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 28th Session of Working Group B of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization in 2007. The Group is confident that under your stewardship, discussions will lead to fruitful conclusions and I assure you of our full cooperation.


The Group commends the PTS for the professional manner in which it has implemented the pilot project for the participation of technical experts from developing countries in official meetings of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO in accordance with the agreed selection criteria and management guidelines. The Group also extends a warm welcome to the three experts that have been selected to attend the sessions of Working Group B in 2007, namely

Dr Norbert Opiyo Akech, University of Nairobi (Kenya)
Dr Edmundo Oswaldo Norabuena, Instituto Geofisico del Peru (Peru)
Mr Thawatchai Itthipoonthanakorn, Office of Atoms for Peace, Ministry of Science and Technology (Thailand)

The Group is optimistic that the attendance and participation of the aforementioned experts from developing countries will positively contribute to the work of this session of Working Group B. The Group is of the view that the selection of experts should not be limited to only 3, but ideally to 9 as enumerated in the Group's original proposal. The Group calls on all States Signatories to make voluntary contributions to the fund created for this purpose in order to allow the full implementation of the pilot project.


The Group would like to reiterate the views expressed in its previous statements, in particular that the proposal for the 2008 Programme and Budget should be guided by the following main elements:

- The actual prospect of the Entry into Force of the Treaty (EIF),
- The capabilities of the Member States to pay their assessed contributions,
- The capability of the PTS to consolidate the budget,
- Budget proposals should reflect zero real growth.

The Group would like to reiterate its call that the budget should be realistic and reasonable to cover the cost of the build-up and provisional operation and maintenance of the International Monitoring System in the most efficient manner. The budget should also take into consideration the near completion of the IMS system. The Group appreciates the efforts of the PTS to keep State Signatories informed of any additional costs on the process of establishing the verification regime.

As enumerated previously by the PTS during 2006, the Group believes that the programme and budget should be adjusted based on the completion of the PTS restructuring at the end of 2007.


The Group recalls the decision of the 26th Session Part II of Working Group B that established a set of principles and operating rules for the provision of data related to tsunami warning organizations. In this regard, the Group reiterates its view that data for tsunami warning purposes shall be provided without prejudice to the objective and purpose of the CTBT, shall not detract from the function and integrity of the IMS, or infringe upon the confidentiality of information, nor add any additional financial burden on States Signatories, especially from developing countries. The Group is of the view that there may be a need to review this decision periodically to assess the usefulness of the transmission of such data for Tsunami warning purposes including in relation to confidentiality issues.


The Group welcomes the decision of Part II of the 27th Session of the Preparatory Commission to task the Working Group B to re-examine the duration and organization of its meetings, including avoiding the holding of parallel sessions. In this regard, the Group attaches great importance to the transparency of the process of this revision by Working Group B of its working methodology. The Group requests that WGB provide a progress report on the revision of its work methodology at the June 2007 PrepCom and that an open ended working group be established to provide proposals in this regard for a final decision at the November 2007 Preparatory Commission meeting.

The Group believes that this revision should be prepared taking into account the following:

- The prospect of entry into force of the Treaty,
- That the verification system of the Treaty is almost completed,
- Prioritizing the topics and issues,
- Reducing the financial burden on all State Signatories, especially developing countries, as contained in document CTBT/PC/27/CL/2,
- Meetings should not overlap or run parallel with other meetings of UN bodies in Vienna,
- Reducing the number and duration of the meetings of the policy-making organs since the developing countries face with considerable strain to effectively participate in the meetings,
- That Working Group B meetings be shortened to two sessions of two weeks each in February and August,
- No parallel meetings should be held in Working Group B.


The Group takes note of the document CTBT/WGB/TL-18/32 on advancing the second round process of OSI Operational Manual elaboration as well as the proposal of the Task Leader to begin the new formal process for elaboration of the draft Operational Manual. The Group also proposes that since all delegations may not use or have problem with the ECS system, the hard copy of the documents be distributed to the States Signatories before the Working Group B meetings.


The Group takes note of the document CTBT/PTS/INF.749/Rev.2 on refinements to IS60 stations and CTBT/PTS/INF.866 on the legal aspects of this change and thanks the PTS for preparing these documents. In this regard, the Group would like to express the following concerns and observations:

- The changing of coordinates involving a distance of more than 1500 km is beyond what is defined in the Treaty,
- This change of location from one country to another deviates from the Treaty and further clarification is required in this regard,
- The rationale provided by the PTS (destroyed bridge) does not sufficiently explain the need for the change in location and the PTS should continue its negotiations with the host country to find alternative means to solve this problem,
- The Prepcom should make its decisions on a sound basis so as to facilitate the decision making of the initial Conference of the States Parties after the entry into force of the Treaty, rather than to complicate this process and put the burden on the Conference of the States Parties.

I thank you, Chairperson.

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