|Date||30 October 2000|
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Agenda item 177
Cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization
I give the floor to the Executive-Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization to introduce his report.
This is the first occasion on which I have had the honour to address the General Assembly under the new agenda item "Cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization". At the outset, I should like to express my appreciation to all Member States for affording me this opportunity.
On 10 September 1996 the General Assembly adopted the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) by 158 votes to 3 with 5 abstentions. With the adoption of the CTBT, one of the longest treaty negotiations in the history of arms control and disarmament was brought to a successful end.
A few months ago, on 15 June, the General Assembly adopted the Agreement to Regulate the Relationship between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. Article IV of the agreement provides that:
"The Commission shall ... keep the United Nations informed of its activities, and may submit through the Secretary-General of the United Nations reports thereon on a regular or ad hoc basis to the principal organs of the United Nations concerned." (resolution 54/280, annex, article IV, para. 1)
My report on the work of the Preparatory Commission in 1999 has been circulated by the Secretary-General in document A/55/433. In my statement today I should like to inform the General Assembly about cooperation between the United Nations and the Commission, the Commission's recent activities to prepare for entry into force of the CTBT and the status of adherence to the Treaty.
With the adoption of the relationship Agreement, the Commission became a new member of the United Nations family. Although it remains an autonomous organization, the Commission wishes to contribute to the goals of the United Nations system, the success of which is based on the complementary inputs of its many members. In implementation of the relationship agreement, the Commission will establish a liaison office at United Nations Headquarters with effect from tomorrow. This office will represent the interests of the Commission in New York and will serve those States signatories of the CTBT that are not represented in Vienna.
The relationship Agreement makes provision for the use of the United Nations laissez-passer by officials of the Commission, and we look forward to concluding the necessary implementing arrangement for this in the near future. In addition, the Agreement provides for close cooperation and coordination between the two Organizations. The Commission has consequently expressed its interest in participating in the work of the Administrative Committee on Coordination. An agreement is also being negotiated with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which will set out a framework for the UNDP to provide operational support services to the Commission.
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty bans all nuclear test explosions, for military as well as for civilian purposes. It has assumed a pivotal role in the nuclear non-proliferation regime. While the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its verification regime address the proliferation of weapons-grade fissionable material, the CTBT and its verification regime focus on the prevention of explosive testing of nuclear devices. By putting an end to testing, the CTBT impedes the development of ever more sophisticated and qualitatively new nuclear weapons. The CTBT is expected to stop vertical as well as horizontal nuclear proliferation. Thus, the Treaty strengthens and enhances the process of nuclear disarmament.
Successful implementation of the CTBT depends on the effectiveness of its worldwide verification system so that each party can be assured that all other parties will adhere to the Treaty or at least that any violation of it will be detected. The International Monitoring System (IMS) is a network of 170 seismological, 60 infrasound, 11 hydroacoustic and 80 radionuclide stations, supported by 16 radionuclide laboratories. It will be capable of registering vibrations underground, in the sea and in the air, as well as detecting traces of radionuclides released into the atmosphere by a nuclear explosion. The stations will transmit a stream of data generated by these four complementary technologies, in near real time, via a global satellite communications system to the International Data Centre in Vienna, where all the data will be processed. All data, raw and processed, will be made available to States parties for their final analysis. Ambiguous events will be subject to consultation and clarification. As a final verification measure, an on-site inspection may be requested.
The global verification regime of the CTBT has to be operational at the Treaty's entry into force. I should now like to share with the Assembly what the Provisional Technical Secretariat has been doing to assist the Commission in establishing the regime. The Secretariat started work at the Vienna International Centre on 17 March 1997 with a very small staff of nine. After 42 months' existence, it has become a fully fledged international secretariat comprising 248 staff members from 70 countries. Since the focus of the Commission's responsibilities is technical, the majority of the staff members in the Professional category are scientists.
