Topnews, Statements

26. August 2019



Since this is the first time I speak in this august house, let me pledge my country and delegation’s commitment and cooperation to this body and assure you that we shall continue with our unwavering support. I also join others in congratulating Ambassador Nada Kruger on her election as Chairperson of Working Group A.

The South African delegation associates itself with the statements delivered on behalf of the African Group and the G77 and China respectively, and would like to add the following comments in its national capacity.


South Africa expresses its appreciation for the report of the Executive Secretary, Dr. Zerbo, on Verification Related Activities from January to June 2019. We further wish to thank the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) for the preparatory arrangements for this Session.


This meeting takes place at a time of more uncertainty and heightened tension around the matters that this body is about. The total elimination of weapons of mass destruction remains our goal, however, the control and monitoring work is also important.

The CTBTO is playing an important role in advancing disarmament and non-proliferation goals by constraining the development of nuclear weapons. It is therefore crucial that the Treaty enters into force. South Africa as a signatory to the Pelindaba Treaty commands other regions to also move towards nuclear free zones, as we mark the 10th year of ratification. Thus, we welcome all efforts to promote the Treaty and urge Annexure 2 States whose signature and/or ratification is necessary for the CTBT to enter into force to sign and/or ratify the Treaty without delay. My delegation welcomes the work of the Article XIV Conferences and looks forward to a successful Conference during the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York under the Presidency of Algeria and Germany.


Turning to the Executive Secretary’s report, my delegation welcomes the high-performance figures from the IMS stations resulting in high data availability. This is indicative of good cooperation from State Signatories and the effective maintenance of the equipment by the PTS.

South Africa notes the efforts of the PTS in delivering a high number of capacity building and training activities including the e-learning programmes. Although we acknowledge that the e-learning programmes are a good basis for training, they cannot replace the more effective hands-on training programmes that are regularly held. Hands-on training programmes encourage participants to share experiences. In this regard, my delegation urges the PTS to explore ways of implementing recommendations from these activities.

Furthermore, since South Africa hosted three On-Site-Inspector (OSI) courses, it is satisfying to note the excellent progress of the OSI third training cycle since its initiation in 2016. It is pleasing to see that the pool of surrogate inspectors has become more representative of gender and geographical distribution. South Africa is looking forward to the outcomes of the planned OSI build up exercises which will assist State Signatories to gauge the success of the third training cycle.


South Africa notes that the Preparatory Commission is planning station improvements, which is important for the preservation of the investments already made in the system. In maintaining the stations we should make sure that the equipment installed at the stations, and those under OSI, can be repaired or restocked in a timely fashion and that parts do not have to be especially manufactured in order to ensure continued high levels of data availability. To this end, South Africa remains hopeful for the expeditious upgrade of its infrasound station, so that it can confidently maintain the station and apply the PKI training which was received.


My delegation is also looking forward to the finalization of the certification of the country’s radionuclide laboratory (RL14) which is located at the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (NECSA) in Pelindaba. This laboratory will be the only laboratory in our region, which will eventually contribute to the future proficiency test exercises.

Like other State Signatories, South Africa is eager to move to the subsequent phase of the International Data Centre (IDC) progressive commissioning, we must ascertain that we actually learn from the experiments and implement the lessons learned in a meaningful way.

In conclusion, Chairperson, South Africa congratulates the PTS on the successful launch and opening of the Technology, Support and Training centre in June this year. We hope that the Centre will facilitate close collaboration among the various divisions of the PTS. We further congratulate the PTS on successfully organising the 7th Science and Technology conference in June this year. This event once again, showcased the enormous global interest and expertise in our work.

I thank you.

© Copyright by SA Embassy 2020