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Statements

18. August 2014

Statement by Ambassador Tebogo Seokolo, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of South Africa during the Forty-Third (43rd) Session of Working Group B, on 18 August 2014.

Chairperson,

Since it is my first time taking the floor during this Session of Working Group B (WGB), allow me on behalf of the South African delegation to congratulate you as the Chairperson of the 43rd Session of WGB. I would like to assure you of my delegation’s continued cooperation and support during this Session.

I would like to thank the Executive Secretary (ES), Dr Lassina Zerbo for his statement and his report on verification related activities for the period January to June 2014.

Let me also thank the Chairperson of the Working Group B, Mr Hein Haak for the informal briefing provided to the State Signatories on the margins of the Forty-Second (42nd) Session of the Preparatory Commission, prior to the current Session of Working Group B on 16 June 2014.

My delegation associates itself with the statement delivered by Ambassador Lourdes Yparraguirre, the Permanent Representative of the Philippines, on behalf of the G77 and China.

Chairperson,

South Africa welcomes the positive trend in the availability of data of certified International Monitoring System (IMS) stations since 2008.

We recognise the importance of the IMS network to achieve the objectives of the CTBTO. However my delegation notes with concern the obsolesce of the IMS facilities. In this regard, we recognise the efforts of the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) to mitigate the effects of ageing IMS network. We would like to underline that more funding and support from the State Signatories is needed to allow the PTS to fully implement the mandate of the CTBTO.

Chairperson,

My delegation notes with appreciation the voluntary initiative undertaken by private companies to help mitigate the effects of radioxenon emission for the production of medical isotopes. We are also mindful that this initiative would improve the quality of data collected by CTBTO.  However, South Africa would like to reiterate that the discussion on the production and emissions of medical isotopes are not within the purview of the CTBTO mandate.

South Africa welcomes the efforts undertaken by the PTS in the area of capacity building and training, including five (5) National Data Centres (NDC) with a view to increase technical expertise of State Signatories to implement their obligations under the Treaty. In this context, we request the PTS to continue to prioritise capacity building of State Signatories to ensure the sustainability of the IMS facilities in the long-run.

South Africa equally welcomes the significant progress achieved by the PTS in preparing for the Integrated Field Exercise (IFE) to be held in Jordan, in November 2014, including the preparatory training course for all participants in the IFE14. In this context, South Africa looks forward to participate in the IFE14 in Jordan as observers, and we are hopeful that in future, more African scientists may also receive training in this important aspect of the Treaty.

Chairperson,

South Africa values its participation by contributing data of 3 of the IMS facilities (namely: seismic, infrasound and radionuclide). Furthermore, South Africa has been sending data from our primary seismic station in Boshof since it was certified in 2004 as well as from our infrasound station, certified in 2005, together with our 2 Auxiliary seismic stations. In this context, we look forward to work with the PTS in constructing the Radionuclide station in Cape Town, and we are grateful for this opportunity to open yet another area in which South African scientists can develop.

My delegation also acknowledges the contribution made by the CTBTO in establishing Seismological Stations in Africa that in turn made a significant contribution to the understanding of Seismicity within our country and Africa at large. This data from the CTBTO Seismological stations is used in the daily analysis of the seismicity of our country and as a result contributed to the analysis of the largest mining related earthquake, with a magnitude of 5.5, which occurred in South Africa a few days ago.

In conclusion Chairperson, South Africa would like to thank the CTBTO for the training opportunities which have been made available to us, as they have enriched our scientists' knowledge within the various CTBTO fields and technologies, and would like to encourage the CTBTO, especially within a regional context, to continue with these efforts.

I thank you,

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