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Statements

CTBTO Working Group B

U.S. Statement - February 15, 2010

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation is pleased to take the floor under your leadership of Working Group B.  We assure you of our full cooperation and support as this body moves forward to complete the preparations necessary for the effective implementation of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

As is always the case, we have an ambitious agenda ahead of us for Working Group B, both for this session and for the rest of the year.  It will take concerted effort by all delegations, working with you and your task leaders, to accomplish the tasks we have placed before ourselves.  As my delegation noted last November, we recognize that our time and the time of our experts are valuable commodities.  It is not a trivial proposition to devote the time and attention that this work requires.

Nevertheless, my delegation remains very concerned that there may be insufficient meeting time to complete the many tasks ahead of the body during 2010.  However, we will be more than pleased to be proven wrong, and we look forward to working with colleagues as we try to complete the challenging agenda before us.

In that context, we note two unfinished items from last year where Working Group B failed to achieve its own goals.  The near-final drafts of the International Monitoring System Radionuclide Operational Manual and the International Data Centre Operational Manual were not completed, in our view, because the members of the body failed to allocate sufficient time last year to complete the task.  We are eager now to work to bring these two drafts to completion under the leadership of the Task Leader.

Working Group B needs to develop realistic plans to bring all of the elements of the verification regime to simultaneous operational status.  This includes a plan to bring the IMS and IDC up to full 24/7 operation. We need to understand the resources needed both to bring the system to full operation and to maintain it at that level, and we need to adequately test the tools that we are developing and putting into place to operationalize the system.

As the work already done on On-Site Inspection during this session of Working Group B makes clear, there is much to do. OSI is a complicated issue involving many technologies and many processes that will have to be able to function in the harsh real-world environment of the field.  We believe that the roadmaps put forth by the Provisional Technical Secretariat and the Task Leaders for the OSI Major Program are appropriately ambitious.  The members of this body should fully support them and devote the time and energy needed to travel the entire road.

Mr. Chairman,

Along with the Chair of WGA, you have put forward an ambitious proposal for the work that WGB should carry out over the next few years.  We support such ambitious planning.  We do not believe that this body can defer tasks on the basis that they pertain to "post-EIF requirements and activities."  The PrepCom was formed to develop post-EIF requirements and develop plans for post-EIF activities for use by the Conference of States Parties and the rest of the CTBTO.  My delegation is ready to support the work you have laid out.  We look forward to working with you and others here to carry it out.