I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The European Union would like to congratulate Germany and Algeria on assuming the Presidency of the eleventh session of the Article XIV Conference. We assure you of our full support and cooperation in fulfilling your important mandate. We would also like to express our appreciation for the work carried out by Belgium and Iraq as previous Article XIV Coordinators. We thank the Secretary General, for convening this Conference and thank all representatives of States Signatories for being present here today. We would also like to thank Lassina Zerbo and his team for their tireless work in promoting the entry into force and universal adherence to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
The European Union firmly believes that effective multilateralism and a rules-based international system are indispensable in countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty is one of the key pillars of the international disarmament and non-proliferation architecture, and as such, it contributes to global peace and security.
The EU will continue to voice support for the Treaty and its Organisation in multilateral fora, including at the 2020 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
We urge all States which have yet to sign or ratify the Treaty to do so without any preconditions or further delay. In line with UN Security Council 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, but also with the DPRK, India and Pakistan that still have to sign and ratify it.We welcome the latest ratification by Zimbabwe, increasing the number of ratifications to 168.
We encourage the Provisional Technical Secretariat to continue to pro-actively promote the Treaty and join forces with civil society. In this context, we welcome the work of the CTBTO Youth Group.
Pending entry into force of the Treaty, we call on all States to refrain from conducting any action contrary to its object and purpose. We also call on all States to maintain moratoria on nuclear weapon test explosions and other nuclear explosions.
The European Union urges the DPRK to embark on a credible path towards a complete, verifiable and irreversible de-nuclearisation and to immediately comply with all relevant UN Security Councilresolutions.
We encourage the DPRK 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 Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty.The EU hopes for tangible progress leading to the verifiable dismantlement of the North Korea’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. This enabled the international community to respond appropriately and swiftly. The Organisation 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.
The Organisation assists States in using data from the Monitoring System for civil and scientific applications, including tsunami warning. We advocate fully exploiting potential benefits of civil and scientific applications of IMS data and we financially support capacity building for developing countries in this regard.
The Organisation can only carry out its mandatory functions if provided with the necessary funding. We therefore call upon all concerned States to honour their financial obligations and step up their political support.
Since 2006, the EU has provided the CTBTO with voluntary contributions of more than 23 million Euros. Our longstanding support for the strengthening of the CTBTO’s monitoring and verification capabilities will continue.
Another essential way for State Signatories to show concrete support for and confidence in the Treaty is to build and operate stations, and to send data.
We will continue to use every opportunity to advocate the Treaty’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 would also like to add a few words in a personal capacity.
Today we are witnessing attempts to dismantle the rules and the agreements that we have built together, and that have made our world more secure.
Let us not forget that our non-proliferation architecture aims first and foremost to make our world a safer place. Dismantling it, makes the world a more dangerous place. It is a risk that none of us can afford.
So our first duty is to preserve the rules that we have built together, and to work together for their full implementation. First, we must prevent the worst from happening. But we must also prepare the ground for better times to come.
You know that this is for me a life-long commitment. I have been a member of the Group of Eminent Persons for several years now, and you will continue to have my support beyond the end of my current mandate.
So let me thank you for all the good cooperation in these five years of common work, and for that good work that you will continue to do in the years ahead.