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16. März 2015

STATEMENT BY MRS LYDIA GREYLING, ALTERNATE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, DURING THE FORTY-FOURTH (44th) SESSION OF THE WORKING GROUP B, ON 16 March 2015.

Chairperson,

At the outset, allow me to join other delegations to thank you for chairing the Forty-Fourth (44th) Session of Working Group B, and express our appreciation for your leadership during your tenure as the Chairperson.

Similarly, my delegation would like to congratulate the in-coming Chairperson, Dr Schulze, and would like to assure you of my delegation‘s full cooperation during the deliberations of this Session.

I would also like to thank the Executive Secretary (ES), Dr Lassina Zerbo for his introductory remarks, and both his written and oral report on verification related activities.

My delegation aligns itself with the statements delivered by the Permanent Representative of Nigeria on behalf of the African Group, and the Permanent Representative of Chile on behalf of the G77 and China and would offer the following remarks in our national capacity:

Chairperson,

1.    My delegation congratulates the PTS and the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for the successful organization and conduct of the Integrated Field Exercise (IFE14) in November and December last year. South Africa recognizes that the IFE14 represented the largest field activity of the PrepCom since its inception and believes that observers, both at the high-level and the technical expert level, had the opportunity to experience first-hand the level of sophistication of the equipment, and the knowledge displayed by the teams during the exercise. We are looking forward to the outcome of the review process, which should include all views of States Signatories participating in the exercise. My delegation is convinced that the lessons learned from IFE14 will go a long way to strengthen the OSI capabilities and verification-related activities of the Treaty.

Chairperson,

2.    South Africa welcomes the continued efforts of the PTS in the area of capacity-building and training activities, which benefits experts in particular in developing countries. This is an important development which in our view increases technical expertise of State Signatories to successfully operate and sustain the IMS stations. In this regard, our young scientists continue to benefit from the excellent training courses provided by the CTBTO, including the e-learning courses, which are being used in data interpretation and research.

3.    My delegation looks forward to the CTBT Science and Technology Conference in June 2015, where high-level panellists from States Signatories and representatives of the scientific community will have the opportunity to share knowledge and ideas with the CTBTO, and promote the wider scientific application of data that are used for test-ban verification.  

Chairperson,

4.  We note with appreciation the first certification of noble gas analysis capability at an IMS laboratory (RL3) in Austria, which contributes to the operation of the IMS network. South Africa believes that the newly certified station would not only assist with the detection of clandestine nuclear weapon testing, but also enhance our scientists’ knowledge of the world around us.  

5.    In this context, my delegation is pleased to report that our stations have contributed to the high-level of data availability as reported by the Executive Secretary and we will endeavour to maintain them at the highest-level. The PTS has been instrumental in assisting us with maintaining this high level, and we thank them for that. Continued progress is being made towards the installation and certification of South Africa’s particulate station RN62, and we are looking forward to providing the same level of data availability in this field.

Chairperson,

6.    While we note the concern of the PTS on the impact of radioxenon emissions from facilities producing medical radioisotopes on the data assurance and quality received from the IMS network, South Africa would caution the PTS against prescribing limits and technology to control such emissions to States Signatories, especially with a view to addressing the continued shortage of life-saving medical radioisotopes worldwide. South Africa further notes that pledges by industry and voluntary activities to that effect, remain outside the scope of the CTBT.

I thank you.

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