STATEMENT BY THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA DURING THE THIRY-FIFTH
SESSION OF THE PREPARATORY COMMISSION DELIVERED BY H.E. AMBASSADOR TAOUS FEROUKHI,
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF ALGERIA, 8-11 NOVEMBER 2010
Allow me to express the sincere appreciation of the States Signatories of the
Group of 77 and China in seeing you, Ambassador Xolisa Mfundiso Mabhongo, chair
the 35th Session of the Preparatory Commission. The Group is confident that under
your guidance our tasks will be concluded successfully and assures you of our
willingness to support you in this endeavour.
I would like on behalf of the G77 and China to express our deep condolences to
the Government and people of Indonesia for the losses caused by the recent natural
disasters and assure them of our solidarity.
The Group of 77 and China notes that momentous progress has been made to date
towards bringing the CTBT to its much desired universal status, with the total
number of 153 ratifying and 182 signatory States.
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 substantive
items of the agenda of the present session of the Preparatory Commission.
AGENDA ITEM 4: CONSIDERATION OF THE REPORT OF WORKING GROUP A
As regards the report of the 38th Session of WGA, the Group takes note of all
recommendations contained therein.
Regarding the modalities to finance repair of IMS facilities HA3 and IS14 in the
Juan Fernández Islands as well as implementation of an IPSAS-compliant ERP platform
the Group takes note of the recommendations on these two projects made by WGA
at its 38th Session, and expresses its appreciation for the consultations on this
issue that have been undertaken by the Chairman of WGA, Ambassador GUERREIRO of
Brazil to arrive at consensus-based modalities for financing these projects.
AGENDA ITEM 5: CONSIDERATION OF THE REPORT OF WORKING GROUP B
The Group takes note of the report of the 35th Session of Working Group B as contained
in CTBT/PC-35/WGB/1 and recommendations contained therein. The Group 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 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.
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 6: CONSIDERATION OF THE REPORT OF THE ADVISORY GROUP
The Group of 77 and China takes note of the report of the 35th Session, to be
introduced by the Chairperson of the Advisory Group, Mr Michael Weston, and all
recommendations contained therein.
AGENDA ITEM 7: CONSIDERATION OF THE FINAL DRAFT 2011 PROGRAMME AND BUDGET AND RELATED DECISIONS AND APPROPRIATE ACTION THEREON
The Group has expressed its general views regarding the draft Programme and Budget
for 2011 during the previous meetings of the Policy Making Organs. On 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 prospects of entry into force of the treaty; and
The need to minimize the financial burden to be borne by States Signatories.
As a corollary to these elements, the Group of 77 and China has been consistently
calling for a strict observance of a zero-real-growth budget policy. The Group
has taken note of CTBT/PTS/INF.1069/Rev.1 and is pleased to note that the revised
proposal is below zero-real-growth level compared to the 2010 Budget. The Group
believes that the final draft constitutes a good basis for the adoption of the
Budget for 2011.
The aforementioned elements are not immutable 'principles', but simply objective
factors that have been the basis of the position held by the Group of 77 and China
in favour of a zero-real-growth policy throughout recent budget cycles, a position
which is shared by numerous other delegations and regional groups. Since they
are not 'principles' set in stone, these elements are of course subject to change
as the objective realities on which they are based evolve in the future. Such
objective realities are, however, tied to the fundamental unknown variable which
is the date for entry into force of the Treaty, and even though the emergence
of a renewed political 'momentum' in this regard is undeniable, the concrete developments
that are expected from it are unfortunately still scant.
The attachment of the Group of 77 and China to a zero-real-growth policy also
derives from considerations related to capacity of payment, which is directly
influenced by the current economic and financial crisis. At such a context of
hardship, and given that many of the Member States of the Group have been having
difficulties to meet their financial obligations, accepting the financial burden
derived from budget increases would be incoherent and irresponsible.
This should not, however, overcast the fact that the Group of 77 and China has
been actively contributing to enable the Commission to cope with its most immediate
and pressing needs. This is clearly demonstrated, inter alia, by the support given
by the Group to the decision by WGA on the adoption of supplementary appropriations
for the ERP project and for the reconstruction of IMS stations in Chile, and by
the settlement of outstanding arrears by several of its States Signatories, including
by means of multi-year payment plan.
AGENDA ITEM 8: APPOINTMENTS AND ELECTIONS
As regards agenda item 8.5, on the appointment of the Director of the Division
of International Data Centre, the Group takes note of document CTBT/PTS/INF.1101,
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 Lassina ZERBO during his tenure as Director of the International
Data Centre Division. The Group therefore is willing to support the extension
of his appointment for another three years from 30 October 2011 to 29 October
The Group wishes to welcome the appointment of Mr Oleg Rozhkov, as new Director
of OSI and wishes to express its appreciation to Mr John Sequeira, Director of
Administration, wishing him all the best in his future endeavours.
AGENDA ITEM 9: SCHEDULE OF SESSIONS OF THE PREPARATORY COMMISSION AND ITS SUBSIDIARY BODIES IN 2011
As to agenda item 9 on the schedule of sessions of the Commission and its subsidiary
bodies in 2011, 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.
The Group appreciates the efforts made by the Secretariat to such end as reflected
in the draft schedule of sessions for 2011.
As regards the schedule of sessions of Working Group B the Group of 77 and China
reiterates its position. We believe that experience in the past two years has
proven that, through further streamlining in terms of efficiency, the current
practice of holding no more than two regular sessions, with a duration of three
weeks each, allows for proper and effective consideration of issues currently
on the agenda of Working Group B, while at the same time avoiding excessive burdens
for States Signatories, especially developing ones, in terms of attendance of
meetings by experts from capitals.