Statement at the 55th session of CTBTO Working Group A, 27 May 2019


CTBTO Working Group A

55th Session, 27 to 29 May 2019

Statement by Gerhard Küntzle,

Permanent Representative of Germany to the CTBTO

- Check against delivery -

Mr Chairperson,

Germany fully aligns itself with the statement by the European Union and wishes to add the following points in its national capacity:

Regarding the remaining Annex 2 States, we wish to acknowledge that short of ratifying, some are actively contributing to the CTBTO’s work, thus showing political commitment to the Treaty. We wish to commend specifically the important contributions by United States. In addition to being the largest regular contributor and providing technical expertise, the United States has been funding the PCA costs for all stations hosted for many years, amongst other voluntary contributions. We also commend Israel whose three IMS stations were certified years ago and China for the steady progress in building up and certifying IMS facilities in China.

We thank the Executive Secretary for his latest report on non-verification activities and commend his tireless promotion of the Treaty and its verification regime. Indeed progress with the Treaty’s entry into force and its universalization requires continued efforts to raise awareness amongst decision-makers, NGO and academic community and especially amongst the younger generation. In this regard we would like to emphasize our strong support for the CTBTO Youth Group and Group of Eminent Persons. To garner support for the Treaty amongst German-speaking think-tanks, NGOs and decision-makers, Germany hosted a meeting with members of the CTBTO Youth Group in November 2018 in Berlin. We encourage the ES and his staff to continue their awareness-raising efforts in an energetic, creative and persistent way and call upon fellow CTBTO Member States to lend their full support to these efforts.

Some delegations repeatedly remind us of the need for the organization to strictly abide by the rules and procedures set out in the Treaty, the Resolution and by the PrepCom. We fully agree, but would like to reiterate that this is also true the other way around: certain obligations are applicable to us, the States Signatories, as well. These are first and foremost the legal obligations to pay assessed contributions and to facilitate the establishment and operation of IMS facilities as foreseen by the Treaty.

As emphasized by the EU, honouring assessed contributions is a legal obligation of every Member State and should be as self-evident as paying for the items we shop in the Commissionary. No Member State can legitimately claim a stake in how the organization’s funds are spent unless it has complied with its financial obligations, on time and in full.

This applies in particular to those Member States taking an active role in the Commission and Working Group A and nominating experts for the Advisory Group. While we welcome the increased collection rate, we encourage the PTS to continue detailed reporting on the impact of non- and late payment for programme and budget implementation.

 In this regard we take note with appreciation that Iran has started settling its outstanding contributions and negotiating a payment plan with the PTS.

Another concern for Germany are the problems reported by the PTS in obtaining tax free customs clearance of equipment and consumables to IMS facilities, which can impact both programme and budget implementation and data availability. We remind Member States that providing tax and customs exemptions to the PTS is another of their duties spelt out in the Resolution establishing the Preparatory Commission and its Annex.

On Human Resources, commend the PTS for being the first Vienna-based organization to have achieved full gender parity at director’s level and encourage it to continue in its efforts at other staff levels. In light of frequent personnel turn-over, we encourage the PTS to continue its efforts in shortening the lapse period in the recruitment process and also welcome a more flexible application of the 7-year-rule for certain positions that require expertise hard to find on the job market.

Germany finally thanks the Chairman of the Advisory Group, Sir Michael Weston, for his report. We fully endorse the AG report and express our appreciation for its excellent work - the fact that all six of the AG’s recommendations were endorsed by the last WGA speaks for itself.

Nonetheless there is room for improving and making more transparent the procedures for nominations of experts to the AG. We therefore support the proposals made by the United States, while acknowledging that not all may enjoy consensus at this point.

Thank you.

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