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Statements in International Organisations


30th Session of Working Group B for the CTBTO (Vienna)

Statement by Slovenia on behalf of the European Union


1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Candidate Countries Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia1 and Turkey, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, the EFTA country Iceland, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Moldova and Ukraine, associate themselves with this statement.

2. The European Union would like to thank the Executive Secretary for his written and oral reports, to the Secretariat and to the WGB Chair for their committed work in preparation for this session.


Mr. Chairman,

3. The EU notes with satisfaction that, as of December 31st 2007, the total number of certified stations has reached 214 and ten laboratories, and continues to rise steadily. We congratulate the PTS on this progress. We expect the goal of 90% operational readiness set in the 2008 programme and budget to be reached by the end of this year and urge all States Signatories to provide the PTS with the necessary technical, political and financial support.

4. The EU welcomes the work done within the international noble gas experiment (INGE), the continuation of a smooth transition to the new GCI contract and the measures taken to maintain the quality, completeness and timeliness of the IDC standard products in accordance with existing targets. The EU remains concerned over the serious impact of the tenure policy on the IDC division as highlighted in the Executive Secretarys report.


Mr. Chairman,

5. The EU considers on-site inspection (OSI) as an integral part of the overall Verification Regime of the CTBT. Therefore we support any effort to strengthen the work to finalize the development of a draft OSI-Manual. In this regard 2008 is a milestone on the way to completion of this very important task. After the successful development of the OSI-Test Manual we are now keen to experience the Integrated Field Exercise (IFE08) as a first comprehensive attempt to practice OSI, simulated under almost real conditions.

6. The EU is convinced that the results of a professionally prepared and performed Integrated Field Exercise 2008 in Kazakhstan, as well as a thorough evaluation of its outcome, will enhance the work of the OSI specialists on the draft OSI-Manual. This will lay a solid foundation for work on the Model Text of the OSI Manual, which will begin in 2009.

7. To achieve this goal it is of the highest importance that all preparatory tasks for IFE08 are performed in a timely manner and with the necessary priorities. The EU will closely monitor all respective activities of the PTS and is ready to assist. Furthermore, the EU recalls that it has provided a financial contribution of 700.000 to support the preparations for and the conduct of the IFE08.


Mr. Chairman,

8. Since it is more than ten years since the CTBT was opened for signature, the EU sees a need to explore further enhancements to the acknowledged high performance of the International Monitoring System (IMS). More efficient detection, effective localization, and careful analyst review at the IDC are likely to increase the quality of the event screening process. Therefore, the EU supports all efforts of the PTS to complete the IMS network of stations, to ensure that there are sufficient resources to sustain interactive analyst review over the medium- to long-term, and to further develop event screening procedures.

9. The EU welcomes the CTBT-International Scientific Assessment (ISA) initiative by the PTS, inter alia, as a useful follow up to the ambitions that were introduced during the ten-year anniversary CTBT symposium in 2006 and supports the intent to involve a broad number of institutions related to CTBT verification technology. Also promising is the proposal to engage well recognized scientists outside the close circle of the PTS and National Authorities into this initiative.

10. Questions related to the accuracy and the efficiency of the CTBT verification regime will no doubt be a consideration for the few remaining states still to sign and ratify the Treaty. Therefore we believe it is appropriate to highlight considerable technical and scientific advances and to evaluate the development of the CTBT verification regime as a complement to efforts made towards entry into force of the CTBT.

11. The EU welcomes the progress achieved in the integration of noble gas systems into IMS provisional operations. We request WGB to continue to attach priority to the tasks needed for this purpose. We recall that we consider necessary to develop certification requirements for noble gas systems, noting that, even if not applied formally, these procedures will help ensure that the systems operate reliably and comply with the minimum requirements for IMS verification purposes.

12. The EU would like to commend the PTS for its proposals to contain post-certification activities (PCA) costs. The EU sees this as a crucial issue, in particular to keep future budgets sustainable. Given the high growth rate of PCA costs in recent years we strongly advocate that WGB should resolve all technical implications of the proposal at this meeting so that WGA can make appropriate recommendations to be adopted by the June Preparatory Commission. With this schedule, the proposals could thus be taken into account in the planning process for the 2009 programme and budget.


Mr Chairman,

13. The EU continues to attach great importance to the universalisation of the CTBT verification system and would like to take this opportunity to mention that a new EU Joint Action is currently under discussion. This will focus on NDC capacity building in Africa. The aim of the draft project is to increase access in African countries to CTBTO data and products in order to improve participation of African states in the CTBT verification system and its civilian and scientific benefits. It will also strengthen interaction and cooperation between the CTBTO and scientific institutions in Africa. We hope to provide more details of the project at the next WGB session.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

[1] Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.


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Date: 07.05.2008