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16. November 2015

AFRICAN GROUP STATEMENT DELIVERED BY AMBASSADOR TEBOGO SEOKOLO, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF SOUTH AFRICA TO THE CTBTO, AT THE 45TH SESSION OF THE PREPARATORY COMMISSION, FROM 16 TO 18 NOVEMBER 2015

Mr. Chairman

1.         Allow me on behalf of the African Group to take this opportunity to thank you for presiding over the 45th Session of the Preparatory Commission. The Group would like to assure you of its full cooperation for the successful conclusion of our deliberations.

2.         The African Group associates itself with the statement delivered on behalf of the Group of 77 and China by the Permanent Representative of Chile.

3.         The Group expresses its appreciation to the Executive Secretary, Mr. Lassina Zerbo, for his opening statement and takes note of his report. We further thank the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) for the preparation of this meeting.

Mr. Chairman

4.         The Group takes note of the 9th Conference on Article XIV Process held in New York, on 29 September 2015, which sought to promote the universalization of the Treaty and facilitating its entry into force. In this regard, the Group calls upon the remaining States to sign and/ratify the Treaty. To this end, the Group would like to thank Japan and Kazakhstan for all the efforts exerted during the negotiations of the Declaration.

5.         In addition, the Group also notes the activities undertaken by the PTS in promoting the entry into force of the Treaty. It is the Group’s view that these activities will continue to promote the momentum towards the entry into force of the Treaty as well as to place the prohibition of the testing of nuclear weapons at the heart of the International agenda.

Mr. Chairman

6.         With regard to Agenda item 3, referring to the report of Working Group A (WGA), the African Group welcomes the report and its recommendations contained therein. In this regard, the Group expresses its gratitude to Ambassador Azeez for his leadership and dedication demonstrated during his tenure as the Chair of the Working Group.  

7.         On the draft Programme and Budget for 2016-2017, the Group thanks the PTS for the initial proposal and its annexes. The Group appreciates the briefings provided to States Signatories on this matter. The Group welcomes the decision of WGA which recommended to this session the adoption of the final draft Programme and Budget for 2016-2017 and funds to be established under the proposed Multi-Year Funding.

Mr. Chairman

8.         The African Group thanks Ambassador Ayoko as chair of the 45th Session of Working Group B, for his efforts and leadership. The Group notes with concern that the report of the Working Group could not be adopted. It is the expectation of the African Group that an amicable solution will be found in this regard.

Mr. Chairman

9.         The African Group welcomes the continued efforts of the PTS to strengthen capacity-building and facilitate training activities particularly for scientists from developing countries and the African Continent in particular. In this regard, the Group reiterates its view that the Pilot Project on capacity-building for scientist from developing countries should be retained and strengthened. The Group note with appreciation the continued support from donor countries, and call upon States to continue to provide extra-budgetary resources in this regard.

Mr. Chairman

10.       The Group notes with concern that no consensus was reached despite the intensive efforts of the Chair of the Preparatory Commission, Ambassador Ayoko on the process and procedure for the appointment of Chairpersons and Vice Chairpersons for the subsidiary bodies of the Commission.

11.       The Group further recall the decision of the Preparatory Commission at its 43rd Session to appoint chairs and vice chairs of the subsidiary bodies in the absence of a consensus at the 45th Session and therefore reiterate the importance of appointing Chairpersons and vice chairpersons for the subsidiary body of the Commission during this session, we believe that such appointment will improve the efficiency of the Working Groups.

Mr. Chairman

12.       Pertaining to Agenda Item 8, the Group welcomes the decision of the PrepCom at its 44th Session on the appointment of the facilitator for the forthcoming 20th Anniversary of the CTBTO. The Group thanks Ambassador of Romania for the informal consultation held on 20 October 2015. The Group looks forward to further consultations on the Anniversary.

13.       The Group notes the recommendation made by the Executive Secretary to extend the term of office of Mr. Genxin Li, the Director of Legal and External Relations Division  for a period of 12 months.

14.       In conclusion, our special gratitude to Ambassador Ayoko for chairing the Commission in a very professional manner. The Group wishes you all the best in your future endeavour.

I thank you.

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