Statement by the Delegation of Japan at the 26th Session of the Joint Meeting of Working Groups A and B of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO

Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
At the outset, I would like to thank you, Distinguished Co-Chairs, for your efforts to lead and coordinate the current joint session. Let me also thank Executive Secretary Dr. Zerbo for his opening statement.
[Programme & Budget]

Mr. Chairman,
The Government of Japan appreciates the PTS for the issuance of 2017 Budget Update Proposals. We see it implements some of the recommendations by the Advisory Group and look forward to engaging in further discussions.

With regard to the 2018-2019 Programme and Budget, we believe it is essential for WGB to provide technical guidance to the Preparatory Commission with priorities placed on early completion and sustainment of the verification regime, as well as fulfilling the capacity building needs.

Like many other countries, the Government of Japan continues to implement financial austerity measures and our basic stance on budget of international organizations across the board remains the same. We therefore appreciate the efforts of the PTS to prioritize projects and would like to reiterate our request to the PTS to explore the possibility of achieving maximum efficiencies.
[Equipment Storage and Maintenance Facility (ESMF)]

Mr. Chairman,
With regard to the ESMF, Japan commends the PTS for its work on finding a temporary solution and recognizes the importance of a permanent facility.

We take note of the recent proposal for funding the permanent ESMF and would appreciate to receive further clarification, for instance, on the detailed plan, timeline, and rationale for utilization of the unspent balance.
[Human Resources]

Mr. Chairman,
With regard to Human Resources, we believe it is essential to make further sustained efforts to recruit qualified personnel to fill the vacant positions to ensure that the organization can effectively carry out its important work.

Mr. Chairman,
Japan, together with other co-organizers, held the Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD VI, in Kenya on 27-28 August. The CTBTO was invited to the Meeting for the first time, in recognition of the CTBTO’s role in fostering African development. Taking this opportunity, our delegation thanks the Executive Secretary Dr. Zerbo for his attendance to the Meeting.
[Promotion of Entry into Force of the Treaty]

Mr. Chairman,
This month marks precisely the 20th anniversary since the opening for signature of the CTBT. As the CTBT is one of the most important and practical measures to advance nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, promotion of its entry into force (EIF) without further delay is of vital importance.

In this regard, Japan welcomes the recent ratification of the CTBT by the Kingdom of Swaziland and Myanmar.

As the Co-coordinator of the Article XIV process from 2015-2017, Japan together with Kazakhstan are cooperating closely in order to implement the concrete measures as outlined in our Action Plan to facilitate the EIF and universalization of the Treaty.

I would also like to inform you that Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Japan and the Netherlands will convene the Eighth CTBT Ministerial Meeting at 11:30 on 21 September in New York to further increase the momentum towards EIF of the CTBT. We would like to strongly encourage other ministerial level attendance to the Meeting. The draft Joint Statement was circulated at the informal meeting on 5 August and the final version will be circulated closer to the Meeting. Our delegation kindly asks States Signatories to endorse the joint statement to be adopted at the Meeting that will be registered as a UN document.

Mr. Chairman,
To conclude, we look forward to a fruitful 26th session of the Joint Meeting of WGA and WGB, and would like to reiterate our continued commitment to engage with the PTS and States Signatories on the important issues on our agenda.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.