to accept the proposed 2008 Programme and Budget and expects that the above mentioned concerns as well as those expressed in previous WGA and WGB meetings by the Group be reflected in the next draft Programme and Budget Proposal for the second round of its consideration.


22. Concerning the Chairmanship of Working Group A, the G-77 and China commends Mr Abbdulkadir Bin Rimdap for his efficient chairmanship of WGA during the past two years.

23. The Group believes that a balance should be established on the chairmanship of WGA and WGB in which at least one chairmanship be entrusted to developing countries.

24. In this regard the Group expresses its concern that despite of the Group's call, no balance has yet been established in the WGB Friends of the Chair as potential candidates for the WGB chairmanship. In this context the Group believes that the rotation policy should be applied to the Friends of the Chair of WGB. The Group expects also that a balance to be established on the Task Leaders in WGB and more opportunity be given to the developing countries in this regard.

25. The Group strongly rejects the new proposed criteria that a regional Group has recently raised, in which it is proposed that the PMOs' chairmanship, as well as the recruitment and ordinary extension of the contracts of the staff in the PTS, be linked to the payment of assessed contributions.

26. Regarding the Executive Secretary's recommendation for the reappointment of the Director of IDC, the Group thanks Mr Lassina Zerbo for his work as the Director of the IDC during the past three years and would like to express its full support for his reappointment.

27. The Group would like to express the view that regarding future reappointment of the Directors, the States Signatories should be informed well in advance.



28. The Group recalls the decision of the Commission at its 27th Session to place this important issue on the agenda of the 28th Session of the Preparatory Commission. The Group regrets that after one and half years, and three PrepCom meetings, the Preparatory Commission has still not reached a decision on this issue only because of the unjustified objection of one State Signatory. 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.

29. The Group therefore reiterates 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 this session of the Preparatory Commission should conclude this issue by granting the observer status to Palestine. ANY OTHER BUSINESS Chairperson,

30. The Group is concerned that as indicated by the PTS the budget for financing the pilot project for participation of experts from developing countries in the technical meetings of the PMOs, in particular WGB meetings, is only sufficient for 2007. The Group recalls the decision of the PrepCom in its 27th meeting that the PTS report to the PrepCom "shall include also recommendations to the PrepCom on how to improve project performance, including sufficient and sustainable funding". The Group also recalls the appeal of the PrepCom to the States Signatories to provide voluntary contributions for this project, and inviting the Executive Secretary to utilize his good offices to this end. In this regard the Group appreciates the recent financial contribution provided by Morocco to this pilot project.

31. In this context, the Group would like to remind the deficit in the participation of developing countries in WGB meetings as recognized by the PrepCom and its expectation that the participation of at least nine experts be financed through this project. Hence, the Group calls on the PTS to work on a feasible proposal for predictable and sustainable funding for this project including creation of a reserve fund to ensure its continuity.


32. Regarding the appointment of the new External Auditor for 2009-2010, the Group takes note that the previous External Auditors have been selected from the same Group. In this context, the Group believes that every effort should be made to encourage nominating candidates from other regions, in particular from developing countries, in the future.

33. The Group would also like to express its concern that the working documents of the PrepCom and WGA have not been translated into all UN official languages. The Group requests the PTS to ensure translation of all working documents of at least the PrepCom and WGA sessions well in advance of any related meetings. Thank you Chairperson.

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