The Secretariat is building up the International Monitoring System according to a schedule of work determined by the Commission. To date, some $58 million have been budgeted for capital investment in the International Monitoring System. This covers the costs of site surveys necessary to select the most appropriate location for each station, the purchase and installation of equipment and the final certification of facilities. It represents approximately 40 per cent of the total capital investment required to complete the International Monitoring System. The Division working on this system has been working very hard to lay the groundwork for the network. To date about 60 per cent of the IMS site surveys have been completed, and approximately 20 per cent of the stations have been installed and are sending data to the International Data Centre. We are also paying special attention to the certification of IMS stations, and three IMS seismic stations -- in Canada, Norway and the United States -- have been certified.
Since 21 February 2000 the International Data Centre (IDC) has been sending IMS data and its products on a test basis to States signatories. Currently more than 40 States have submitted the information required to establish a secure signatory account, and they are able to access the data and products.
The core of our Global Communications Infrastructure (GCI) was put in place in 1999, when global satellite coverage was established with the installation of four GCI hubs and the infrastructure to link these hubs to the International Data Centre in Vienna. This year an additional hub was established. GCI satellite terminals have been installed at 37 IMS stations, national data centres and development sites.
In the area of on-site inspections, the Commission has made good progress in the elaboration of a draft on-site inspection operational manual, which is being treated as a priority task. Steady progress has also been made in the procurement of passive seismic equipment related to the Seismic Aftershock Monitoring System (SAMS), as well as of initial items of handheld low-resolution radionuclide survey equipment for testing purposes. The Secretariat has also initiated the process for the procurement of items related to still and video photography, visual observation and position finding.
Confidence-building measures, another element of the global verification regime, are of a voluntary nature. The Preparatory Commission has agreed to establish a database on chemical explosions for the purpose of creating the basic technical conditions for the implementation of confidence-building measures after the Treaty enters into force.
In accordance with article XIV, the Treaty will enter into force after it has been ratified by the 44 States listed in annex 2 to the Treaty. Another important aspect of the Commission's work is therefore to promote the signature and ratification of the CTBT.
I am pleased to report that since its opening for signature and ratification on 24 September 1996 the Treaty has been signed by 160 countries. To date, 66 countries have also ratified the Treaty; they include 30 of the 44 States listed in annex 2 to the Treaty whose ratification is needed for it to enter into force.
Following the article XIV Conference convened by the Secretary-General in October last year -- the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT -- members of the Preparatory Commission have continued to make serious efforts to sustain the momentum that the Conference created. To this end, a wide range of activities, in the form of coordinated and unilateral initiatives, has been undertaken to advance the universality of the Treaty and to promote its early entry into force.
The commitment of the international community to bring the Treaty into force was clearly reflected at the 2000 NPT Review Conference, which affirmed support for the CTBT and welcomed the final declaration adopted at the article XIV Conference. It is particularly significant that the NPT Review Conference agreed on the importance and urgency of signature and ratification, without delay and without conditions, and in accordance with constitutional processes, to achieve the early entry into force of the CTBT, as well as on a moratorium on nuclear-weapon-test explosions or any other nuclear explosions pending its entry into force.
The recent Millennium Summit, at which facilities were made available for States to sign and ratify multilateral treaties deposited with the Secretary-General, provided an excellent opportunity to promote adherence to the CTBT. I wish to express the appreciation of the Commission for the Secretary-General's initiative in this regard. During the Summit, five States signed the Treaty and two deposited their instruments of ratification.
Thus far, the brief history of the CTBT can be considered to be one of success: the international community firmly supports the Treaty; its Organization is well established; and even before its entry into force, the verification regime has proved itself a reliable and effective system. The early entry into force of the Treaty remains an important political challenge. I wish to take this opportunity to encourage all States to take the necessary steps to ensure that the CTBT enters into force soon, so that all the components of its verification regime can be brought into effect to make our world a safer and more secure place for generations to come.
I call on the representative of Mexico to introduce the draft decision in document A/55/L.5.
The Mexican delegation has the honour of introducing the draft decision in document A/55/L.5, entitled "Cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization".
The conclusion of a Treaty completely prohibiting nuclear tests was for many years a priority objective of Mexico's foreign policy. The Government of Mexico signed the Treaty convinced that the cessation of testing would prevent qualitative improvements of nuclear weapons and put an end to the development of new types of nuclear weapons. This is an important step in the process of nuclear disarmament. Consistent with the great importance that Mexico attaches to the work of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Mexico assumed the chair of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO during the second half of this year.
