Statement by the Under-Secretary-General


Date:    6 October 1999

Delivered by: Jayantha Dhanapala, Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations (Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs)

Opening of the Conference and election of the President of the Conference
(items 1 and 2 of the provisional agenda)

Excellencies, distinguished delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great honour to welcome you all and to declare open this Conference which has been convened by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in his capacity as Depositary of the Treaty, pursuant to Article XIV of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. This Conference is an important event in our common endeavours to ensure the earliest entry into force of the Treaty so that it may soon become an integral part of the international legal framework that already exists in the field of disarmament.

This Conference provides you with an opportunity not only to reaffirm the importance of the Treaty and its need for earliest entry into force but also seek agreement on those imminent steps that may facilitate that process.

I would like to thank the Government of Austria for its generous support for the Conference by providing the conference facilities at the Redoutensale here in the Hofburg Palace.

I wish all of you success in your endeavours during the next few days and I would like to assure you of our fullest support and cooperation.

I now have the privilege, in accordance with item 2 of the provisional agenda, to proceed to the election of the President of the Conference.

In this connection, I would like to recall that in their letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations dated 24 September the States which have already deposited their instruments of ratification of the CTBT had expressed the wish that the Presidency of the Conference would be assumed by the Head of the Delegation of Japan.

Therefore, with the consent of the Conference, may I take it that His Excellency, Mr. Masahiko Komura, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, is elected by acclamation, President of the Conference.

It is so decided

May I be the first to congratulate His Excellency, Mr. Komura, on his election as President of the Conference and to express to him my best wishes for a successful Conference. I would like to ask the Chief of Protocol to escort Mr. Masahiko Komura to take his seat at the podium.