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Statements

16. Juni 2014

South African Statement delivered by First Secretary Mr Lesiba Ratlou during the 42nd Session of the Preparatory Commission (PrepCom) for the CTBT, from 16 to 17 June 2014

Chairperson,

Since it is my first time taking the floor during this Session, allow me on behalf of the South African delegation to congratulate you as the Chairperson of the 42nd Session of the Preparatory Commission (PrepCom). I would like to assure you of my delegation’s continued cooperation and support during this Session.

My delegation would like thank the Executive Secretary (ES), Dr. Lassina Zerbo, for his introductory remarks, and also thank Ms Angela Kane, United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs for her statement. South Africa is of the view that her participation is indicative that the United Nations Disarmament Office attaches great importance to the universalization and entry into force of the CTBT.

My delegation associates itself with the statement delivered by Ms Madurika Weninger, Minister Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka, on behalf of the G77 and China.

We also align ourselves with the statement delivered by the Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Morocco, Ambassador Ali El Mhamdi, on behalf of the African Group.

Chairperson,

South Africa strongly believes that the entry into force of the CTBT is an overarching goal and a non-negotiable commitment, which all Annex 2 States should abide by in order to practically achieve the goal of a world without nuclear weapons.

The activities of the PrepCom and the PTS are of particular importance in our collective efforts to raise awareness towards entry into force of the Treaty. It is in this context that South Africa reiterates its view that a moratorium on nuclear testing and other nuclear explosions cannot replace a legally-binding commitment of State Signatories. Eighteen (18) years after opening for signature in 1996, the entry into force of the CTBT is long overdue.

Chairperson,

South Africa welcomes the progress achieved thus far towards universalization of the Treaty and trust that Niue and Indonesia’s ratification will serve as a motivation for other countries to proceed as soon as possible to bring about the conclusion of their ratification process. To this end, we will continue to urge Annex 2 States whose signature and ratification is required for the Treaty to enter into force, to sign and/or ratify without delay, as well as continue to engage in the African region to raise awareness of the importance of entry into force of the CTBT as a contribution towards international peace and security.

As a State Signatory to the Pelindaba Treaty, South Africa welcomes the participation of the IAEA and the CTBT during the Third Conference of State Parties (CSP) to the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (Treaty of Pelindaba) convened in Addis Ababa, from 29 to 30 May 2014. In their outcome document, the State Signatories to the Treaty of Pelindaba welcomed the various initiatives undertaken by AFCONE to promote and strengthen coordination and collaboration with the relevant regional and international organizations, including inter alia the IAEA and CTBT, in order to optimize resources and address gaps.

South Africa is of the view that the Article XIV Conference processes and the GEM activities should be seen as complementary in promoting entry into force of the Treaty, and we believe that this will strengthen the international activities to achieve this goal.

Chairperson,

My delegation takes note with appreciation the report of the Advisory Group (AG) and its recommendations. We view the importance of the AG process as one of the best practices to improve and strengthen the work of the Commission. In addition, we encourage the PTS to follow-up on all of the recommendations as contained in the report of the Advisory Group.

South Africa welcomes the efforts of the PTS in identifying cost saving measures in the 2015 draft Programme and Budget proposal and encourages the PTS to continue to seek efficiencies among the Major Programmes of the PrepCom of the CTBTO. South Africa supports a zero-real growth budget as this will provide the PTS with the necessary resources to fulfil its mandate in line with the requirements as set out by the Treaty. We look forward to further deliberations on the 2015 draft programme and budget proposal.

Lastly Chairperson, we welcome the briefing and the preliminary discussion on the appointment of the Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the subsidiary bodies of the CTBT during the informal consultation on 12 June 2014. South Africa supports the idea of the Commission to develop terms of reference to elect Chairs and Vice-Chairs of Working Groups A and B. In this regard, we look forward to have further informal discussions on the appointments of the Chairperson of the WGB.

I thank you.

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