I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Iceland, Serbia and Albania, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia, Georgia and Monaco, align themselves with this statement.
The EU would like to thank the Friends of the CTBT, in cooperation with the Co-Presidents of the Article XIV Conference, for having convened the Seventh CTBT Ministerial Meeting.
The entry into force and universalisation of the CTBT are among the top priorities of the European Union. All EU Member States have ratified the Treaty, and we remain strongly committed – both politically and financially – to pursuing the achievement of these important objectives. We are encouraged by the ratifications of the Treaty by Brunei Darussalam, Chad, Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq and Niue since the 2012 CTBT Ministerial Meeting, and we are ready to continue actively working with the CTBTO, as well as with all interested States, to stimulate more positive developments in this field.
The EU uses every opportunity to advocate CTBT ratification in international fora and meetings with countries that have not yet signed or ratified the Treaty. After the 2012 CTBT Ministerial Meeting, we continued to conduct political demarches to promote the entry into force of the Treaty in those countries. We also carried out, in cooperation with the Executive Secretary and the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO, as well as partner countries, a number of CTBT outreach activities in different regions of the world, including in Africa and South-East-Asia. The EU’s political efforts are reconfirmed by its financial commitment to the CTBTO. The EU has provided the CTBTO with more than 15 million EUR in voluntary contributions since 2006, and it is the biggest contributor to the CTBTO. We are considering additional financial support to the Organisation.
During our outreach activities, we received positive signals, and will be pleased to see them materialise into more signatures and ratifications of the CTBT. The Joint Ministerial Statement that will be adopted today is reassuring in view of our future common endeavours in promoting the entry into force and universalisation of this Treaty.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.