On behalf of the Group of 77 and China, first of all let me express the Group's satisfaction at seeing you preside over the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO for the current year. We are confident, Madam, that under your chairmanship we will be able to achieve constructive results in our deliberations.
The Group of 77 and China reiterates its condolences to all those countries whose nationals were affected by the Tsunami of 26th December 2004. It was a disaster of unprecedented proportions that shocked us all. The Group of 77 and China believes that the devastation caused by the tsunami underlines the need for the Entry into Force of the Treaty, in order to allow the dissemination of information to the appropriate authorities that may save innumerable lives in future disasters of this kind.
Non-proliferation and disarmament of nuclear weapons is a priority objective of the international community. The CTBT was opened for signature in 1996, and this represented the culmination of a 50-year effort of the international community towards this goal. Coupled with the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty, the two instruments constitute the cornerstone of the non-proliferation regime. The NPT Review Conference, to be held this year, offers us a new opportunity to examine the developments occurred since the 2000 Review Conference, which adopted 13 practical steps the first of which is the entry into force of the CTBT.
In this connection, Madam Chair, the Group of 77 and China calls upon all countries that have not done so to sign and ratify the CTBT. We would also like to recall that, according to the Treaty, the IMS will operate before Entry into Force for testing purposes only. In that sense, if we want to save lives, the main effort ahead of us is to promote the Entry into Force of the Treaty.
The Group of 77 and China is following with interest the discussion on the possible transmission of data collected by the PTS for the purpose of providing an early tsunami alert. We are looking forward to its report which will be presented to us in Part 2 of WGB, to be held from 29 August to 9 September 2005.
We would like to recall that the following information needs to be adequately addressed in the report:
a) to examine whether the CTBT and its Protocol provide legal basis for the transmission of data and information for tsunami alert;
b) technical information on what data would be transmitted and to what international organizations of the UN system;
c) information on confidenciality issues and the responsibility of the international organization(s) interested in receiving the data;
d) budgetary and financial implications of this initiative; and
e) proposals for the construction/strengthening of NDCs in developing countries;
f) technical information about the compatibility between the data that could be provided by the PTS and by other international disaster alert organizations and if such data cannot be provided by other international tsunami disaster alert organizations.
The Group of 77 and China believes that this information is needed in continuing deliberations on this issue with a view to examining constructively possible contributions by the PTS to tsunami warning systems and future disasters of this kind.
Thank you, Madam Chair.