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Topnews, Statements

01. Juni 2020

STATEMENT DELIVEREDY BY AMBASSADOR RAPULANE MOLEKANE, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, AT THE FIFTY SEVENTH SESSION OF WORKING GROUP A (WGA) OF THE COMPREHENSIVE  TEST-BAN TREATY ORGANISATION (CTBTO), 1 JUNE 2020, VIENNA, AUSTRIA

Chairperson,

My delegation associates itself with the statements delivered on behalf of the G77 and China and the African Group.

I would like to make the following remarks in our national capacity.

South Africa would like to thank you Chair, for convening a virtual meeting aimed at facilitating decision-making on key issues that are essential for the continued functioning of the Preparatory Commission. We assure you of our full cooperation and support throughout the proceedings. We commend the Executive Secretary, Mr Lassina Zerbo, for his opening remarks and ensuring that the CTBTO continues to function in spite of limitation created by the outbreak of COVID-19. We also extend our appreciation to the Provisional Technical Secretariat for preparing the necessary documentation for the meeting. We request that the Secretariat in future ensures the timely delivery of documents in preparations for all sessions of the Commission and its subsidiary bodies.

Chairperson,

South Africa notes with appreciation that the 2019 financial statement reflects that the CTBTO is in a sound financial position having ended the financial year with a net surplus. The cost saving efforts and efficiencies adopted by the Provisional Technical Secretariat are starting to bear positive results. We encourage the Secretariat to continue seeking efficiencies in its operations without compromising delivery on the mandate of the Preparatory Commission. We also commend, the Provisional Technical Secretariat for attaining an unqualified audit opinion from the External Auditor.  We thank the State Audit Office of the Kingdom of Thailand for its professional service and exploring all avenues to complete the audit even during the times of travel restrictions. We have noted the recommendations that have been made by the External Auditors, especially, the need for updating and the communication of the Business Continuity Plan 2019 to all staff. We encourage the Secretariat to implement this and other outstanding recommendations from previous audits.

Chairperson,

South Africa attaches great importance to the International Monitoring System as an essential instrument in meeting the verification requirements of the Treaty once it comes into force. In this regard, South Africa appreciates the importance of maintaining and upgrading IMS facilities throughout the world system which is made possible by the Capital Investment Funds. South Africa notes the proposed carry over of the 2019 unspent Capital Investment and multiyear funds.

Chairperson,

South Africa takes note of the 2021 Budget Update which proposes an overall 1.6% price adjustment. We once again appreciate efficiencies and savings that have made these cost containments possible. Cognoscente of the slight decline in the budget performance from 91.6% in 2018 to 90.8% in 2019 and the uncertainty caused by the outbreak of COVID-19, we call upon the Secretariat to ensure that the 2020 - 2021 Programme and Budget is implemented as far as practical possible, prioritizing capacity building, especially the empowerment of women and youth.

In conclusion chairperson, South Africa notes with appreciation the good work that the Executive Secretary continues to do in expanding the number of states that sign and become members of the CTBT. We look forward to the Treaty entering into force and ending the threat of weapons of mass destruction.

I thank you.

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