European External Action Service

10/19/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/19/2020 08:50

EU Statement following the vote for the restoration of voting rights at the resumed 54th Session of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission in Vienna on 19 October 2020

European Union

Statement following the vote for the restoration of voting rights at the resumed 54th Session of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission

19 October 2020

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The following countries align themselves with this statement: The Republic of North Macedonia*, Albania*, Montenegro*, Serbia*, Bosnia and Herzegovina*, Iceland+, Norway+, Ukraine and Georgia.

Madam Chair

The EU and its Member States thank you, and all others who have endeavored to facilitate an outcome satisfactory to all States Signatories on this issue, which has occupied us for too long. We strongly regret that it proved necessary to resort to voting.

Nonetheless, it is our view that the Preparatory Commission has now concluded its consideration of the restoration of voting rights to some States Signatories who had applied for this. We reiterate that all States Signatories should fulfil their legal obligations to bear the expenses of the Organisation and pay their assessed contributions in full, on time and without conditions.

The EU warmly welcomes the fact that additional States Signatories have recently paid their contributions, bringing the number of countries with voting rights up to 123. We encourage all States Signatories in arrears to make use of this example, to regain their voting rights and take part in the upcoming Executive Secretary appointment process.

We regard this voting procedure as exceptional and are strongly committed to the default rule and long-standing practice that all decisions of the Preparatory Commission should be taken by consensus. We look forward to returning now to our normal consensual way of working. Clearly, this is the best way to ensure that the views of all States Signatories are reflected in outcomes and decisions of the Preparatory Commission.

We have noted your Note Verbale of 13 October informing States Signatories of the two candidates for the position of Executive Secretary. In line with the Preparatory Commission's decision in July 2020, we look forward to your consultations with a view to facilitating consensus at the 55th Session of the Preparatory Commission next month.

*Candidate Countries the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania, as well as potential Candidate Country Bosnia and Herzegovina, continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

+ Iceland and Norway are members of the EFTA and of the European Economic Area.