H.E. Mr. Enrique A. Manalo
Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative
Of the Permanent Mission of the Philippines to the United Nations

at the
Conference on Facilitating the
Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

New York, 12 November 2000

(Please check against delivery)

Mr. President,

The Philippine Delegation wishes to join the other delegations in
extending felicitations on your well?deserved election as President of this second review conference on facilitating the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. I also wish to convey to Her Excellency, Ambassador Olga Pellicer, my Delegation's appreciation for the wise guidance and Nard work that she had so ably given during the informal consultations in Vienna in preparation for this conference. We also wish to thank the Executive Secretary of the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission, Ambassador Wolfgang Hoffmann, and his staff for the assistance and excellent documentation for this Conference.

We express our confidence that under your able leadership, this second review conference on facilitating the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty will yield positive results.

Mr. President, the decision to push through this year with the Second Review Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty gains even greater significance in view of the horrific events of September 11 and the subsequent developments. The determined efforts of states to hold this Conference during this critical time sends an unmistakable message of our common resolve to combat terrorism and to ensure peace and security for the world. The timing of this Conference further highlights the critical rote of the CTBT in enhancing international peace and security by banning all nuclear test explosions in any environment.

Article II Section 8 of the Philippine Constitution is the cornerstone of Philippine policy with regard to the presence of nuclear weapons within its territory. It states, "The Philippines, consistent with the national interest, adopts and pursues a policy of freedom from nuclear weapons in its territory." From this basic policy emanates the following Philippine goals: maintaining a stable and peaceful international and regional environment; promoting the creation of a non-nuclear weapons world, and ensuring the country's protection from the threat or use of weapons of mass destruction by other countries.

Mr. President, two years ago, we participated in the first review conference as a state signatory. Since then, we have made significant progress by ratifying the Treaty long before participating in this second review conference. We believe this is a concrete re-affirmation of our commitment to exert best efforts to promote and preserve world peace and security.

Sustaining the momentum

We believe that one of the expectations from this meeting is to sustain the momentum of encouraging states which have not yet signed and ratified the Treaty to immediately do so, as contained in the final declaration in Vienna during the first Article XIV conference in 1999, as well as to refrain from acts which could defeat its objectives and purposes.

We welcome the fact that since the conference in 1999, seven more countries have signed the Treaty, and twenty-three more countries have deposited their instruments of ratification with the Secretary-General.

Progress of CTBT compliance in the Philippines

Mr. President, may I restate for the record that the Philippine Senate gave its concurrence to the Treaty early this year, in January of this year. The Philippine instrument of ratification was deposited with the UN Secretary-General on 23 February 2001. Pursuant to our treaty commitment, we are hosting two auxiliary seismic stations and one radio-nuclide station of the global network of 321 monitoring stations and 16 laboratories comprising the International Monitoring System. Preliminary steps have been taken to upgrade these stations alter an exchange of letters was effected with the CTBTO Preparatory Commission last March. This enabled the Provisional Technical Secretariat personnel to start work on these stations. The signing of a facility agreement with the CTBTO Preparatory Commission is now on the table and we hope to sign this soon
with the CTBTO Preparatory Commission.

Regional actions

At the regional level, the Philippines and its fellow ASEAN members are engaged in parallel activities and efforts in the pursuit of regional peace and international security. Our senior officials in the working group on ASEAN's Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN) and South East Asia Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (SEANWFZ) have been continuing their consultations with Nuclear Weapons States with a view to obtaining their support for the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon?Free Zone by signing its Protocol.

Nuclear weapons drew first blood in our region. The final nuclear tests of the last millennium were conducted exclusively in our area. Experts have placed five of the major flashpoints in the world today in our region, ail five of which have a decidedly nuclear dimension. Three of these flashpoints are in our immediate sub-region of East Asia.

The Philippines will therefore sustain its efforts at the regional level to strengthen further the foundation and structure of peace and security in ASEAN and in East Asia.

Mr. President, on a related matter, the Philippine Government, during the United Nations Millennium Summit, supported the call made by the UN Secretary General in his Millennium Report, for UN member states to convene a major international conference that would help identify ways of eliminating nuclear dangers. The Philippines, consistent with its policy against nuclear weapons and the threat of their use, also supports the position of the Non-Aligned Movement and ASEAN in the same vein.

Finally, whatever side one takes in the current debate relating to particular changes being sought to régimes that have underscored strategic stability over the decades, the entry into force of the CTBT would help bring about more trust and confidence - and lead to a better understanding of why we are ail seeking security through the removal of weapons of mass destruction from our midst. There can then be a meaningful resolution to this debate.

I thank you, Mr. President.