Slovenia supports efforts aimed at strengthening the representation for women among the CTBTO staff
Statement by Ambassador Andrej Benedejčič, Permanent Representative of Slovenia to the International Organizations in Vienna, at the 48th session of the Preparatory Commission of CTBTO, on the Report of the Executive Secretary (Agenda item 2), Vienna, 22 June 2017
Slovenia supports the statement delivered on behalf of the EU by the Maltese Ambassador. In addition, I would like to make several remarks in my national capacity.
I would like to start by thanking the Executive Secretary for his opening statement, which was informative and to the point. In this connection, I would like to commend him for his active engagement on the issue of Article XIV. I would also like to welcome the on-going contacts and cooperation between the Provisional Technical Secretariat and the Secretariat of the Wassenaar Arrangement. Let me say that my delegation attaches special importance to this issue also in light of the Slovenian Chairmanship of the General Working Group of the Wassenaar Arrangement this year.
Although informative, the statement by the Executive Secretary did not reflect all of his recent activities. As pointed out by my US colleague, he also took an active part in the inauguration of the International Gender Champions Initiative in Vienna on June 14. I would therefore like to commend him for his leadership and personal engagement on this important issue. I would also like to congratulate him for the commitments he undertook. Among these are putting in place the necessary policy and procedures at the CTBTO to provide flexibility in working hours during the first year of maternity or paternity. The Executive Secretary has also committed to instituting an annual “CTBTO Shadowing Program” for promising students with a 4:1 ratio of women to men. He has also declared his intention to involve and encourage young women to pursue advocacy in science based diplomacy for peace and security through the CTBTO Youth Group. These are all important commitments and, on behalf of my delegation, I would like to congratulate the Executive Secretary for them.
As the issue of the CTBTO participation in the negotiations on a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapon has been raised I would also like to make the following two points:
First, Slovenia is a strong supporter of non-proliferation and disarmament of nuclear weapons. We are committed to treaty-based nuclear disarmament and arms control and advocate universal adherence to and full implementation of all non-proliferation and disarmament treaties and conventions.
Second, as much as we share the common goal of the world free of nuclear weapons, we are also of firm belief that we have to achieve it progressively through the full implementation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. For Slovenia the NPT remains the cornerstone of disarmament, non-proliferation and development of nuclear energy applications for peaceful purposes.