Skip to content .

Service navigation

Main Navigation


Further information

Link to opens in a new window


Statements in International Organisations


OSCE – CTBTO: 33rd Session of Working Group A 2 -4 June 2008

Statement by Slovenia on behalf of the European Union (as delivered, 2-6-2008)


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

Mr. Chairman,

2. At the outset the European Union would like to thank the Secretariat for their valuable work in preparing the Programme and Budget Performance Report 2007 and the Initial draft of the 2009 Programme and Budget Proposals. We would also like to thank the Executive Secretary for his written and oral reports and the External Auditor and the Internal Auditor for their reports. Furthermore, we express appreciation to the work of the Advisory Group.

3. The EU sees the Programme and Budget Performance Report (PBPR) 2007 as a comprehensive document that offers a valuable insight into the organizational, financial and programmatic performance undertaken by the PTS in 2007. The EU welcomes the structural changes introduced in the PBPR 2007 and also supports proposals of the Advisory Group for further improvements in preparation of the 2008 Programme and Budget Performance Report. We recommend the introduction of benchmarks for each key performance indicator in future PBPRs in order to evaluate the pace of implementation of individual programmes and projects in relation to their expected results.

4. The EU welcomes significant progress achieved in installation of International Monitoring network: by the end of the year 2007 249 IMS stations and 16 noble gas systems had been established. Furthermore, 30 monitoring stations and one radionuclide laboratory were certified, bringing the total number of certified stations to 214 (67% of the network) and the number of certified radionuclide laboratories to ten (63%). Five additional stations were certified in the first four months of the year 2008, thus bringing the total number of certified facilities to 229. The EU considers the continued progressive development of the IMS network as well as its operation and maintenance as a very important issue.

5. We welcome the fact that the number of States that fully paid their assessed contributions increased from 78 at the end of 2006 to 99 States at the end of 2007. Although the financial situation has slightly improved, the EU remains highly concerned over the growing amount of outstanding assessed contributions. The collection rate has deteriorated since 2006: on a cumulative basis the arrears have reached an alarming 51.3 million USD at the end of 2007. We therefore reiterate our call to all States Signatories to meet their financial obligations in full, on time and without conditions.

6. In this view the EU endorses the AG recommendation that “the PTS undertake a systematic review of uncollected assessed contributions and consider the potential impact on programme activity of failure to recover these balances.” The EU reiterates its view that payment plans for countries with long standing arrears can be a suitable mechanism to take care of this situation. We understand that the PTS is working on payment plans with a number of countries and look forward to receiving these plans for Preparatory Commission approval.

7. The EU understands the rationale behind the PTS proposal to modify the financial rules to introduce a mechanism to mitigate the impact of possible future funding shortfalls. We believe there is a need to take a decision on this issue in the November Preparatory Commission. This decision should be taken in the light of information on the implementation of this year's deferred programme and the PTS's assessment of what may be required in terms of a possible deferred programme for 2009.

8. The EU is of the view that containment of post-certification activities (PCA) costs remains a serious challenge to keep future budgets sustainable. Therefore we support the recommendations put forward by the Advisory Group at its thirtieth session, including the  establishment of standard cost indicators for the initial testing phase on a station by station basis; review of sole source contracts; introduction of multiyear PCA contracts and risk assessment of future PCA costs.

With a view to properly manage the costs of the stations  we support the Advisory Group's recommendation that the PTS, as a matter of priority, take forward the completion of an appropriate set of instructions to insure necessary clarity and improved control over the costs to be funded by the PTS.

Even though inflationary pressures appear not to be an imminent threat regarding PCA costs, the PTS should work to contain these pressures in the context of a zero real growth budget. The EU appreciates the work done so far by the Secretariat and is looking forward to a comprehensive analysis of PCA costs with detailed proposals, clear framework and standardization of contracts. The PTS should have the option to submit requests for increases in PCA costs to a value for money audit as necessary. We recognize that this exercise is a joint responsibility of both the Secretariat and States Signatories.

9. The EU would like to thank the Internal Auditor for the summary of his activities in 2006 and 2007, which in future will be prepared on an annual basis. This document, among others, reports on the audit of PCA contracts and on the audit of unliquidated obligations of the Capital Investment Fund issued between 1999 and 2005. We hope the Internal Audit Section will be strengthened and that vacant positions in the section will be filled without further delay.

Mr. Chairman,

10. The EU sees the Initial draft 2009 Programme and Budget Proposals as a good basis for further discussion. We reiterate our view that budgets should be programme driven. The primary focus of funding should be operation and maintenance of the IMS network, the second priority the completion of the IMS build-up and the third priority the upgrading of the OSI regime, through the implementation of the OSI strategic plan, to the same level of operative readiness as the IDC and the IMS upon Entry into Force. Nevertheless, we are concerned that the anticipated increase in 2009 UNOV conference services costs is not covered in the draft budget proposal. This increase will, however, need to be funded bearing in mind the number of meeting days in 2008 is exceptionally low because of the Integrated Field Exercise 08.

11. The EU welcomes the Medium Term Plan 2009 – 2013 which sets out a clear and realistic perspective of the medium term programme and budget planning. The MTP contains strategic goals, activities and measurement of performance with key performance indicators (KPIs), thus representing a valuable platform and guidance for States Signatories in discussing and making decisions on programmatic and budgetary issues. As mentioned earlier concerning the PBPR, we recommend the adoption of benchmarks for each key performance indicator in order for Member States to monitor the implementation of different projects when examining the PBPR and evaluating the forthcoming budget proposals.

12. The EU notes with satisfaction a set of new features and improvements in the initial draft programme and Budget 2009 as they increase clarity and consistency of the document and represent a transition towards results based management. Among high priority activities let us mention that sustainment costs of IMS stations in 2009 are expected to reach 13.6 million USD. The EU proposes that the PTS prepares a plan of sustainment needs on a station-by-station basis over several years. This would provide a better basis for decisions on the necessary funding for sustainment each year as part of the annual budget process.

13. The EU agrees to authorise the PTS to initiate the necessary planning and analysis required to make the transition to International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and to investigate the most cost effective solution for migration to an IPSAS-compliant Enterprise Resource Planning system, as recommended by the Advisory Group. Given that UN agencies and several other international organisations plan to adopt and implement IPSAS by 2010, we call on the PTS to explore all possibilities that will ensure a smooth transition to IPSAS. In doing so, the EU would encourage the PTS to consider an incremental approach, in which lessons can be learned from other Vienna-based international organisations which have gone through the same procedure, and in which the utmost transparency to the Signatory States will be observed.

14. To conclude, Mr. Chairman, we would like to reassure you of our full support in the endeavour to reach satisfactory conclusions on all important matters in front of us.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


* Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process


Accessibility     . Print     .

Date: 09.06.2008