Statement of the Group of 77 and China during the First Informal Informal open-ended consultations on preparations for the Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety, 20-24 June 2011, delivered by H.E. Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Permanent Representative of the IR of Iran

Vienna, 15 April 2011

Mr. Chairman,

1. The Group of 77 and China wishes to thank you for convening these informal consultations and expresses its full confidence in your competent leadership for the appropriate preparations of the Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety of June 2011, important task entrusted to you by the Director General of the IAEA.

2. The Group wishes to reiterate the support already expressed to Director General Yukiya Amano, in a letter of April 1st 2011, for the initiative of convening this Ministerial Conference which, we believe, should not be viewed as a one-time event, but rather as the beginning of a process that should seek to reinforce nuclear safety worldwide in all its aspects.

3. The Conference should also serve as a platform for the initial assessment of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident and for the thorough exchange of views on the lessons to be learned from it, with a view to further strengthening the nuclear safety framework and the emergency preparedness and response mechanisms, as well as to adequately define the role of the IAEA in this vital area.

4. Furthermore, we believe that a thorough international technical assessment of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident is necessary and that such a process should be pursued at an appropriate time within the context of the IAEA.

5. The Group has examined with attention the proposed agenda and structure of the Ministerial Conference, as contained in Note 2011/27, and would like to make the following preliminary comments:

a. In relation to the possible agenda, we support the inclusion, within the working sessions, of a comprehensive assessment of the situation in Fukushima by Japan and the Secretariat. We also concur in the need to include specific sessions to start exploring ways to improve nuclear power plants safety worldwide and the existing mechanisms for emergency response and preparedness.

b. We are also ready to discuss the proposed duration of the Conference, in light of all relevant thematic and financial considerations. In addition, it is necessary to avoid any overlapping with other meetings scheduled in Vienna in the same days in order to secure adequate participation by all delegations in the Conference.

c. The Group also remains open to discuss the nature of the outcomes expected from the Conference. In that context, it is important that the Agency be able to act on any recommendations or conclusions agreed upon by the Conference, in accordance with its Statute.

e. Finally, stressing that the Conference should be a State driven process, the Group considers also that the Chairmanship of this high level meeting should be entrusted to a representative of a Member State of the Agency.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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