Statement by Counsellor Nobutaka Sawada at the Fifty-Eighth Session of Working Group A of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO

Thank you, Mr. Chair,
At the outset, my delegation would like to appreciate H.E. Mr. Sivagurunathan for taking duty of the Chair of this WGA session. Let me also thank the Executive Secretary, Dr. Lassina Zerbo for his opening remarks.
We hope that a consensus will be reached on urgent and important issues during these challenging times, especially on the 2021 Budget update proposals.
[EIF and Universalization]
Mr. Chairperson,
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tenth anniversary of the Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of the CTBT was unable to be held. Therefore, we released a video on October 1st, containing messages from United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres and the Executive Secretary, Dr. Lassina Zerbo as well as the Foreign Ministers of the Friends of the CTBT. We hope that this effort will contribute to building up and enhancing a political momentum towards the early entry into force of the CTBT and its universalization.
As stated by Foreign Minister MOTEGI Toshimitsu in the video message, we must promote the entry into force of the CTBT and strengthen its monitoring capabilities to deter nuclear tests in order to never repeat the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Japan attaches great importance to human resource development, which is key to reinforcing the verification regime. In this context, since 1996, Japan has received 271 trainees from 79 States and equipped them with the necessary skills to engage in International Monitoring System operations. We will continue such efforts.
[North Korea]
Mr. Chairperson,
Japan is deeply concerned about North Korea’s continued development of nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities. Japan reaffirms its strong commitment to working with the international community in achieving complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of all of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, ballistic missiles of all ranges as well as related programs and facilities in accordance with relevant UNSCRs. We call upon North Korea to come into full compliance with the NPT and the IAEA safeguards and to sign and ratify the CTBT. We also call on all States to fully implement relevant UNSCRs.
[Budget Update]
Mr. Chairperson,
We appreciate the PTS for preparing the final draft of the 2021 budget update proposals. Japan's basic stance on the budget of the international organizations across the board is well known and remains unchanged. Given the austerity measures taken under severe budgetary circumstances, we welcome the PTS’s continued efforts to implement cost-saving and efficiency measures, and request the PTS to continue such endeavors.
At the same time, it is crucial to allocate adequate resources for the verification regime in order to accurately detect nuclear tests. Taking into consideration the importance of implementing the mandate of the CTBTO and the PTS's cost-saving and efficiency measures, we are ready to come to a consensus decision on the proposal before us.
[Human Resources]
Mr. Chairperson,
With regard to human resource management, Japan thanks the PTS for issuing the 2019 human resources management report. Japan welcomes the efforts undertaken by the PTS in order to achieve gender balance. We strongly encourage the PTS to continue to place gender balance as a high priority at all levels.
Thank you.