We believe that a closer relationship between the Preparatory Commission and the United Nations opens up possibilities of a broad agenda of cooperation. We must make the most of them. The active assistance of the United Nations will mean that the CTBTO will be able to carry out its mandate with the greatest efficiency and transparency.
The Agreement to Regulate the Relationship between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO, approved on 15 June 2000, states that, in accordance with the Charter, the United Nations is the principal Organization dealing with matters relating to international peace and security and acknowledges that the activities of the Commission performed pursuant to the Treaty will contribute to the realization of the purposes and principles of the Charter.
Through this Agreement, the United Nations and the Commission recognize the need to collaborate in order to achieve their common objectives, and, with a view to facilitating the effective exercise of their responsibilities, agree to cooperate closely, consult and maintain a close working relationship on matters of mutual interest and concern. To this end, the United Nations and the Commission have agreed to cooperate in accordance with the provisions of their respective constituent instruments, as underscored by Mr. Wolfgang Hoffmann, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission, in his valuable presentation.
The Member States of the United Nations must support the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) as an indispensable element in the framework supporting the multilateral nuclear disarmament agenda. We emphasize that in the Final Document of the last Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), all Member States are urged to continue to make every effort to ensure the early entry into force of the CTBT.
It is with this in mind that Mexico introduces the draft decision contained in document A/55/L.5, convinced that greater cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization will strengthen the United Nations and contribute to the objectives of non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. We therefore hope that the draft decision will receive the broadest possible support from Member States and will be adopted without a vote.
Our travel on the road to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) has been interesting. We have had some bumps and turns, but we have remained true to our cause. A while back on that road we encountered what seemed to be an impassable roadblock. But we were able to prevent the CTBT text from becoming a mere fixture in the archives of the Conference on Disarmament and to breathe life into this text. In 1996, through the determined efforts of several States led by Australia and Mexico, the text made the trip from Geneva to New York.
In the years that followed, we actively sought to establish the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), while at the same time trying to bring universality to the Treaty. While the numbers have been encouraging, our efforts at universality had an extra challenge or another bump in the road -- the ratification or accession of the rest of the 45 Annex 2 States. But we did go farther down the road when we met last year in Vienna for the Conference to facilitate the early entry into force of the CTBT. Under the able presidency of Mr. Masahiko Koumura of Japan, we reiterated our common commitment and desire to see the CTBT enter into force.
The end of the road is still far away, because for the Philippines that end is the total elimination of nuclear weapons. But more immediately, we must stay on the road towards the entry into force of the CTBT.
We are going in the right direction. This resolution is proof of that. Other proof is the gentleman who has been quietly organizing the CTBTO and who shared his thoughts with us this morning, Ambassador Wolfgang Hoffmann of Germany.
Even though we have not yet reached that milestone when we can celebrate the entry into force of the CTBT, today's decision is important and is one that I believe will bring us closer to that milestone.
The final nuclear tests of the last millennium were all conducted in our part of the world. It is the hope of my country that these tests were the last for all time.
The CTBT is an important part of our collective efforts to achieve nuclear disarmament. Taken together with the other steps we have taken, the CTBT is crucial in preventing proliferation and will put in place a verification system that we will one day need when agreement is finally reached on ridding the world of nuclear weapons.
I call on the representative of France speaking on behalf of the European Union.
I have the honour to address this Assembly on behalf of the European Union. The Central and Eastern European countries associated with the European Union -- Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia -- and the associated countries Cyprus, Malta and Turkey, as well as Iceland a European Free Trade Association [EFTA] country that is a member of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this statement.
Allow me first to say how delighted we are at the successful conclusion of the bilateral agreement between the United Nations and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). This gives the General Assembly an opportunity in plenary to deal with the progress made on achieving the early entry into force of the Treaty.
