STATEMENT BY THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA DURING THE THIRY-THIRD
SESSION OF THE PREPARATORY COMMISSION DELIVERED BY H.E. AMBASSADOR EUGENIO MARIA
CURIA, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF ARGENTINA, 16 NOVEMBER 2009
ITEM: ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
The Group would like to
add the issue of amending rule 5 of the rules of procedures as a separate Agenda
Item for this session and to engage in constructive and substantive discussions
on this important matter.
The current rule only allows representatives
of States that are going to host IMS stations in the meetings of "Working Groups"
which are not defined in the rules of procedure and not in the PrepCom itself.
The Group would like to point out that, in its opinion, the rule as it stands,
is flawed and outdated.
The objective of the amendment proposed by the
Group is to overcome this mistake, to allow for more transparency and to encourage
the participation by all States and interested relevant entities and organizations
in the work of the PrepCom in a manner that supports achieving universality.
Group urges all States Signatories to seek a constructive, objective, and timely
decision on this issue, and wishes to express its readiness to tackle any substantive
concerns relating to the proposed amendment by the Group.
Allow me to express the sincere appreciation of the States Signatories
of the Group of 77 and China in seeing you, Ambassador Michael Potts, chairing
the 33rd Session of the Preparatory Commission. We are confident that under your
guidance we will conclude our tasks successfully and we reiterate our willingness
to support you in this task.
The Group of 77 and China notes that since
the last Session of the PrepCom progress has been made towards bringing the CTBT
to its much-desired universal status, with the signature by Trinidad and Tobago
and with the ratification by the Marshall Islands and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,
thus elevating the total number of States Signatories to 182 and the number of
ratifying States to 151.
The Group thanks the Executive Secretary Mr Tibor
Tóth for his oral and written reports, and would like to express its views on
the substantive items of the agenda of the present Session of the Preparatory
AGENDA ITEM 3: CONSIDERATION OF THE REPORT OF WORKING GROUP B
The Group takes note of the report of the 33rd Session of Working
Group B. The Group wishes to recall its concerns with the imbalance between the
three main dimensions of the verification system, namely the IMS, the IDC and
OSI, due to the excessive focus on station building. The PTS should continue to
seek efficiencies across Major Programmes, taking into account the balance among
Regarding the On-Site Inspection action plan as contained in the
document CTBT/PTS/INF.1020, whilst this document serves to be as a "guideline"
for the development of the OSI regime, and appreciating that further development
is needed to reach an acceptable level of readiness as highlighted by the evaluation
of the 2008 Integrated Field Exercise (IFE), caution should be exercised in view
of current budgetary realities and of the prospects of entry into force of the
The Group would also like to reiterate its position on this issue
as expressed in its statement to the 33rd Session of Working Group B, in which
it requested the Secretariat to outline more clearly numerous components of the
project areas of the action plan according to timetables and their corresponding
Regarding the work programme for WGB for 2010
as contained in Para. 88 of the report of the Thirty-Third Session of WGB, the
Group recalls its views that have been expressed in its statement during the Working
Group B meetings in this regard.
AGENDA ITEMS 4 & 5: CONSIDERATION OF THE
REPORTS OF WORKING GROUP A AND THE ADVISORY GROUP
As regards the reports of the 36th Session of WGA the Group takes note of all recommendations
contained therein, regarding the recommendation 9 which concerns a Memorandum
of Understanding between the Commission and the United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The Group reiterates its view that the provision
of available data for tsunami warning purposes shall be without prejudice to the
objectives and purposes of the Treaty, shall not detract from the provisional
function and integrity of the IMS, or infringe upon the confidentiality of information.
The Group also welcomes the draft individual plans for the payment of
assessed contributions in arrears negotiated between the Secretariat and Brazil,
and recommends its adoption by the PrepCom. The Group expects that, in accordance
with the terms of its decision mandating the PTS to negotiate such payment plans,
the PrepCom restores Brazil's voting right.
The Group takes note of document
CTBT/PTS/INF.1043 pertaining to the Report for 2009 on the Status of Implementation
of the Pilot Project. The Group fully supports the continuation of this project
and calls for sufficient and sustainable funding and a more transparent process
for the selection of experts.
The Group of 77 and China also welcomes
the recommendations made by the AG to the Executive Secretary at its 33rd Session
and following the practice of WGA, the Group of 77 and China proposes that the
PrepCom endorses such recommendations.
AGENDA ITEM 6: CONSIDERATION OF THE
FINAL DRAFT 2010 PROGRAMME AND BUDGET PROPOSALS
item 6 of the agenda, the Programme and Budget for 2010, the Group has expressed
its general views during the previous meetings of Policy Making Organs. At this
occasion, the Group would like to reiterate once again the following four key
elements that must be taken into account in all budgetary cycles of the PrepCom.
- The current well-advanced status of the verification system - The mandate
of the PrepCom on the provisional operation of the system - The actual prospect
of entry into force of the Treaty - The financial burden on States Signatories.
The Group recalls that the 32nd PrepCom has approved the 15 million Supplementary
Appropriation for the 2009 Budget and, as a consequence, the 2010 Budget could
maintain a zero real growth. The Group would like to emphasize that the above-mentioned
practice should not be regarded as a precedent for future programme and budgets.
The Group reiterates that in the next budgetary cycle, the PTS should continue
to explore any possible reductions, savings and efficiency measures to reach a
zero real growth budget.
AGENDA ITEM 8: SCHEDULE OF SESSIONS OF THE PREPCOM
AND ITS SUBSIDIARY BODIES IN 2010 AND POSSIBLE AGENDA OF THE NEXT SESSION
With regard to item 8 of the agenda, related to the calendar
of Sessions of the decision making bodies in 2010, the Group of 77 and China would
like to recall the agreement reached in the last Working Group B concerning the
number of its regular Sessions programmed for 2010, and in this respect, believes
that experience in the last two years has shown that through further streamlining,
the annual programme of work of WGB can be carried out in two Sessions per year,
without the need for additional Sessions. The Group takes note of the two scheduled
PrepCom meetings in 2010 and would encourage the PTS to consider the necessity
of holding two PrepComs per year to avoid repetition of discussion of agenda items
that could be streamlined into one PrepCom.
AGENDA ITEM 10.1: REQUEST FROM
PALESTINE FOR OBSERVER STATUS WITH THE COMMISSION
Finally, Mr. Chairman, as
regards the request from Palestine for observer status with the Commission, the
Group regrets that after four years, and eight Sessions of the PrepCom, the Commission
has still not reached a positive decision on this issue, only because of the objection
of one State Signatory. Bearing in mind the fact that Palestine has been accorded
observer status in other United Nations Organizations, 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 reiterates its strong support
for the legitimate request by Palestine to be granted observer status within the
Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO, in a manner consistent with the goal of
achieving the objectives and the universality of the Treaty.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
ITEM 10.2: AMENDMENT OF RULE 5
Pertaining to the Proposal by the Group of
77 and China to amend rule 5 (Observers) of the PrepCom of the CTBTO, the Group
would like to strongly urge all States Signatories to take a positive decision
on this proposal/matter at the current Session of the PrepCom.