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

Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
Let me take this opportunity to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your dedicated work as the Chair of Working Group A. We will provide our full support as you exercise your chairmanship. I would also like to express our sincere appreciation to the Executive Secretary, Dr. Lassina Zerbo, for his opening remarks.
[2017 Budget Update]
Mr. Chairman,
 We appreciate that the PTS has issued the revised 2017 budget update proposals and provided further explanations on price adjustments made to the 2017 budget. Given the persistent austerity environment, we welcome the PTS’s continued efforts to implement cost-saving and efficiency measures, totalling 3 million USD for the year 2017, and request the PTS to continue such efforts. Japan further welcomes the Executive Secretary’s readiness to make wise and efficient use of the budget.
Regarding the budget level, Japan’s common policy toward all international organizations across the board remains the same. However, considering the critical importance of fulfilling the CTBTO’s mandate, and in light of the substantial efforts of the PTS for additional saving measures and other initiatives for efficiencies of the budget, Japan is ready to join the consensus on the budget update proposals.
[2014 Cash Surplus]
With regard to the 2014 cash surplus, Japan takes note of PTS’s proposal for States Signatories to surrender the cash surplus from the 2014 budget to fund three items of great importance for the work of the CTBTO: namely, the establishment of a permanent ESMF, capacity building and an Article XIV conference in 2017.
Given the importance of establishing a permanent ESMF, Japan is ready to actively engage in further discussions on this matter during the current session of Working Group A as well as in the upcoming session of the Preparatory Commission. As for the timeline of the project, we consider it essential to complete the construction of the facility and move all equipment into it by the end of 2018.
In relation to the 2014 cash surplus, Japan would also like to express its support for the PTS’s proposal on the financing of an Article XIV conference in 2017 by utilizing the 2014 cash surplus and calls for the support of all States Signatories.
[Implementation of ICSC Compensation Package Changes]
Mr. Chairman,
As for the PTS’s proposal on the implementation of the ICSC Compensation Package changes based on UNGA resolution (A/RES/70/244), we agree that such changes would allow the CTBTO Staff Regulations and Rules to be aligned with those of the UN Common System and thus help the CTBTO avoid any future disputes that might arise from their inconsistencies.
Japan is of the view that the implementation of the new compensation package will serve a useful purpose and we support the proposal in this regard.
[Eighth CTBT Ministerial Meeting]
Mr. Chairman,
The CTBT Friends Countries, Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Japan and the Netherlands, in cooperation with the Co-Coordinators of the Article XIV process, organized the Eighth CTBT Ministerial Meeting in New York on 21 September. The meeting was a great success with distinguished participants from over 100 countries, including more than 30 foreign ministers as registration bases. Furthermore, we had the honour to welcome the participation of UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, during the Meeting.
The Ministerial Meeting issued a Joint Ministerial Statement on the CTBT. Currently approximately 70 U.N. Member States have already associated themselves with it. We believe that the Joint Statement generated political momentum towards the early entry into force and universalization of the Treaty.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all countries that participated in the Meeting. We would also like to invite all countries that have not done so to consider associating themselves with the Joint Statement which will be registered as a UN document as soon as possible.
[Universalization and Entry into Force of the Treaty]
Mr. Chairman,
Regarding the universalization and entry into force of the treaty, Japan welcomes the recent ratification by Swaziland and Myanmar, which increases the number of ratifying states now to 166. Such progress toward universalization of the Treaty will help reinforce the norm against nuclear testing. In this respect, we would like to call upon those countries that have not yet done so, especially the remaining Annex II countries, to ratify the Treaty without further delay. In this context, Japan welcomes the adoption of UNSC Resolution 2310 on 23 September.
 [Nuclear Testing by DPRK]
Mr. Chairman,
Japan condemns, in the strongest terms, the recent nuclear tests by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on 6 January and 9 September 2016. These nuclear tests by DPRK proved, once again, the importance of the verification regime, including On-Site Inspections, which will only become possible after the CTBT’s entry into force.
To this end, Japan, together with Kazakhstan, as the Co-Coordinators of the Article XIV process, will continue our dedicated efforts to promote the entry into force and universalization of the Treaty.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.