Agenda item 4 Strategic management, budgetary and administrative questions: “(b) Directives on policy and budgetary issues for the drug programme of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime” Statement by Mr.Jun Yanagi, Minister, Permanent Mission of Japan

Thank you, Madam Chair.
At the outset I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you, Madam Chair, for your dedicated work as Chair of this Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO. I would also like to thank the Executive Secretary, Dr. Lassina Zerbo, for his comprehensive opening remarks.
Madam Chair,
We attach importance to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) as an effective and realistic measure for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Yesterday (1st of July) was the day the NPT was opened for signature fifty years ago. I would like to highlight the importance of the CTBT also in the context of the NPT. Unfortunately the CTBT has not yet entered into force, and is faced with various challenges. Nevertheless, States Signatories should continue exerting their utmost efforts to promote the CTBT. To this end, we must bear in mind the following three points. First, we should reaffirm the importance of the CTBT wherever and whenever possible. Second, we should avoid backsliding from our existing efforts. And third, we should make efforts to advance the CTBT in every aspect.
In this connection, I welcome the recent developments in Thailand towards ratification of the Treaty. We hope that the process will be finalized soon. Growth in the number of ratifying states demonstrates the advancement of the CTBT. In addition to our efforts for the early entry into force of the Treaty, we should further our existing efforts towards its universalization.
Madam Chair,
Concerning North Korea, it is meaningful, at the U.S.-North Korea summit held in Singapore on June 12th, that North Korea reiterated its intention for complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and made a clear promise to do so in a written form. Japan supports the outcome of the summit and expresses its respect for the efforts of the United States.
In order to urge North Korea to take concrete actions, Japan will make its efforts to achieve the CVID of North Korea, under close and thorough coordination between Japan and the United States as well as among Japan, the United States and the ROK, while cooperating with the international community including Russia and China.  In this context, we reiterate our call for North Korea to sign and ratify the CTBT.
Madam Chair,
We thank the PTS for its explanation of the 2019 budget update proposals. Japan's basic stance on the budget of international organizations (ZNG) across the board is well known and remains unchanged.
In this regard, we appreciate the efforts of the PTS to review priorities leading to total savings and reprioritizations of 4.1 million USD for 2019, while maintaining and strengthening an effective verification regime. Japan encourages the PTS to  seek additional cost-saving and efficiency measures on continuous basis in order to make most efficient use of the contributions from States Signatories.
We will continue to review the budget update proposals carefully in view of adopting the budget at the next session of the Commission in November.
Madam Chair,
Regarding the Provident Fund issue, unfortunately, there is no perfect solution. We have spent considerable time in finding the best way forward, paying due respect to the interests of both staff and States Signatories. Our view is that the Provident Fund is not sustainable beyond the short term, and joining the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF) is the only viable solution among the available alternatives.
Japan supports the decision to join the UN Pension Fund at this Session while this option is at our disposal. I would like to remind fellow colleagues that, if no decision is taken at this session, it would undermine not only the reliance of the staff on its social security but also the attractiveness and effectiveness of the CTBTO.
Madam Chair,
We support the appointment of H.E. Ambassador Bouchaara of Morroco for the Chairperson of the WGA. We also support the appointment of two directors. We also welcome this from the standpoint of gender perspective, as mentioned by the Executive Secretary.
Madam Chair,
Entry into force of the CTBT continues to be a matter of great importance. We renew our call to all states that have not yet done so, particularly the eight remaining Annex 2 states, to sign and ratify the CTBT without further delay.
We commend the efforts being undertaken by Belgium and Iraq, as the Co-Coordinators of the Article XIV Conference. We will continue to work closely with the Co-Coordinators in considering and deciding on measures to accelerate the ratification process in order to facilitate the early entry into force of this Treaty.
This year, the Friends of the CTBT will hold the 9th Ministerial Meeting in September in New York. We believe that this meeting will provide an opportunity to reinforce the political momentum towards the entry into force of the Treaty. In this connection, Japan also finds it important to study possible measures to advance the CTBT. Working closely with the Co-Coordinators, Madam Chair of the Preparatory Commission, the Executive Secretary of the PTS, and other States Signatories, we will do our utmost to make this Ministerial Meeting successful.
I thank you, Madam Chair.