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I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Candidate Countries Turkey, 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 and the Republic of Moldova, 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 the relevant international fora, including at the upcoming Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. We also encourage the CTBTO to further promote the Treaty and to join forces with civil society. In this context, we welcome the work of the CTBTO Youth Group.
The CTBT’s entry into force has always been and remains a priority for the European Union. The EU Member States have all ratified the Treaty years ago and have been consistent in calling upon the remaining eight Annex 2 states - China, Egypt, Iran, Israel, and the USA, which will need to ratify the Treaty and the DPRK, India and Pakistan, which will need to sign and ratify it for it to enter into force – to do so without any preconditions or further delay. It is also crucial that all States fully observe the moratorium on nuclear test explosions and other nuclear explosions and refrain from any actions contrary to the object and purpose of the Treaty.
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 sign and ratify the CTBT, while noting with concern the announcement by the DPRK of its will to end its present halt to nuclear tests. The EU hopes for tangible progress leading to the verifiable dismantlement of the DPRK’s nuclear test sites.
Following the DPRK's nuclear tests, the CTBTO has demonstrated its invaluable role in 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. The EU and its Member States commends the CTBTO Preparatory Commission and the States Signatories for their demonstrated commitment to keeping the verification regime working during the COVID 19 pandemic.
The European Union considers the completion of the IMS a priority and encourages the PTS and concerned States Signatories to cooperate to this end. With IMS construction ongoing for more than twenty years, it is high time all facilities are established, certified and operating.
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 29 million Euros to fund a variety of technical projects to strengthen the verification regime and to build capacity in developing countries. The EU's eighth consecutive voluntary contribution was announced on 29 June 2020. As a supporter of the UN Secretary General’s Agenda for Disarmament action on promoting the entry into force of the CTBT, the EU will continue to use every opportunity to advocate the CTBT’s prompt entry into force and universalization in relevant international for 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.