EU Statement delivered at the Sixty-First Session of Working Group A of the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) on 2 June 2022

(Source: EEAS)

Mr Chairman,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The following countries align themselves with this statement: Turkey§, the Republic of North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Albania*, Bosnia and Herzegovina*, Iceland+, Norway+, Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Georgia, Andorra and San Marino.

This meeting takes place against the backdrop of the unprovoked and unjustified aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. The European Union demands that Russia immediately cease its military actions unconditionally withdraw all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine and fully respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence within its internationally recognised borders.

Russia’s military attack against Ukraine is a flagrant violation of international law, including the UN Charter, and undermines European and global security and stability. The EU will do its utmost to support Ukraine and protect the integrity of the rules-based international system, which is key to our collective security. The EU and its Member States stand firmly by Ukraine’s side.

Mr Chairman,

The EU warmly congratulates you on your appointment as Chairperson of Working Group A (WGA) and assures you of our full support and cooperation. We also congratulate Ambassador Ramiro Recinos Trejo for his appointment as Vice-Chairperson of the Commission.

We support the Treaty’s entry into force and universalisation, which remain a priority for the EU. We urge all States, which have not yet done so, to sign and ratify the CTBT. We reiterate our call upon the remaining eight Annex II States: China, Egypt, Iran, Israel, and the USA who still need to ratify the Treaty and the DPRK, India, and Pakistan who still need to sign and ratify it in order to bring it into force, to do so without any preconditions or further delay. In the meantime, it is crucial that all States fully observe the moratorium on nuclear test explosions or any other nuclear explosion, and to refrain from any action contrary to the object and purpose of the Treaty. We warmly welcome the recent ratifications of the CTBT by The Gambia and Tuvalu and fully support the efforts to further promote and facilitate signature and ratification of the Treaty.

The EU wishes to thank the Executive Secretary, Dr Robert Floyd, for his opening statement and for his report on Non-Verification-Related Activities for the period January to March 2022.

The International Monitoring System (IMS) and the International Data Centre (IDC) have proved their unique ability to provide States Signatories with independent and reliable means to detect nuclear tests, which further reinforce the importance of the CTBTO. However, the CTBTO can only carry out its mandatory functions and the sustainment and provisional operation of the verification system if provided with the necessary funding.

The EU recalls that paying assessed contributions is not optional, and the failure to do so amounts to non-compliance with the Resolution establishing the Preparatory Commission. It is crucial for the operation of the verification regime of the Treaty, and for the wider organization’s financial health that all States honour their legal obligation to pay their assessed contributions on time and in full. We take positive note of the increase in collection rates as of March 2022, which represents an increase of eleven States Signatories that have fully paid their assessed contributions this year. We urge all States to pay their outstanding contributions without further delay.

We encourage the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) to continue its important operations, including building, certifying, operating and repairing IMS stations. We welcome the commitment made by the Executive Secretary to commence with a comprehensive review of the IMS stations’ lifecycle including financial implications, and look forward to engaging in such discussions soon

The EU, materialising its full commitment to the Treaty and its implementation, has so far contributed 29.5 million Euro to support CTBTO monitoring and verification activities. These funds are being used to improve the auxiliary seismic station network, to strengthen on-site inspection and noble gas monitoring capabilities, and to provide technical assistance to countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean region, allowing them to participate fully in the CTBTO’s verification regime.

We would also like to thank the PTS for the timely circulation of the 2023 Budget update Proposals. We look forward to receiving more information from the PTS and to engaging in fruitful discussion on these proposals.

The EU thanks Thailand for its excellent work as external auditor for 2021-2022 and for introducing the report and audited financial statements for 2021. 

We thank the PTS for the Human Resources Management Report and the information on Equal Employment Opportunities for women in the PTS. We welcome efforts towards reaching gender parity and take positive note of the increase in the proportion of women staff from 30% to 36.1% for professional and higher level categories in 2021. We encourage the PTS to continue to strive for this goal, in addition to efforts to increase diversity within the PTS.

Last but not least Mr Chairman,

The EU and its Member States take note with appreciation of the recommendations contained in the report of the Advisory Group (AG).

Thank you.

 


§ Candidate Country

* Candidate Countries the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania as well as potential Candidate Country Bosnia and Herzegovina continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

+ Iceland and Norway are members of the EFTA and of the European Economic Area.

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