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Statements in International Organisations


OSCE - CTBTO: Joint Meeting of Working Group A and Working Group B

Statement by Slovenia on behalf of the European Union (as delivered, 30 May 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. 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 remarks.

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. 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 System (IMS): 249 IMS stations and 16 noble gas systems had been built by the end of the year 2007.  With 30 monitoring stations and one radionuclide laboratory certified, brought the total number of certified stations to 214 (67% of the total 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. 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 and the amount has 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. The EU is of the view that containment of post-certification activities (PCA) costs remains a serious challenge to keep future budgets sustainable. The PTS should, together with PMOs and station operators, work to contain inflationary pressures on PCA costs in the context of a zero real growth budget. We shall take up this issue more in detail in our statement at the WGA session next week.

Mr. Chairman,

7. 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 first priority 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 to the same level of operative readiness as the IDC and the IMS upon Entry into Force.

8. 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 represents 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.

9. New features and improvements in the initial draft Programme and Budget 2009 increase clarity and consistency of the document and represent a transition towards results based management. 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 IFE 08.

10. 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.

11. Mr. Chairman, let me conclude by expressing the EU's full cooperation and support for the successful work of this meeting.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


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


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Date: 09.06.2008