25.3.2006   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 88/68


COUNCIL JOINT ACTION 2006/243/CFSP

of 20 March 2006

on support for activities of the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) in the area of training and capacity building for verification and in the framework of the implementation of the EU Strategy against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on European Union, and in particular Article 14 thereof,

Whereas:

(1)

On 12 December 2003, the European Council adopted the EU Strategy against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Chapter III of which contains a list of measures to combat such proliferation which need to be taken both within the EU and in third countries.

(2)

The European Union is actively implementing the EU Strategy and is giving effect to the measures listed in Chapter III thereof, in particular through releasing financial resources to support specific projects conducted by multilateral institutions.

(3)

The States Signatories to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10 September 1996, have decided to establish a Preparatory Commission, endowed with legal capacity, for the purpose of carrying out the effective implementation of the CTBT, pending the establishment of the CTBT Organisation (CTBTO).

(4)

On 17 November 2003, the Council adopted Common Position 2003/805/CFSP on the universalisation and reinforcement of multilateral agreements in the field of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and means of delivery (1).

(5)

The early entry into force and universalisation of the CTBT and the strengthening of the monitoring and verification system of the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO are important objectives of the EU Strategy against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

(6)

The Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO pursues the same objectives appearing in recitals 4 and 5 and is already engaged in identifying by what means its verification system could best be strengthened through the timely provision of expertise and training to personnel from Signatory States involved in the implementation of the verification regime. It is therefore appropriate to entrust the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO with the technical implementation of this Joint Action,

HAS ADOPTED THIS JOINT ACTION:

Article 1

1.   For the purposes of immediate and practical implementation of some elements of the EU Strategy against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, the European Union shall support the activities of the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO in the area of training and capacity building for verification in order to further the following objectives:

enhancing the operational performance of the verification system of the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO,

improving the capacity of CTBT Signatory States to fulfil their verification responsibilities under the CTBT and to enable them to benefit fully from participation in the treaty regime and from potential civil and scientific applications.

2.   The project of the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO, corresponding to measures of the EU Strategy, shall have the following objectives:

to provide training for the purpose of building capacity with regard to the verification system of the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO,

to provide electronic, interactive access to training courses and technical workshops as well as continuous access to training modules.

The project shall be carried out for the benefit of all CTBT Signatory States.

A detailed description of the project is set out in the Annex.

Article 2

1.   The Presidency, assisted by the Secretary-General of the Council/High Representative for the CFSP (SG/HR), shall be responsible for the implementation of this Joint Action, in full association with the Commission of the European Communities.

2.   The Commission shall supervise the proper implementation of the financial contribution referred to in Article 3.

3.   The technical implementation of the project referred to in Article 1(2) shall be entrusted to the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO, which shall perform this task under the responsibility of the Presidency and under the control of the SG/HR. For this purpose, the SG/HR shall enter into the necessary arrangements with the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO.

Article 3

1.   The financial reference amount for the implementation of the project referred to in Article 1(2) shall be EUR 1 133 000.

2.   The management of the expenditure financed by the general budget of the European Union specified in paragraph 1 shall be subject to the procedures and rules of the Community applying to budget matters with the proviso that any pre-financing shall not remain the property of the Community.

3.   For the purpose of implementing the expenditure referred to in paragraph 1, the Commission shall conclude a specific financing agreement with the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO in accordance with the Regulations and Rules of the CTBTO. It shall stipulate that the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO shall ensure visibility of the EU contribution, appropriate to its size.

Article 4

The Presidency, assisted by the SG/HR, shall report to the Council on the implementation of this Joint Action on the basis of regular reports prepared by the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO. The Commission shall be fully associated and shall provide information on the financial aspects of the implementation of the project referred to in Article 1(2).

Article 5

This Joint Action shall enter into force on the day of its adoption.

It shall expire 15 months after its adoption.

Article 6

This Joint Action shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Done at Brussels, 20 March 2006.

For the Council

The President

U. PLASSNIK


(1)  OJ L 302, 20.11.2003, p. 34.


ANNEX

EU support for activities of the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) in the area of training and capacity building for verification and in the framework of the implementation of the EU Strategy against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

1.   Description

The CTBTO Preparatory Commission is establishing a global verification regime consisting of 321 monitoring stations, 16 reference laboratories, the International Data Centre (IDC) and an on-site inspection (OSI) capability. An essential characteristic of the regime is its decentralized nature whereby data collected by the stations are distributed to Signatory States together with products from the IDC for final analysis and On-Site Inspection teams will be composed from an international roster. The regime therefore relies on the availability of experts in Signatory States to operate the stations and make use of the International Monitoring System (IMS) data and IDC products through their National Data Centres (NDCs), as well as on the availability of capabilities for OSI teams.

In order to improve the capacity of CTBT Signatory States to fulfil their verification responsibilities under the CTBT and to enable them to fully benefit from participation in the treaty regime, the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO has since its creation emphasised the importance of training and capacity building. In addition to traditional training methods, new information and communication technologies offer a range of possibilities for deepening and broadening capacity building in the future.

