Statement by H.E. Mr. Mitsuru Kitano, Permanent Representative, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan, at the Forty-Ninth Session of Working Group A of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO

Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
Let me begin by congratulating you, Mr. Chairman, for your appointment and assuring you, Mr. Chairman, that Japan stands ready to work constructively on the important issues on our agenda. I would also like to thank you and the PTS for preparing this meeting and the Executive Secretary for his opening remarks and reports. 
[Report of the Executive Secretary]
Mr. Chairman,

We commend the Executive Secretary for his dedicated efforts to move forward with the establishment of the IMS network globally. We welcome, above all, the beginning of the construction of the infrasound station IS20 and the radionuclide station RN24 in Ecuador, both to be located on the Galapagos Islands.
[Review of the Advisory Group recommendations]
Mr. Chairman,

We appreciate the work of the Advisory Group (AG) and take note of the report of the Forty-Sixth session of the AG. The report provides a good basis for the WGA discussion, for instance on the 2017 budget update proposals and on the recommendations based on the report of the External Auditor.

We commend the PTS for the successful implementation of the IPSAS compliant ERP system.
[2017 Budget update proposals]
Mr. Chairman,

We appreciate the work of the PTS on the 2017 budget update proposals and we thank the Chairman of WGA for convening a useful informal briefing to further discuss these proposals.

Given the persistent austerity environment, we welcome the PTS’s continued efforts to implement cost-saving, efficiency measures and reprioritization, totaling 3 million USD for the year 2017.  
We will continue to examine the content of this document based on the detailed explanations provided at the briefing, and we will actively engage in discussions.
[Human resources in the PTS]

Mr. Chairman,

To ensure that the organization can effectively carry out its important work, it is essential to make further sustained efforts to recruit qualified personnel to fill the vacant positions. We commend the PTS for the various efforts being undertaken as reported in the 2015 Human Resources Management Report.

We are pleased to announce that Japan has contributed by sending two Japanese cost-free experts in hydroacoustics. Moreover, for the first time Japan has decided to send a JPO candidate for the position of Associate Procurement Officer in the near future.

We commend the PTS for its commitment to achieving gender balance in the organization and for having reached female representation of 42% overall, and 34% in the professional positions.
[20th anniversary of the CTBT]

Mr. Chairman,

This year we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the opening for signature of the CTBT and the establishment of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO. Concerted efforts beyond business-as-usual are essential to make the best use of the heightened public attention, thanks to the 20th anniversary activities.

On 13 June 2016, a Ministerial Meeting will be held in Vienna and in September 2016 the Friends of the CTBT Ministerial Meeting will be held in New York. These are important occasions to raise awareness and reinforce the political momentum towards entry into force (EIF) of the Treaty.
With regard to the June Ministerial Meeting, we are pleased to announce that the Government of Japan made a voluntary contribution for the exhibited items to be shown in June 2016 in the Rotunda at the VIC. 

Japan and Kazakhstan, as the Article XIV co-coordinators, have been exerting efforts towards achieving EIF and universalization of the Treaty, for instance, by issuing several joint statements such as the statement on the occasion of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington D.C., and by jointly and individually reaching out to the remaining Annex 2 states to highlight the importance of achieving EIF.

To further raise awareness on the CTBT on the occasion of the 20th anniversary, we are pleased to announce that the Government of Japan, on behalf of the Co-organizers, invited the CTBTO to the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) VI to be held on 27 and 28 August 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. We welcome this excellent opportunity to promote the important work of the CTBTO, including the capacity building efforts as well as the civil and scientific applications of the products and data of the CTBT verification regime.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.