Statement by H.E. Mr. Mitsuru Kitano, Permanent Representative, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna at the Forty-Seventh Session of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO

Thank you, Mr. Chairman,

On the outset, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Ambassador Christian Istrate of Romania for your dedicated chairmanship of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO for 2016.

I would also like to thank the Executive Secretary, Dr. Lassina Zerbo, for his continued work to advance the Treaty. We highly appreciate his tireless and determined efforts to facilitate the early entry into force and universalization of the Treaty and achieve progress toward the completion of the verification regime. In this regard, I am delighted to state that Japan endorses the renewal of his appointment for an additional period of four years.
[Budget Proposal]

Mr. Chairman,

With regard to the 2017 budget update proposals, 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.

Given the ongoing austerity environment, we appreciate and further request the PTS’s continued efforts to implement cost-saving and efficiency measures.

On the biennial 2018-2019 Program and Budget, we expect that priority is given to the further build-up of the verification regime, including the completion of the International Monitoring System (IMS), and balanced development of all verification related components. We will actively engage in discussions on the next biennial program and budget in the upcoming sessions of the Preparatory Commission and its subsidiary bodies.
[Verification Regime]

Mr. Chairman,

Regarding the agenda item of the report of Working Group B, we would like to express our support for the report of the 47th session of Working Group B by the chairperson of the WGB and his tireless efforts in finding consensus among state signatories even after the session. My delegation looks forward to further discussion on this matter at this session.

As for the establishment of a permanent ESMF, we recognize the importance of constructing such a facility and thus support its establishment by utilizing the 2014 cash surplus.

Furthermore, Japan supports PTS’s proposal on the utilizing of the cash surplus for intensified capacity building activities. On this point, I would like to announce that Japan will organize the JICA Global Seismological Observation Training course from January to March 2017, doubling the number of trainees to be invited to the course to twenty-three.
[Implementation of new compensation package]

Mr. Chairman,

With regard to the implementation of the new compensation package, my delegation supports the implementation of statute of ICSC and the corresponding changes to the Staff Regulations and Rules as recommended by the WGA (CTBT/PC-47/WGA/1).
[Nuclear Tests by North Korea]

Mr. Chairman,

Concerning nuclear tests by North Korea, Japan condemns in the strongest terms the recent nuclear tests by North Korea on 6 January and 9 September 2016.

We appreciate that in response to these nuclear tests, meetings of the Preparatory Commission as well as technical briefings by the PTS were held in a prompt and professional manner.

These tests by DPRK proved, once again, the CTBTO’s unique and important contribution to world-wide efforts toward nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, as well as the urgent need for the Treaty’s entry into force.

[Entry into Force of the Treaty]

Mr. Chairman,

As we commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the opening for signature of the CTBT this year, we have witnessed some important progress made toward its entry into force and universalization. This includes the successful holding of the Eighth CTBT Ministerial Meeting in New York, the adoption of UNSC Resolution 2310 and the UNGA First Committee resolution on the CTBT, expected to be adopted by the UNGA in December.
In this regard, we call upon those countries that have not yet done so, particularly the remaining Annex II States, to ratify the Treaty without further delay.

Building upon ongoing efforts by the international community, we would like to propose to hold an Article XIV conference in New York in September 2017. In this connection, we also hope that a decision on its financing will be made during the current session of the Preparatory Commission.

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.

[Closing remarks]

Mr. Chairman,

To conclude, at its historical juncture of the twentieth year, State Signatories have very important decisions to make during the current session of the Commission. My delegation will spare no effort in achieving real progress in support of the Treaty and its verification regime.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.