STATEMENT BY THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA DURING THE FORTY-FOURTH
SESSION OF WORKING GROUP A, 7-9 OCTOBER 2013, DELIVERED BY HE AMBASSADOR MAHMOUD
HASSAN ELAMIN, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE SUDAN
1. On behalf of the States Signatories of the Group of 77 and China, allow me to express our pleasure in seeing you, Ambassador Gunaajav Batjargal, at the helm of this Forty-Fourth Session of Working Group A and assure you of our fullest support and cooperation during the session.
2. The Group would like to thank the Executive Secretary, Mr Lassina Zerbo, for his report on the non-verification-related activities, as well as his opening statements.
3. The Group welcomes the recent ratification of the Treaty by Guinea-Bissau and Iraq; thus bringing the number of States Signatories who have ratified the Treaty to 161.
4. On Agenda Item 3, on the Review of Advisory Group (AG) recommendations, the Group of 77 and China would like to thank its Chairman, Mr Michael Weston for introducing the Report of the Forty-First Session of the Advisory Group, and takes note of the report. Amongst the observations made, two of the issues were mentioned by the Group in its previous statements, namely on the options made for the Storage Area Network (SAN) equipment and post-certification activities (PCA).
5. The Group therefore, welcomes the recommendations by the Advisory Group to the Executive Secretary seeking the cost analysis of the options of leasing and purchasing of the SAN equipment, as well as clarification on the impact of this on the General Fund (GF) portion of Major Programme I and installation sub-fund of the Capital Investment Fund (CIF-I) beyond 2014.
6. The Group endorses the recommendation made by the Advisory Group, to the Executive Secretary to consider providing more detailed information, with indication of reasons, for the yearly variations in PCA costs for the International Monitoring System stations where major changes occurred.
7. The Group takes note that as stated in the 2014 Programme and Budget Proposals: Final Draft, the proposed budget is slightly above zero real growth.
8. Regarding the Programme and Budget, the Group considers that the procedure of presenting a "final" draft to the WGA should be reviewed. The current procedure conveys the idea that the elaboration of the Programme and Budget is concluded and, therefore, WGA would only be tasked to take note of the document presented by the PTS. The Group therefore proposes that this procedure should be changed, so that the last WGA session of each year would consider possible adjustments to the initial draft, such as the one contained in document CTBT/PTS/INF.1250. The PTS would, then, take into account all comments and possible recommendations made by the WGA in order to prepare the final draft, which would be presented to the last session of the Preparatory Commission of each year, for its consideration and action.