At the outset, let me once more express the satisfaction of the State Signatories of the Group of 77 and China in seeing you chairing the 27th session, Part II of Working Group B of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation in 2006. The Group believes that under your able stewardship and guidance, discussions will lead to fruitful conclusions, and I assure you of our full cooperation.
The Group also wishes to thank the Executive Secretary for his report outlining the activities related to the implementation of the 2006 verification related programme as well as the various other written reports produced by the PTS in preparation for this Working Group meeting.
The Group would like to express its views on the following issues to be considered during this session:
Chairperson, The Group would like to reiterate that any proposal for the
verification-related work programme and budget elements for 2007 is guided
by the principles that the Group has stated on previous occasions.
Furthermore, the Group wishes to reiterate that any budget proposal should
reflect the principle of zero real growth. In the context of the efficient
utilisation of scarce resources, there is a need to focus on our work
methodology. The Group is of the view that the 2006 Programme and Budget
increase was an exception that included increases to cover the costs
associated with the VIC Security Enhancement Costs. The 2007 budget should
therefore be compared to the 2005 programme and budget that reflected zero
Regarding the revised adjustments to the 2007 Programme and Budget Proposals, the Group notes with appreciation the revised adjustments as contained in document CTBT/PTS/INF.834. The Group commends the PTS for its endeavours to keep the revised adjustments within the principle of a "zero real growth" budget. The Group is equally pleased that the PTS is reallocating resources to provide for the needs of the organisation.
The Group noted the verification related programmes increased by US$195,200 for 2007 at the expense of the non-verification programmes as resources were relocated. The Group reiterates its view that the budget should be realistic and reasonable to cover the cost of the build-up of the International Monitoring System. The Group appreciates the efforts of the PTS to engage State Signatories on any additional costs that the verification process may cause.
The Group would like to thank the PTS for compiling the paper on potential options for the provision of data and products in support of Tsunami warning systems as contained in document CTBT/PTS/INF.832. At the outset, the Group is of the view that the document contains information on the legal, technical and budgetary implications, which would not only guide our discussions during this Working Group but would also require in depth and thorough discussion and analysis by the relevant authorities in our national capitals.
The Group notes that the PTS is continuing to forward data to the two National Data Centres in Australia and Malaysia, as well as to the two international tsunami warning organizations recognised by UNESCO in Japan and Hawaii, USA as agreed on a temporary basis. The Group also notes that UNESCO recognised the Caribbean Tsunami Warning Centre at the Puerto Rico Seismic Network as a third international tsunami warning organisation.
The Group requests the PTS to provide more information on the confidentiality of data transmitted to these centres as the Group believes that any data transmitted should be treated as highly confidential. The Group recalls the decision taken during the 21st Session of the Preparatory Commission meeting, as contained in CTBT/PC-21/21, Annex 2, and I quote:
Wherein WGB agreed, as an exceptional case, to the request from the International Seismological Centre (ISC) to receive henceforth on a regular basis seismic phase arrival measurements made by the IDC in the course of its analysis, including onset times, amplitudes and periods, and event hypocenters computed by the IDC from seismic phase arrival measurements, as included in the Reviewed Event Bulletin (REB). The ISC will receive these data for use in its catalogue and bulletin, but will not redistribute the REB as is. The procedures for access to these IDC products will be established between the PTS and the ISC. This agreement is made with the understanding that future discussion in this regard during WGB sessions shall focus on guidelines for a draft model agreement between the PTS and scientific organizations, before addressing any further requests.
The Group therefore requests the Secretariat to inform States Signatories whether a draft Model Agreement between the PTS and scientific organisations exists that deals specifically for requests for access to PTS data. The Group is of the view that in the absence of a Model Agreement between the PTS and the scientific organisations that deal with Tsunami early warning systems, no further requests of this nature should be considered.
The Group further notes the view of the PTS that the possible dissemination of data for Tsunami warning purposes must be resolved by resorting to the general provisions on decision making as embodied in the Treaty and the Protocol which led to the Resolution establishing the Preparatory Commission and its Annex. The Group also notes that the Annex reads that one activity of the Commission shall be the provisional operation as necessary of the International Data Centre and the International Monitoring System.
The Group reiterates its view that the issue of utilising the civil and scientific benefits of the CTBTO for Tsunami early warning systems requires further consultation and deliberation. At the same time, the Group recognises the importance of the civil and scientific benefits of the CTBT technologies for humanitarian purposes particularly to those countries prone to Tsunamis.
The Group notes that the PTS will host a Scientific Symposium from 31 August-1 September 2006 and an Experts Meeting on civil and scientific applications of CTBTO Verification Techniques in Budapest from 2-3 September 2006. While welcoming efforts by the PTS to stimulate dialogue between the scientific communities worldwide, the Group is of the view that the two meetings should not pre-empt and prejudge the discussions and deliberations of WGB.
The Group takes note of the technical and legal implications of the move of radionuclide laboratory RL16 as contained in document CTBT/PTS/INF.835 and has some preliminary views in this regard. The Group would appreciate further clarification from the PTS to relocate RL16 from its present location.
Regarding the change of IS60 coordinate as contained in document CTBT/PTS/INF.830, the Group believes that the proposed distance of more than 1500 km is far beyond the approved guidelines of the Preparatory Commission, which may affect the efficiency of the system, and is not convinced that this change is necessary. In this regard there are some legal, administrative and technical concerns and questions that should be addressed before any change. The Group requests the PTS to prepare a comprehensive and in depth report on this issue including to study the possibility of finding another location near the IS60 coordinate and within the territory of the host country.
Another aspect of the above-mentioned change is that the proposed coordinates are located within the territory of another country. Although the Treaty may be silent on this issue, due to legal and technical implications, this issue requires to be studied in depth. In this context the IMS Task Leader has proposed a procedure to be discussed in this WGB meeting, as contained in document CTBT/WGB/TL-1/50. Although the establishment of this procedure is important and necessary, the Group believes that before any discussion takes place; the PTS should prepare a comprehensive report on the legal, technical and financial implications of moving a station from one country to another, especially if this issue could be considered as an amendment to the Treaty.
Chairperson, The Group takes note of the OSI Draft Test Manual as a
result of the 12th and 13th OSI workshops as contained in document
CTBT/WGB/TL-18/ 29. The Group underlines that there has been many
divergent views regarding the drafting of the Test Manual. In order to
reach consensus, many delegations have shown their utmost flexibility so
the text could be prepared on time. In this context the Group hope that
this text could be finalized in this WGB. The Group strongly believes that
the outcome of two aforementioned workshops including the Draft Test
Manual should not prejudge the discussions on the Operational Manual and
Any Other Business
The Group is of the view that the States Signatories could explore the possibility of reducing and streamlining the meetings of the policy-making organs and have one annual joint session for both Working Group A and Working Group B to deal with administrative and budgetary matters.
The Group's main concern is that most G-77 and China delegations are small and understaffed, and are unable to attend parallel meetings of OSI and IDC operational discussions. The most plausible solution is for the WGB OSI and IDC meetings and Task Force meetings to take place in morning and afternoon sessions, which would provide delegations with the opportunity to engage earnestly in the deliberations and decisions of these meetings. The long-term prospect of the early entry into force of the Treaty requires careful and non-hasty decisions particularly on conducting meetings. The emphasis is to allow delegations' experts especially from developing countries to contribute effectively and efficiently, which in turn will contribute to the Entry into Force of the Treaty.
Thank you, Chairperson.