STATEMENT BY THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA DURING THE FORTIETH
SESSION OF WORKING GROUP B, 18 MARCH - 5 APRIL 2013 DELIVERED BY HE AMBASSADOR
MAHMOUD ELAMIN, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SUDAN
1. The States Signatories of the Group of 77 and China take note that both Friends of the Chair, Messrs Svein Mykkeltveit and David McCormack, will be coordinating the Fortieth Session of Working Group B. The Group would like to offer its full cooperation towards achieving fruitful deliberations.
2. The Group is of the view that the PrepCom in its next session should elect Vice Chairs on a regional basis for its subsidiary bodies.
3. The Group is pleased to note that since the last Preparatory Commission in October 2012, the CTBT has been ratified by Brunei Darussalam and Chad, members of the Group of 77 and China. The Group therefore encourages all States that have not yet signed and ratified the Treaty, to follow suit.
4. The Group would like to thank the Executive Secretary for the written report on the progress in the implementation of the verification-related work programme for the period July-December 2012 (CTBT/ES/2012/4) and the Annual Report for 2012, as well as for his opening statement.
5. The Group takes note of the Informal Briefings by the PTS prior to the Fortieth Session of Working Group B which were held on 12 February 2013 as well as the briefing on the activities of the technical Divisions of the PTS, on 6 February 2013 and encourages the PTS to continue to seek ways to improve the efficiency of these briefings to States Signatories.
6. The Group wishes to express its appreciation to the Secretariat for its prompt response in conducting the Technical Briefing following the third nuclear test conducted by the DPRK on 12 February 2013.
7. The Group has always highlighted that priority should be given to protecting investments already made and attention given to the three main dimensions of the verification system, namely the International Monitoring System (IMS), the International Data Centre (IDC) and on-site inspection (OSI) and therefore reiterates its position on the need to ensure balance in the development of all areas of the verification regime.
8. As the PTS prepares for the 2014 budget cycle, the Group maintains its position on the need to set clear priorities to the Secretariat. The Group expects that technical opinion made by WGB regarding further developments of the verification regime take duly into account two important aspects: the global economic situation of austerity and the current perspective of the Entry into Force of the Treaty. Fiscal prudence is of the utmost importance and as such, the Group is confident that the PTS will suggest a programme-driven budget that adheres to a zero growth policy.
9. With regard to capacity building and training, the Group appreciates the continuing efforts by the PTS to increase the capabilities of all States Signatories to participate in the verification regime through its NDC development workshops, advanced regional training courses and expert visits in the field for the on the job training.
10. The Group appreciates the organization by the PTS of Observer Visits comprised of representatives of States Signatories as part of the activities in preparation for the Integrated Field Exercise 14 (IFE14).
11. The Group of 77 and China looks forward to working with you and all the respective Task Leaders for substantial progress on the issues on the agenda over the next three weeks.