The e-training project is global in nature. It will reach all CTBT Signatory States and will provide electronic, interactive access to training courses and technical workshops to authorised users as well as continuous access to training modules through the Expert Communication System of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission.

2.   Project description

A pilot project was launched in November 2005 to explore the technological options available for web-casting and web-conferencing as well as for computer-based training with selected CTBT Signatory States in all regions. On the basis of the results of this pilot phase which will pay particular attention to the differing technological environments in which e-training methods should be used, the methodology, technical infrastructure, and substance of the capacity-building actions will be developed.

The project will cover the development and implementation of capacity building based on the following concept:

computer-based training/self-study (CBT).

Computer-based training/self-study (CBT) allows for some interactivity and for continuous availability of training modules for the authorised user. CBT requires a long development time as the story board must be developed, reviewed, tested and revised many times before the first release to students. If the material being taught does not change very much, this can be an effective method of delivering consistent training material to a wide audience. For example, staff of NDCs need basic familiarisation with the concepts and tools used in the Provisional Technical Secretariat. Participants in OSI activities (Integrated Field Experiment 2008) will need to be trained in large numbers.

After the pilot phase, which is financed through bilateral voluntary contributions, the project will be implemented in two phases as follows:

Phase 1: Development of a prototype eLearning system and initiation of courseware

The results of the pilot phase should allow the identification of a concept that meets the differing demands of the potential recipients in both technical and substantive terms.

Prototype modules for computer-based training will be developed and tested.

Components that should be considered for distance learning include:

online training modules for system elements,

training packages and lectures presenting static information or mature processes,

provision of training material, including technical and political documentation available on a web site,

test systems where station operators can run dummy sessions related to routine operations and maintenance procedures,

hands-on training in Geotool based on the tutorial. This could be part of preparatory training for a more specialised training course,

modules of the training cycle for the participants in the OSI Integrated Field Exercise.

Phase 2: Full implementation of the courseware

In the second phase, all remaining modules for the computer-based training will be developed and implemented. The content development of certain modules will be outsourced to partner institutions in CTBT Signatory States, which were instrumental in the development of techniques and procedures used in the CTBTO Preparatory Commission. The modules developed in phase 2 would benefit from the experience gained in the prototype development in phase 1.

Extensive evaluation accompanying the development and implementation phase is envisaged in order to fine tune the methodology and technologies used to the various needs of the potential recipients. To this end, a specific evaluation mechanism will be added to the CTBTO Preparatory Commission's ongoing evaluation of training and capacity-building activities. A number of CTBT Signatory States from all regions will be invited to cooperate closely with the CTBTO Preparatory Commission during the entire project and provide feedback on the usability of the capacity-building products. The computer-based training element of the project, in particular, will have to go through several testing and evaluation loops before a final product can be implemented.

Project Results

Increased number of trained experts for testing, evaluating and provisionally operating the CTBT verification regime,

improved preparation of participants for technical workshops,

increased number of participants and better dissemination and implementation of conclusions of technical workshops,

improved accessibility of training modules independent of time zones and technological development of the recipient state,

provision of training and capacity building by electronic means to all CTBT Signatory States.

3.   Duration

The total estimated duration of the two consecutive phases of the project will be 15 months.

4.   Beneficiaries

The beneficiaries of e-training are all CTBT Signatory States. The capacity of these States to implement the CTBT and its verification regime and to benefit fully from participation in the work of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission is essential to the proper functioning of the CTBT. Due attention will be given to the linguistic diversity of beneficiaries, including, where appropriate, language versions of training modules.

5.   Implementing entity

The CTBTO Preparatory Commission will be entrusted with the implementation of the project. The project will be implemented directly by staff of the Provisional Technical Secretariat of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission, CTBTO Preparatory Commission Signatory States' experts or contractors. In the case of contractors, the procurement of any goods, works or services by the CTBTO Preparatory Commission in the context of this Joint Action will be carried out in accordance with the applicable rules and procedures of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission, as detailed in the EU Contribution Agreement with the CTBTO Preparatory Commission.

6.   Third party participants

The project will be financed 100 % by this Joint Action. Experts from the CTBTO Preparatory Commission Signatory States may be considered as third party participants. They will work under the standard rules of operation for CTBTO Preparatory Commission experts.

7.   Estimated required means

The EU contribution will cover full implementation of the two phases of the project described in this Annex. The estimated costs are as follows:

Phase 1 (terms of reference, prototype development, including testing of first modules):

EUR 519 400

Phase 2 (development of remaining modules, testing and evaluation of modules with selected beneficiaries):

EUR 580 600

In addition, a contingency reserve of about 3 % of eligible costs (for a total amount of EUR 33 000) is included for unforeseen costs.

8.   Financial reference amount to cover the cost of the project

The total cost of the project is EUR 1 133 000.