STATEMENT BY THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA DURING THE THIRY-FOURTH
SESSION OF THE PREPARATORY COMMISSION DELIVERED BY H.E. AMBASSADOR TAOUS FEROUKHI,
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF ALGERIA, 28 JUNE 2010
Agenda Item 8: Amendment of Rule 5
1. Let me express satisfaction of the States Signatories of the Group of 77 and China in seeing you chairing the 34th Session of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. The Group believes that under your stewardship, discussions will lead to fruitful conclusions and I assure you of our full cooperation.
2. 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 express its appreciation to you and Ambassador Michael Potts, Permanent Representative of Australia and former Chairman of the Commission, for conducting extensive efforts and consultations to bring this issue to a successful conclusion at the current session of the PrepCom.
3. Let me express the Group of 77 and China's satisfaction for the constructive compromise reached under your able leadership in granting an observer status to Palestine as agreed by the PrepCom. Let me thank again Ambassador Potts for his successful achievement under this agenda item.
4. The Group seizes this opportunity to thank 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 Commission.
5. The Group of 77 and China notes that since the last Session of the PrepCom in November 2009, further progress has been made towards bringing the CTBT to its much desired universal status, with the ratification by the Central African Republic and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, thus elevating the total number of ratifying States to 153.
Agenda Item 3: Consideration of the Report of Working Group A
6. As regards the reports of the 37th Session of WGA, the Group takes note of all recommendations contained therein.
7. Regarding the issue of additional funds for priority unfunded projects in the 2011 Programme and Budget, the Group takes note of the ongoing consultations that are being undertaken on behalf of the chairman of WGA on this issue and looks forward to the achievement of a consensus decision in this matter.
8. The Group of 77 and China wishes to reiterate its support to the request presented by Brazil for the restoration of its voting rights, as recommended by the Advisory Group and Working Group A.
9. The Group also wishes to underscore the important discussions held during the last session of WGA on the issue of non-regular staff, which led to a greater understanding about how to address concerns by States Signatories with the issue, including with respect to geographical distribution of non-regular positions, while maintaining the flexibility the PTS needs in order to preserve an adequate pool of human resources. We trust that the observations contained in the report of that session of WGA on this issue will be taken into account in the future.
Agenda Item 4: Consideration of the Report of Working Group B
10. Regarding the issue of the method of work of Working Group B, the Group of 77 and China once again reaffirms its position that the annual programme of work of WGB can be carried out in two sessions per year, with duration of three weeks each, as agreed by consensus by the PrepCom.
11. The Group reiterates its view that the meetings of the Policy Making Organs should not overlap or run parallel with meetings of other United Nations bodies in Vienna in particular the International Atomic Energy Agency, and requests the PTS to take into consideration this issue in the preparation of the draft schedule of meetings for the PMO's for future meetings.
12. Regarding the implementation of the pilot project for financing the participation of technical experts from developing countries in WGB meetings, the Group takes note of the selection of nine experts under this pilot project in 2010. The Group seizes this opportunity to thank the PTS for its efforts as well as States Signatories for their voluntary contribution to financing this project. The Group believes that during its initial phase as a pilot initiative, the Project has proven to be an uncontested success, insofar as it contributed to a more sustained and continued participation of developing countries in the technical discussions of the Commission. The Group therefore believes that the time has come to consider ways and means to expand further the number of vacancies offered by the Project.
13. The Group takes note of the report of the 34th Session of Working Group B, and would like to emphasize the importance it attaches to the capacity building and training programme as a means to improve the ability of States Signatories to participate fully in the verification regime and also in the PTS related activities. In this regard the Group appreciates the continuing efforts by the PTS in this field, and encourages the PTS to ensure the widest possible participation of developing countries in its capacity building and training programmes.
14. The Group reiterates the need to maintain an adequate balance in the prioritization and distribution of resources across the three main dimensions of the verification system, namely the IMS, the IDC and OSI. In this regard, the Group encourages the PTS to continue to seek efficiencies and to revisit the prioritization across Major Programmes in order to achieve this balance.
Agenda Item 5: Consideration of the Report of Advisory Group
15. Regarding the agenda item 5 on the recommendations by the Advisory Group, the Group of 77 and China takes note of the report of the 34th Session, to be introduced by the Chairperson of the Advisory Group, Mr Michael Weston, and all recommendations contained therein.
Agenda Item 6: Consideration of the Initial Draft 2011 Programme and Budget
16. The Group has expressed its general views regarding the initial draft Programme and Budget for 2011 during the previous meetings of the Policy Making Organs. At this occasion, the Group would like to reiterate once again the importance of 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, and
- The financial burden on States Signatories.
15. The Group recalls its position as expressed in its statement to the 34th Session of Working Group B and 37th session of WGA, in which the Group indicated that the preparation of the initial draft Programme and Budget for 2011 should be once again based on a target of zero real growth as a ceiling for the overall expenditures, without precluding the possibility of identifying possible reductions and savings.
16. In this context the Group takes note of the adjustments to the 2011 Programme and Budget proposals as contained in document CTBT/PTS/INF.1078. The Group believes that this proposal could facilitate the achievement of consensus on the adoption of the initial draft 2011 Programme and Budget.
Agenda Item 7: Appointments and Elections
17. As regards agenda item 7.2, on the appointment of the next Directors of the Divisions of International Monitoring System and On-Site Inspection, the Group takes note of document CTBT/PTS/INF.1082, which contains a proposal by the Executive Secretary in this regard. The Group wishes to express its appreciation for the technical competence and managerial skills demonstrated by Mr Federico Guendel during his tenure as Director of the International Monitoring System Division. The Group therefore is willing to support the extension of his contract for an additional year. The Group wishes to once again pay tribute to the former Director of the On-Site Inspection Division, the late Boris Kvok, and to take note of the proposed appointment of Mr Oleg Rozhkov as his successor.