Twenty-Third Session of the
Preparatory Commission concludes
with the election of the new
Executive Secretary

PI/2004/24

The Twenty-Third Session of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization took place from 15 to 19 November 2004 under the chairmanship of Ambassador Yukio Takasu of Japan. One hundred-and-five States Signatories participated in the session, and the League of Arab States attended as an observer.

States Signatories agreed by consensus that the figure for the 2005 Programme and Budget will be $51 047 250 and Euro 42 540 900. The Commission confirmed that a split currency system would be introduced in 2005 as a measure to deal with the adverse effects of currency fluctuations. Budgetary appropriations and assessments shall be split between US dollars and euros in accordance with the expected requirements in each of these currencies, and States Signatories shall be assessed in the two currencies in proportion to their respective shares of the total appropriations in each of them.

Mr Wolfgang Hoffmann, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission, reported on progress in the implementation of the verification regime and on administrative, legal and co-ordination matters. He informed delegates that since the last reporting period additional eleven stations have been added to the International Monitoring System (IMS) network. This brings the total of certified IMS facilities to 98 (94 stations and 4 laboratories). Legal arrangements between Member States and the Commission are in place for 324 IMS stations in 82 countries.

Member States welcomed the support to the Treaty demonstrated since the previous session of the Preparatory Commission, with the United Republic of Tanzania signing the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and five States, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is an Annex 2 State; Liechtenstein; Togo; Tunisia and the United Republic of Tanzania, ratifying it.

The Member States also had to identify and appoint a new Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission, who will succeed Mr Wolfgang Hoffmann. Originally, nine candidates applied for the post, which demonstrates the interest of the international community in the CTBT. After Myanmar withdrew its candidacy, the Commission considered eight candidates (from the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Kuwait, Mexico, Mongolia, Peru, and the Philippines). Under the leadership of the Preparatory Commission's Chairman Ambassador Takasu, who steered the negotiations, the Commission elected and appointed by acclamation Ambassador Tibor TothHungary (see attached biographical note). Ambassador Toth will assume the office on1 August 2005.

The Commission also extended appointments of two Directors of the Provisional Technical Secretariat, the Director of Administration, who is from the United States of America, and the Director of Legal and External Relations, who is from China.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty bans any nuclear weapon test explosion in any environment. Drafted at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, and adopted by the General Assembly on 10 September 1996, the Treaty was opened for signature on 24 September 1996 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. To date, it has been signed by 173 States and ratified by 119. It will enter into force when it has been ratified by all 44 States listed in Annex 2 to the Treaty. Thirty-three of these States have so far deposited their instruments of ratification.

 

Ambassador Tibor Toth
Biographical Note

Ambassador Tibor Toth is currently the Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva and the Conference on Disarmament, a position he has also held between 1990 and 1993. His entire career is devoted to disarmament and non-proliferation, especially as regards weapons of mass destruction. As a participant at the final stages of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty (CTBT) negotiations in Geneva in 1996, he has been closely involved with the CTBT since its beginnings.

Between 1997 and 2001, Ambassador Toth served as Permanent Representative to the CTBTO Preparatory Commission. In his capacity as Chairperson of Working Group A of the Commission from the first day of its existence, he has been leading efforts of States Signatories to build-up the budgetary, financial, administrative and legal infrastructure of the Organization. He has also been guiding Member States to supervise the annual Programme and Budget activities.

Ambassador Toth was also involved in the negotiations of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) between 1982 and 1992, and served as Permanent Representative of Hungary to the Preparatory Commission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague in 1993. Furthermore, he participated in all Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) follow-up conferences between 1991 and 2004, and he served as the President of the BWC Review Conference between 2001 and 2002. In 2003, he was appointed Chairperson of the Annual Meeting of States Parties to the BWC and Chairperson of the BWC Meeting of Experts.

Born in 1954, Ambassador Toth  holds a masters degree from the University of International Relations in Moscow.

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