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26. Mai 2015

STATEMENT DELIVERED BY MS. LYDIA GREYLING, MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA,  DURING THE 47TH SESSION OF THE CTBTO WORKING GROUP A, ON 26 MAY 2015

Chairperson,

Let me extend my sincere gratitude to you Ambassador Azeez, of Sri Lanka, for Chairing the 47th Session of Working Group A and assures you of my delegation’s continued support.

My delegation associates itself with the statements respectively 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

We thank the Executive Secretary, Dr Lassina Zerbo, for the opening remarks, and his reports on Non-Verification and Verification related activities, as well as the PTS for preparing the documentation for this session. My delegation also thanks the Chairperson of the Advisory Group, Sir Michael Weston, for his leadership, and takes note of the Advisory Group’s report.

Chairperson,

1.    At the recently concluded 2015 NPT Review Conference, as a Member of the New Agenda Coalition South Africa has supported the NAC’s position that “The Conference should agree that the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is a vital element of the international nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation regime and, in that regard, call for the upholding and maintenance of the moratorium on nuclear-weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions pending the entry into force of the Treaty”. South Africa believes that such a moratorium cannot replace the commitments under the legally-binding CTBT, and we therefore reiterate our view that ratification by the Article XIV States remains a priority.

2.    My delegation notes with concern the efforts from several States Signatories towards the completion and provisional operationalization of the on-site inspection (OSI) regime, as highlighted in the final President’s summary of the NPT Review Conference. South Africa would however, reiterate that the Treaty text is very clear that the OSI regime will only become operational upon entry into force of the Treaty. My delegation therefore continues to believe that nothing should be done to re-interpret the Treaty text, and that such practice could undermine and erode the credibility of the Commission.

Chairperson,

3.    My delegation takes note of the Advisory Group report and supports its recommendations regarding the introduction of multiyear funding in the PTS and the proposed required amendments to the Financial Regulations and Rules. South Africa believes that the introduction of this modality will contribute to the smooth functioning of the PTS.

4.    South Africa appreciates the PTS’ work in preparing the documentation in preparation of the first biennial budget for 2016-2017. We further acknowledge the recommendations by the Advisory Group regarding the introduction of biennial budgeting as well as the proposed amendments to the Financial Regulations and Rules pertaining thereto. We believe that introducing biennial budgeting has potential benefits, including “easing the workload both of the PTS and of States Signatories, enhancing efficiencies in the PTS.”

Chairperson,

5.    My delegation is appreciative of the PTS’ capacity building and training activities and encourages their continuation. In particular, we commend the contributions by States Signatories to the “pilot project”, which facilitates the participation of experts from developing countries to participate in the WGB sessions. We believe this process will go a long way to share know-how regarding the technical aspects of the Treaty on a wider level to all regions of States Parties.

6.    South Africa is also looking forward to the 2015 Scientific and Technology Conference (S&T2015) in June, 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. 

Thank you,

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