The importance and the urgency of continuing the process of signing and ratifying this Treaty in order to permit the speedy entry into force of the Treaty was recalled in the final document of the Review Conference on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). This is a priority of the European Union. No less than 160 States have signed this basic nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation instrument. We call upon all States that have not yet done so, particularly those that appear on the list of the 44 States whose ratification is necessary for the entry into force of the Treaty, to sign and ratify the CTBT as soon as possible. In this respect, we congratulate Bangladesh, Chile, Gabon, Iceland, Kiribati, Lithuania, the Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, the Russian Federation, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates on the ratification of the Treaty since the last session of the General Assembly.
All the European Union Member States, including those that appear on the list of the 44 States whose ratification is necessary for the entry into force of the Treaty, have signed and ratified the CTBT. The European Union has spared no effort to ensure the prompt entry into force of the Treaty and its universal scope. On 29 July 1999, the European Union adopted a common position in pursuit of these objectives. At the Conference held in Vienna last year, pursuant to article 14 of the CTBT, the countries that had signed and ratified the Treaty reaffirmed their resolve to work to ensure that the Treaty is ratified by all and rapidly entered into force.
The conclusion of the bilateral agreement between the United Nations and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization will make it possible for the Secretariat to establish the parameters of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO and to strengthen its activities in international forums. I wish to take this opportunity to express the European Union's hope that the draft agreement with the United Nations Development Programme will also be quickly concluded and that a draft will be submitted to the Preparatory Commission in due course.
The European Union pays tribute to the work done by the Executive Secretary and the entire Secretariat, as well by the Preparatory Commission. The European Union particularly acknowledges the progress made in installing the monitoring system. We hope that this momentum will continue and that every effort will be made to establish the stations. With respect to the programme budget, we welcome the information communicated to us by the Executive Secretary, according to which 91 per cent of contributions have already been paid. This confirms the high level of commitment of States.
The European Union hopes that the General Assembly will fully support the efforts made by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation. The Union hopes in particular that Member States will support the implementation of the bilateral agreement just concluded between the United Nations and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.
Finally, the member States of the Union draw attention to the fact that they support the initiative to convene another conference on article 14 of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty in autumn 2001.
Allow me, through you, Mr. President, to extend my delegation's appreciation to the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Mr. Wolfgang Hoffmann, for the report on the activities of the Preparatory Commission during 1999. We welcome the contribution this plenary item makes to a better understanding of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) among all States.
Completion of the CTBT negotiations, in September 1996, fulfilled a key objective identified by the Principles and Objectives of the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as being important to the full realization and effective implementation of article VI of the NPT.
While it is disappointing that the CTBT is not yet formally in force, it is in provisional operation; and that is to be welcomed. With 160 signatories and 66 ratifications, and a growing verification infrastructure, the Treaty is firmly established as a powerful international norm against further nuclear testing. I agree very much with Mr. Hoffmann's remarks on that point.
Australia, which played a major role in bringing the Treaty to the United Nations General Assembly in 1996, will continue to work actively with other countries to secure early entry into force of the Treaty. We recently made a further round of diplomatic representations to countries of the Asia-Pacific region and to countries in the group of 44 States whose ratification is required for entry into force. Australia is also active in the Vienna process to organize a second CTBT article XIV conference on facilitating the Treaty's early entry into force. We were pleased to take the lead in introducing the CTBT draft resolution under consideration this year in the First Committee.
Progress in signatures and ratifications has made an important contribution to maintaining the strength and momentum of the Treaty. A further key factor has been the successful establishment of the CTBTO's Preparatory Commission and its Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) in Vienna. We should be in no doubt that the establishment of the Preparatory Commission was a landmark achievement for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. The setting up of the Preparatory Commission and the significant financial investment inherent in its work send a powerful message to those still outside the CTBT that the global non-testing norm is here to stay.
The Treaty's International Monitoring System (IMS) is a major effort for the international community. When completed it will consist of 170 seismological, 60 infrasound, 11 hydroacoustic and 80 radionuclide stations supported by 16 radionuclide laboratories. A global communications infrastructure and an international data centre in Vienna will complete the IMS. Countries will also be establishing their own national data centres to enable them to reach conclusions about international compliance with the test ban. Obviously, this system requires a significant investment, but it is an investment fully justified by the security benefit of assurance of detection of nuclear-test explosions anywhere in the world.
