The Group of 77 and China would like to express again its deep appreciation for the untiring efforts you have been undertaking, since you have been entrusted with the Chairmanship of the Board of Governors, to reach a satisfactory solution to the issue of the amendment of Article VI of the IAEA Statute.
The discussions on this item have lasted for many years. Regional Groups and individual Member States have had many opportunities to express their positions on each and every aspect of the issue and to comment on all new developments regarding the Amendment of Article VI of the Statute. As we are at a very crucial moment of the discussions and the negotiations aiming at elaborating and fine tuning a finalized formula to be adopted by the 43rd session of the General Conference, let me reiterate briefly but clearly the position of our Group on the different aspects under discussion:
1- The Group recognizes that thanks to the joint undertaking by many delegations as well as the constructive efforts developed by the last three Chairmen of the BOG, a great progress has been achieved. We are closer than any time before successfully conclude this long outstanding item.
2- On the issue of the size and composition of the Board: We wish to recall that the initial purpose of the discussions on the amendment of the Article VI was to democratize the Board, to improve its representativeness while keeping its efficiency. We believe that the amendment of Article VI should rectify the under-representation of developing countries on the Board and preclude against any diminution or retrogression in frequency of their election to the Board.
3- In this regard and on the basis of the previously stated position of its members, the Group is ready to support any proposal to amend Article VI, to expand the Board by at least 7 seats provided that it improves the representation of the developing countries, and provided that a distribution of the additional seats be acceptable to all area groups, so as to ensure the largest basis for consensus.
4- Regarding the composition of the Regional Groups: the G77 and China , has decided by consensus, with three reservations of Iran, Iraq and Syria, to support the amended paragraph "K" as contained in the Slovenian Proposal ( Document GOV/1999/52) .
5- Concerning the criteria and indicators to designate Members to the Board contained in document GOV/1999/52 Annex 7, and although some of its members still have some difficulties, the Group in a spirit of compromise, could accept to have them attached to the documents containing the proposed amendment, for further consideration during this Board and the forthcoming session of the General Conference, with the following understanding:
In this regard the G-77 and China is mindful of the importance of rotation within the regional group.Mr. Chairman, While stating this position, the Group of 77 and China remains ready to further clarify and discuss with a positive spirit and flexibility any of these aspects, so as to adopt a final decision, by consensus, during the forthcoming session of the General Conference. However, the Group would like to emphasize that should these positions be agreed upon, the Group will be ready to co-sponsor collectively the finalized formula emanating from the last round of negotiations. The Group finally, is fully aware of the necessity to keep the present momentum, because in the end, it is only the belief in the basic unity of the Board, in a sharing of responsibilities and benefits, that will give more legitimacy and enduring force to our common endeavors aimed at fulfilling the goals and objectives enshrined in the IAEA Statute. Thank you.