Australia National Statement
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
Working Group B
19 March 2018
Statement by Dr Malcolm Coxhead, Director, Australian Safeguards & Non-Proliferation Office, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Thank you Chair.
I have the honour to speak today on behalf of Australia, and would like to begin by thanking Executive Secretary Zerbo for his remarks and his strong leadership of the CTBTO, and to congratulate him for the award of the AAAS, which reflects both his extraordinary commitment and the significance of the CTBT.
I would also like to congratulate you Chairman Schulze on your re-election, and to thank you for your effective leadership of the Working Group B. My delegation looks forward to continued work with you to strengthen the CTBT’s verification regime.
Australia reiterates its commitment to the CTBT as a core element of the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament framework. We are determined to see the earliest entry into force of the Treaty. We are committed to supporting the CTBT’s verification regime and to efforts to ensure that it is ready to meet the requirements of the Treaty. In this regard, we welcome the Executive Secretary’s reports of progress, as well as statements by several states regarding the certification of additional stations. We encourage all State Signatories to ensure the International Monitoring System stations they host under the treaty are operational, that the data collected by those stations is transmitted to the International Data Centre, and that this contributes to the data and products that the IDC provides to State Signatories.
We are therefore pleased to note the completion last month of works to install the Australian-hosted infrasound station IS3 at Davis Base in Antarctica, with a view to its certification and full contribution as part of the IMS network. Once certification is received, all 21 of Australia’s IMS facilities will be fully operational – an important milestone.
The work of the CTBTO and progress on the IMS, IDC and other elements of the regime continues to demonstrate the value of the Treaty and its importance to the international community whether to detect nuclear testing, or as an aid to mitigating natural disasters, or for scientific research.
Australia is looking forward to hosting the Workshop on Signatures of Man-Made Isotope Production (WOSMIP) meeting this year, in Sydney from 3 to 7 December. We hope this meeting will be a useful complement to the ongoing work of signatories to prepare for verification of the CTBT. The work of WOSMIP recognises the importance of studying radionuclide background emissions to ensure the effectiveness of verification. It also recognises the substantial public health benefits provided by nuclear medicine.
This Working Group is the engine-room for the policy-making organs and must function effectively. My delegation looks forward to a productive meeting of WGB and agreement by delegations on its report.
Thank you, Chair.