STATEMENT OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA DURING THE FOURTEENTH
JOINT MEETING OF WORKING GROUPS A AND B OF CTBTO , DELIVERED BY H.E. AMBASSADOR
TAOUS FEROUKHI, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF ALGERIA ON 7 JUNE 2010
At the outset, on behalf of the States Signatories members of the Group of 77 and China, I wish to congratulate you for your election as chairperson of WGA and thank you together with the Chairperson of Working Group B for convening this joint meeting. The Group believes that under your stewardship and guidance, discussions will lead to fruitful conclusions and I assure you of our full cooperation. Let me also express the deep appreciation of the Group to HE Ambassador Rimdap of Nigeria for the excellent mission he accomplished during his term as Chairperson of Working Group A. The Group also thanks Mr John Sequeira for his introductory remarks to the current session.
The Group of 77 and China notes that since the last meeting of the policy making organs 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.
Regarding agenda item 3 on the Programme and Budget Performance Report (PBPR) the Group thanks the PTS for its report contained in document CTBT/PTS/INF.1063, and would like to express its appreciation for the level of transparency provided by the PTS to the States Signatories on the implementation of the agreed programme of work.
As regards agenda item 4, namely the initial draft Programme and Budget for 2011, the Group of 77 and China would like to recall its position on this issue. The Group reiterates, once again, the importance it attaches to the four key elements concerning budgetary matters, namely:
- 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 the entry into force of the Treaty;
- The need to minimize the financial burden to be borne by States Signatories.
While taking note of the significant progress achieved so far in establishing the global verification system that is near completion, the Group is of the opinion that in line with this status the Preparatory Commission should maintain an adequate balance between budgetary implications and the prospects of the entry into force of the CTBT.
As a corollary to these realities, the Group of 77 and China has been consistently calling for a strict observance of a zero real growth budget policy. In this connection, the Group takes note of document CTBT/PTS/INF.1069 and welcomes the recent announcement by the Secretariat as to its intention to revise this document with a view to bringing it to a level slightly below zero real growth. The current economic and financial crisis reinforces the call for budgetary austerity and also for further reductions and savings. The Group is looking forward to receiving an updated version of the 2011 Programme and Budget draft proposal.
On agenda item 5, regarding the possible issues related to OSI, namely the status of on-site inspection inspectors and inspection assistants, the Group takes note of the Information Paper presented by the PTS in document CTBT/PTS/INF.1036 which sets out model arrangements for future inspectors and inspection assistants and is looking forward for the deliberations on this issue at this session.
Regarding agenda item 6 related to Facility Agreements and their effect on data availability, bearing in mind that the conclusion of Facility Agreements is the obligation of Member States after the entry into force of the Treaty, the Group recognizes the importance of such agreements for enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the construction, the maintenance and the provisional operation of the verification system by the Preparatory Commission.