Statement of the Group of 77 and China during the Informal Consultations regarding the IAEA draft Nuclear Security Plan 2018-2021, on 10 August 2017, delivered by Mr. Asadollah Eshragh, Deptuty Chief of Mission, Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Vienna, 10 August 2017
Mr. Raja Adnan, Acting DDG,
1. The Group of 77 and China wishes to thank the Secretariat for the new revised draft of the Nuclear Security Plan 2018-2021, as attached to Note 67, and for organizing these informal consultations. The G77 and China recognizes with appreciation that the Secretariat has taken on board some of the points and concerns raised by the Group in previous rounds of this process of consultations.
2. The Group would like to reiterate the need for as many consultations as required until consensus on the Plan is reached. In addition to remarks made during our last meetings, the Group would like to offer the following comments.
3. The Group reiterates its principled position that nuclear security considerations should not hamper international cooperation in the field of peaceful nuclear activities. This important principle has been stated in the resolutions on nuclear security adopted by the General Conference and reflected in the two Ministerial Declarations, adopted in 2013 and 2016. As requested by the Group, this notion is now reflected in paragraph 9 of the draft and must remain in the Plan. To make it a completely accurate reflection of the General Conference resolutions on nuclear security, the Group requests the Secretariat to insert the word “Agency’s” in the last line of paragraph 9, which should read: “(…) and do not undermine the established priorities of the Agency’s Technical Cooperation Programme.”. Similarly, the second bullet of paragraph 11 should be either deleted or further considered.
4. The Group notes with concern the deletion of paragraph 9 from the previous version of the draft and urges the Secretariat to reintroduce the language which read as follows: “Agency assistance in capacity building and in facilitating information exchange is provided solely at the request of States and nothing in this Plan is intended to impose obligations upon States”.
5. The Group also reiterates its request for further information on the planned output contained in paragraph 63 for the period 2020-2021, which reads “Activities addressing current and evolving challenges and risks to nuclear security”.
6. The Group notes that the Agency’s first comprehensive plan of action was approved in March 2002 by the Board of Governors, together with the creation of a voluntary funding mechanism, the Nuclear Security Fund, in order to implement the Plan. The Group highlights the need to ensure an appropriate balance between activities in the promotional and non-promotional areas. In this regard, the Group urges the Secretariat to avoid the introduction of any elements in the Plan that do not enjoy consensus and requests further information on the implications of paragraph 14, in Section C, and of Section D of the revised Draft Plan, in particular with regard to the following points:
- paragraph 14 states that “Each project includes a task focusing on overall management, typically funded through the regular budget”, a notion that was not found in the first version of the draft;
- In the first portion of paragraph 65, the draft mentions that “the regular budget primarily funds staff costs to support the implementation of those activities designed to benefit the greatest number of Member States”.
- In the second portion of paragraph 65, it is stated that: “As assistance is provided at the request of States, the actual resources required for implementation of the Plan over the four years will depend on the number and complexity of requests received. The Secretariat will provide further information in the course of the implementation of the Plan”.
- in paragraph 67, it is mentioned that “The Agency will continue to rely on voluntary contributions to the Nuclear Security Fund to implement the majority of programme activities under the Plan.”
- Also in paragraph 67, the document continues to assert that “the Secretariat is prepared to address possible reductions in contributions to the Nuclear Security Fund and the consequences of such reductions on the implementation of the Plan”.
7. In conclusion, the Group stresses that the language in all sections of the Nuclear Security Plan must reflect the consensus achieved in the course of discussions on the GC Resolutions and the Ministerial Declaration on nuclear security.
8. With these comments, the G-77 and China looks forward to further discussion on the draft Nuclear Security Plan 2018-2021 with a view to its finalization in due course.
Thank you, Mr. Raja Adnan, Acting DDG.