We welcome the good progress made by the Preparatory Commission and the Provisional Technical Secretariat on establishing the International Monitoring System, and we look forward to further development of this and other aspects of CTBT verification so that the Treaty's verification system will be ready at entry into force. Obviously, the Preparatory Commission must continue to receive adequate resources in order to be able to maintain the necessary rate of progress.
Australia will host 21 IMS stations, the third largest number of stations in any country. We are pleased to report that work on these stations is at an advanced stage, with several stations already close to being certified as meeting CTBT standards. We encourage all countries hosting International Monitoring System stations to continue to work closely with the Preparatory Commission to ensure timely completion of their stations. Along with the System, the possibility of on-site inspections to investigate serious concerns about non-compliance is a fundamental element of CTBT verification. Agreement on effective and practical procedures for such inspections have proven more elusive than we might have hoped. We therefore look forward to the active contribution of all States signatories in the forthcoming elaboration process for the on-site inspection manual so that this document may be ready as soon as possible.
Australia has long recognized that a universal and verifiable ban on nuclear tests is an essential component of regional and international peace and security, and would be a decisive step towards the goal of the elimination of nuclear weapons. The wide support for the CTBT and the substantial progress made on the Treaty's verification show that a verifiable nuclear-test ban is now within sight of attainment. We take this opportunity to reiterate our appreciation for the work of the Preparatory Commission and to assure it of our continued strong support.
My delegation would like to take this opportunity to express its support for the important work of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization in implementing the requirements of the Treaty. The United States has demonstrated that support through its active participation in the work of the Preparatory Commission.
The creation of an international verification regime, which is the prime task of the Preparatory Commission, will be a major step forward. That regime will include an International Monitoring System consisting of a global network of seismological, radionuclide and infrasound sensors, and an international data centre. It will play a key role in monitoring the Treaty.
The United States urges all countries that have signed or ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty to meet their obligations to support this effort.
Austria fully supports the statement just made by France on behalf of the European Union.
I would like to thank Ambassador Hoffmann for his excellent report on the cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. Austria firmly believes that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is an important instrument in the effort to advance arms control and nuclear disarmament by banning all nuclear tests and other nuclear explosions.
We are pleased to note that since the Treaty was adopted by the General Assembly and opened for signature in September 1996, 160 States have signed and 66 have ratified it. Thirty of those countries are on the list of the 44 key States whose ratification is, according to article XIV of the CTBT, a prerequisite for the Treaty's entry into force. While we would have wished the ratification process to proceed more swiftly, we must remain realistic and take stock of what has already been achieved. We remain confident that in the course of the next month the number of signatory and ratifying States will steadily increase. We especially call upon the 14 key States to sign and ratify the Treaty so that it can enter into force before its fifth anniversary, in September 2001.
Let me also take this opportunity to express our high appreciation for the work accomplished over the past three and a half years by the Provisional Technical Secretariat of the Preparatory Commission, under the able leadership of the Executive Secretary, Mr. Wolfgang Hoffmann. They are striving hard to set up the global verification system so that it will be fully functional at the time of the entry into force of the CTBT. Given the complexity of their tasks, much work still needs to be done to meet the requirements of the Treaty. In view of the remarkable progress achieved, I am confident that the remaining problems will be solved if both the Provisional Technical Secretariat and the members of the Preparatory Commission unite their efforts and their expertise.
I wish first of all to thank the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Mr. Wolfgang Hoffmann, for his introduction of the work of that organization during the past year. The international community concluded the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) after a great deal of work and hard negotiations over many years. The Treaty constitutes an important step towards the goal of the complete prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons and is an important achievement in the arms control and disarmament sphere. It is of epoch-making significance in the process of nuclear disarmament. Since its adoption, it has been signed by 160 countries and ratified by more than 60, which shows that the international community supports and trusts the Treaty.
