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Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations

Philippine Statement
By
H.E. ALBERTO G.ROMULO
Secretary of Foreign Affairs


STAYING THE COURSE


Ministerial Meeting of the Preparatory Commission for the
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO)
20 September 2006, United Nations, New York

Mr. Chairman,

I wish to congratulate and thank the foreign ministers of Australia, Canada, Finland, Japan, and the Netherlands for their efforts preparing our joint statement on the CTBT. The Philippines fully supports this statement.

I would also like to extend my congratulations to Mr. Toth, the Executive Secretary of the Provisional Technical Secretariat of the CTBTO Prepcom, for his excellent leadership of the Organization.

Just under a decade ago, we embarked on a journey – filled with hope that a legally-binding nuclear test-ban treaty would one day become an important pillar in global efforts to stop nuclear proliferation.

Today the threat of nuclear proliferation continues. The specter of nuclear weapons becoming tools of terrorists looms large.

We must stay the course.

It has been a long and arduous journey. But there is good reason to hope.

Since the creation of the Preparatory Commission almost ten years ago, 70% of the global verification regime has been completed.

On the eve of the 10th anniversary of its opening for signature, the CTBT has 176 signatories and 135 ratifications. As the current Chair ASEAN member, allow me to highlight and welcome Vietnam’s recent ratification of the CTBT.

It is our hope that we will soon obtain the ratifications necessary for the CTBT to enter into force.

For its part, the Philippines is pleased with its close cooperation with the CTBTO.

Two of the Philippines’s three International Monitoring Stations have been certified and are transmitting data to the International Data Center in Vienna.

The Philippines has always been an advocate of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. We fully support the continuing work of the Preparatory Commission, whose processes are clearly essential to the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction; 2004) and to the maintenance of international peace and security.

In addition to this, the Philippines is well aware of the Treaty’s alternate benefits, particularly in the area of disaster management.

The global verification regime of the CTBT will be invaluable in providing real-time, early-warning data and information to regions prone to deadly earthquakes and tsunamis, subsequently preventing the loss of infrastructure and saving countless lives.

We thus encourage strong linkages between the CTBT’s International Monitoring System and regional disaster systems such as the ASEAN Disaster Information Sharing and Communication Network or DISCNet.

The CTBT is perhaps the least well-known and understood among the non-proliferation and disarmament treaties, but has great potential to enhance global security, both from the dangers posed by nuclear weapons proliferation and sudden natural disasters.

The Philippines believes in the merit of raising consciousness of the Treaty and will, therefore, support the CTBTO’s tireless efforts to achieve this in the near-term.

The CTBT came into this world through a difficult birth. Throughout its young life, challenges have stood in its way.

But the CTBT holds an important key that could one day unlock the doors that hold all of us prisoners of the threat of nuclear proliferation.

We must therefore stay the course.

Thank you.









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