Statement of the Group of 77 and China during the Informal Consultations regarding the IAEA draft Nuclear Security Plan 2018-2021, on 31 July 2017, delivered by Mr. Asadollah Eshragh, Deptuty Chief of Mission, Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Vienna, 31 July 2017
Mr. Raja Adnan, Acting DDG,
1. The Group of 77 and China wishes to thank the Secretariat for preparing another revised draft of the Nuclear Security Plan 2018-2021, as attached to Note 63, and for organizing these informal consultations. 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.
2. The Group would like to mention a few parts of the draft Plan, which, in its view, do not constitute an accurate reflection of what is contained in the GC Resolution:
- 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.
- In this regard, the Group notes that a new paragraph 8 related to this principle has been inserted in the draft Plan. While welcoming this insertion, the Group is of the view that part of the initial portion of the paragraph – “activities under this Plan also support” – should be deleted, as it introduces a new element which is not present in the GC resolution. In the Group’s opinion, paragraph 8 should read as follows: “The General Conference, through its resolutions, has called upon all States to ensure that measures to strengthen nuclear security do not hamper international cooperation in the field of peaceful nuclear activities, the production, transfer and use of nuclear and other radioactive material, the exchange of nuclear material for peaceful purposes and the promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, 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 .
3. The Group reiteratesits request for further information on the planned output contained in paragraph 62 for the period 2020-2021, which reads “Activities addressing current and evolving challenges and risks to nuclear security”.
4. 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 B, and of Section C of the revised Draft Plan, on Programme Management and Resources, 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 paragraph 64, it is mentioned that “The Agency will continue to rely on extrabudgetary contributions to the Nuclear Security Fund to implement the majority of programme activities under the Plan, particularly activities primarily of benefit to an individual State or group of States, or in other ways.”
- paragraph 65 refers to the belief of the Secretariat that “an increase in the predicability of resources would reduce uncertaity in the planning due to the reliance on short term contracts and other hiring instruments to fill staffing needs”;
- in paragraph 66, the document continues to assert that “the Secretariat should be prepared to address possible reductions in contributions to the Nuclear Security Fund and the consequences of such reductions on the implementation of the Plan”.
- in paragraph 67, it is stated that “discussion on regular budgetary resources would take place in the Programme and Budget cycle”.
5. 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.