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I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries, the Republic of North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA country Liechtenstein, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.
This High-level meeting of the UN General Assembly on the occasion of the International Day against Nuclear Tests is an opportunity to again highlight the need for entry into force and universalisation of the CTBT, which is reaffirmed through UNSC Resolution 2310.
The CTBT is one of the key pillars of the international disarmament and non-proliferation architecture contributing to global peace and security. The Treaty’s strong legitimacy and vital importance for our collective security is pointed out in the annual UN General Assembly resolutions relating to the CTBT. The EU will continue to voice support for the CTBT and the CTBTO in multilateral fora, including at the 2020 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
We urge all States which have yet to sign or ratify the CTBT to do so without any preconditions or further delay. In line with UNSC Resolution 2310 we encourage a variety of initiatives to engage especially with the remaining Annex II States: Egypt, China, Iran, Israel, and the US that still have to ratify the Treaty and the DPRK, India and Pakistan that still have to sign and ratify it in order to bring it into force. EU Member States have done their part by ratifying the Treaty years ago. We welcome the latest signature by Tuvalu and ratification by Zimbabwe, increasing the number of ratifications to 168.
We encourage high level attendance by all States, signatory and non-signatory alike, to the Article XIV Conference on 25 September. We encourage the PTS to continue to pro-actively promote the CTBT and join forces with civil society. In this context, we welcome the work of the CTBTO Youth Group.
Pending entry into force of the CTBT, we call on all States to refrain from conducting any action contrary to the object and purpose of the Treaty. We also call on all States to maintain moratoria on nuclear weapon test explosions and other nuclear explosions.
The EU urges the DPRK to embark on a credible path towards a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation and to immediately comply with all relevant UNSC resolutions. The EU encourages the DPRK in particular to further engage in meaningful discussions with all relevant parties as the international community works towards lasting peace and security on the Korean Peninsula. We call on the DPRK to give effect to its stated intention to end nuclear testing by signing and ratifying the CTBT. The EU hopes for tangible progress leading to the verifiable dismantlement of the DPRK’s nuclear test sites. In this context, the CTBTO and its expertise could make an important contribution.
Following the DPRK's nuclear tests the CTBTO demonstrated its invaluable role in quickly providing reliable and independent data, enabling the international community to respond appropriately and swiftly. The CTBTO has provided the world with a truly global, hi-tech monitoring system for nuclear explosions – something that no single country could do. The EU reiterates its confidence in the CTBT's verification regime and looks forward to the completion of the International Monitoring System (IMS). We recognise the deterrence effect against non-compliance with the Treaty and the ability to respond to threats to international peace and security that it provides.
We urge all States Signatories that still have to establish stations to co-operate with the PTS to that effect and relevant States Signatories to assist in this process. With IMS construction ongoing for over 20 years, there is no excuse for further delay in certifying and operating all stations.
In addition to the CTBT’s obvious contribution to international peace and security, the CTBTO's Integrated Capacity Building assists States in using IMS data for civil and scientific applications and research associated with Treaty-related verification technologies, including tsunami and volcanic ash cloud warning. To make best use of our collective investment, the EU also advocates fully exploiting potential benefits of civil and scientific applications of IMS data and financially supports capacity building for developing countries in this regard.
However, the CTBTO can only carry out its mandatory functions, if provided with the necessary funding to support the completion and the sustainability of these tools. We therefore call upon all concerned States to honour their financial obligations and step up their political support for the CTBT and the CTBTO.
Since 2006, the EU has provided the CTBTO with voluntary contributions of more than 23 million Euros to fund a variety of technical projects to strengthen the verification regime and build capacity in developing countries. In February 2018, a seventh EU Council Decision was adopted, worth more than 4.5 million Euros, in order to continue the EU’s longstanding support for the strengthening of the CTBTO’s monitoring and verification capabilities.
As a further sign of our commitment, the EU has decided to become a supporter of four actions on the UN Secretary General’s Agenda for Disarmament, including on promoting the entry into force of the CTBT. We will continue to use every opportunity to advocate the CTBT’s prompt entry into force and universalization in relevant international fora and in meetings with countries that have not yet signed or ratified the Treaty.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
* The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.