Over the past four years, preparations for the CTBTO have been proceeding apace, and a great deal of progress has been achieved. We pay tribute to Mr. Wolfgang Hoffmann, who heads the Provisional Technical Secretariat, for the positive contribution he made to the Treaty negotiations, and to all others who are contributing to the work of the Preparatory Commission. The Commission has been assigned a noble task. It is playing an important role in the strengthening of international peace and security and in promoting the process of disarmament.
Enhancing cooperation between the United Nations and the CTBTO will strengthen the relationship between the two organizations, in turn making the international community more aware of the importance of the CTBTO and thus helping that organization better to fulfil its historic mission. Although important progress has been made in the preparatory work, we also note some problems. Some of the big Powers have refused to ratify the Treaty, which has a serious negative impact on its ultimate entry into force. There is still room for improvement in terms of universal participation in the preparatory process.
China has always favoured the complete prohibition and total elimination of nuclear weapons, and has always taken a positive approach to the CTBT. China was among the first to sign the Treaty and has played an active part in the preparatory work for the CTBTO. The Chinese Government has submitted the Treaty to the National People's Congress for ratification; that body will consider the question of ratification in line with my country's legal procedures.
We urge countries that have not yet signed or ratified the Treaty to do so at an early date so that the Treaty can enter into force and can attain universality. We also hope that States parties will fully and faithfully meet their Treaty obligations so that the aims of the CTBT can be attained at an early date.
My thanks go to the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Mr. Wolfgang Hoffmann, for his presentation.
The Argentine Government expresses its satisfaction at the Agreement to Regulate the Relationship between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. Argentina stresses its ongoing active commitment to the international community's goals of the complete prohibition of nuclear tests and of the creation of an international verification system through the International Data Centre. In that regard, in December 1999 my country signed an agreement with the Provisional Technical Secretariat of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization on undertaking activities related to the Treaty's international monitoring facilities.
At the national level, Argentina has contributed to the design and installation of monitoring stations as part of the International Monitoring System. That reflects our goodwill and our readiness to facilitate the installation of such facilities.
My country stresses its political support for the entry into force of the Treaty. At the same time, we express our concern about increases in the budget of the CTBTO, which entails increased contributions by every country.
We wish to highlight the upcoming regional workshop on international cooperation and national implementation and ratification procedures, to take place at Lima, Peru, from 29 November to 1 December. It will provide an opportunity for an analysis of the international monitoring process, and will add further momentum towards the entry into force of the Treaty.
This is a landmark occasion -- the first time an Executive Secretary of the Provisional Technical Secretariat for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) has appeared before the General Assembly of the United Nations. Canada salutes the achievements of the organization and the leadership of Wolfgang Hoffmann. We also welcome the growing, mutually beneficial cooperation between the organization and the United Nations system.
The Canadian national statement to the First Committee this year noted that the CTBT has now been signed by 160 countries and ratified by 63; that there has been no testing for over two years; that the CTBTO's surveillance and verification network is under construction; that there is a de facto moratorium on testing in effect among the five nuclear-weapon States that is respected by all of them; and that the political cost of tests, the bar against any further demonstrations of weapons capable of human extinction, is surely higher than it has ever been and is rising.
Canada wants that political cost to be, and to be seen to be, simply prohibitive. We want the bar against tests to be decisive; we want no more tests ever again. That is why we pressed for the Treaty's provision for sustained pressure for ratification, why we will join nations planning for a second conference, in accordance with the Treaty, here in New York next year, to promote early entry into force, and why we appeal directly to the 14 Governments whose required assent for entry into force is still outstanding.
The CTBTO's verification network heard the last nuclear tests on earth. It heard the explosions which sank the Kursk -- may the souls of its crew rest in peace. We should make no mistake: big explosions, anywhere on earth, are no longer secret. Today's is a monitored moratorium on nuclear tests -- something new and strong in the world.
The CTBTO is a vital part of the essential infrastructure for a world free from nuclear arms. We are pleased to have this occasion to hail its progress.
We have heard the last speaker in the debate on this item.
We shall now proceed to consider draft decision A/55/L.5.
The Assembly will now take a decision on draft decision A/55/L.5.
May I take it that the Assembly decides to adopt draft decision A/55/L.5?
May I take it that it is the wish of the General Assembly to conclude its consideration of agenda item 177?