Statement by Ambassador Mr. Atsushi KAIFU at the 61st Session of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO
Thank you, Chair.
It is a great honor for me to attend the Preparatory Commission, as this is my first meeting as the Permanent Representative of Japan. Let me first thank you, Ambassador Benno Laggner, for your able leadership, and the Provisional Technical Secretariat of the Preparatory Commission for its dedicated work in holding this 61st Session of the Preparatory Commission. My appreciation also goes to the Chairs of Working Group A, Ambassador Nguyen Trung Kien of Vietnam, and of Working Group B, Mr. Erlan Batyrbekov of Kazakhstan, as well as the Chair of the Advisory Group, Ms. Rashmi Rajyaguru of the United Kingdom, for their valuable contributions to the work of the organization.
I would also like to thank the Executive Secretary, Dr. Robert Floyd, for his forthcoming and encouraging opening remarks.
It was my honor to meet the Executive Secretary in Hiroshima three months ago. We appreciate the Executive Secretary’s attendance at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony held on the 6th of August this year. We commend him for his active commitment to understanding and widely sharing the realities of the use of nuclear weapons. I am delighted to be working with the Executive Secretary, his team and all the colleagues, now in Vienna,
[Entry-Into-Force and Universalization]
As the only country to have suffered atomic bombings during war, Japan is strongly committed to leading international efforts toward a world without nuclear weapons. The CTBT has a vital role to play in the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime.
Japan attaches particular importance to the early entry into force of the Treaty. We welcome the signature of the CTBT by Somalia and its ratification by Sri Lanka. Japan applauds these achievements and vigorous outreach activities by the Executive Secretary. We are also pleased to see the success of this year’s Article XIV Conference. We thank the Co-Coordinators of the Conference, Panama and Norway, for their leadership as well as the dedicated support by the PTS. We urge all States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Treaty without further delay, in particular those remaining States listed in Annex 2, in order to further advance the CTBT.
In this regard, we deeply regret Russia’s recent decision to revoke its ratification of the CTBT, especially as it is one of the Annex 2 States and the largest nuclear-weapon State among ratifying states of the CTBT. The decision goes against the international community’s longstanding efforts and the renewed global determination to universalize the Treaty. Japan urges the Russian Federation to continue to respect the international norm banning nuclear testing stipulated in the CTBT and also to show its commitment to maintaining and strengthening the international monitoring system.
[Challenges against the Nuclear Disarmament & Non-Proliferation Regime]
In consideration of the ongoing aggression against Ukraine, the threat of nuclear weapons, let alone their use, should never be tolerated. Japan condemns any act that could undermine the effectiveness of the CTBT’s verification system.
Japan also expresses serious concerns over North Korea’s intensified nuclear and missile activities. We urge North Korea not to conduct any destabilizing or provocative actions, including a nuclear test, and the international community should be united against such an act. Japan also urges North Korea to comply with its obligations under the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, to return to full compliance with the NPT at an early date and to sign and ratify the CTBT.
On the Budget, effective use of funds and efficiency of the organization should always be pursued, and we appreciate all efforts by the PTS in this regard under these difficult fiscal conditions. We also realize that it is important to work on fulfilling the needs on a medium and long term basis even in the face of financial challenges.
We attach particular importance to strengthening the verification system to ensure the proper and effective detection of nuclear testing. In this regard, the sustainment of the IMS facilities is also important.
With this, although Japan’s basic position toward the budget of international organizations is, and will continue to be, Zero Nominal Growth (ZNG), we are ready to support the final draft budget for 2024-2025. We also support the use of the 2020-2021 Cash Surplus for unfunded but important activities.
Before closing my remarks, I would like to touch upon the ongoing geopolitical situation in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank. Japan has unequivocally condemned the terror attacks by Hamas and others. Japan is paying close attention to the situation in the Gaza Strip, Palestine, with deep concern.
We have so many crucial issues before us. We look forward to fruitful, constructive discussions at this meeting under your able leadership.
Thank you, Chair.