The Group wishes to pay tribute to H.E. Ambassador Alfred T. Moleah, Permanent Representative of South Africa, who passed away on Saturday 28th May and expresses its deepest condolences and sympathy to his family and friends.
1. At the outset, the Group of 77 and China wishes to thank the Director General for his comprehensive introductory statement.
2. The Group commends the Secretariat for preparing document GOV/2005/24, which contains the Annual Report for 2004, and thanks DDG David Waller for presenting it.
3. Bearing in mind that technology is a primary driver of the Agency's activities, we take note of the steps taken by the Agency to promote technologies, particularly those which address the socio-economic needs of Member States and encourage the Agency to further strengthen and enhance its activities in this field.
4. The Group notes that the overview of the Annual Report clearly points out that there is a sense of rising expectations with regard to nuclear power in the near future, in contrast to the projections of four years ago. Even a conservative estimate by the Agency predicts that 127 more 1000 MW nuclear plants would be added by 2020, in comparison to the projection of 2000.
5. The G-77 and China notes that 2004 marked the 50th anniversary of electricity production through nuclear energy and that, during this period, the maturity of nuclear power and its importance in a number of developing countries was recognized. The Annual Report notes that, currently, 60% of the world reactors under construction are located in developing countries.
6. The Group notes that, in order to ensure the smooth operation of nuclear power plants and to increase their availability and productivity, issues concerning effective training, professional plant life management and knowledge transfer to the next generations of staff, constitute basic elements. In this context, the Group appreciates the publication of three technical documents during the year providing guidance on all the relevant issues. It also endorses the development of the second phase of the Electronic Nuclear Training Catalogue (ENTRAC).
7. As regards the Agency's International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO), the Group notes with satisfaction that the programme continues to grow and that several countries became members during the year. It looks forward to the assessment of Innovative Nuclear Systems using the INPRO methodology and the publication of the first draft of the user manual. With respect to water-cooled reactors, the Group realises the need to improve their reliability and safety and appreciates the initiation of a new Co-ordinated Research Project (CRP) on natural circulation phenomena.
8. The thermophysical properties of materials are vital inputs for specific plant design and the group notes with approval that a database for materials of both Light Water Reactors and Heavy Water Reactors has been established through the conclusion of the associated CRP. The Group also notes the growing interest of member states and all other efforts put in by the Agency towards addressing all issues related to advanced system technologies namely, ADS and HTRs for non-power applications for hydrogen generation and nuclear desalination.
9. On the Uranium Production Cycle and management, the Group notes with concern the main conclusion in the 2004 update of the Red Book, namely, the high uncertainty in Uranium market in the midterm. The recent extremely high increase in uranium fuel prices since 2002 is also a cause of concern for developing countries. In this context, the group looks forward to the report of the expert teams visiting Romania and Argentina to review the status of the projects related to the Uranium Mining Industry.
10. The Group supports Agency's activities under CRPs related to fuel performance enhancement, spent fuel management and alternate fuel cycles. The Group also appreciates the efforts of the Agency in disseminating information on all dimensions of the nuclear fuel cycle through the maintenance of several data bases as a general service to all member states. In addition, the Group notes the large number of planning models developed by the Agency to enhance the capacity building of Member States.
11. The Group notes with satisfaction the Agency's efforts to provide Member States with reliable access to atomic and nuclear data for various applications. The G-77 and China also approves the initiation of a new CRP in the area of development of new advanced materials through ion beam modification of surface properties. The Group looks forward to the publication of the technical document on the development and qualification of high density U-Mo fuels and supports activities related to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER).
12. Furthermore, the Group endorses all activities envisaged in the area of Food and Agriculture. In the field of human health, the Group approves the CRP on myocardial viability detection and the precise location of tumours through advanced complementary tomography techniques. It also attaches special importance to the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) and to Sterile Insect technique (SIT) applications.
13. The Group appreciates the expertise and methodologies developed to improve the management of limited water resources, protection of the marine and terrestrial environment and the use of radioisotopes and radio-immunoassay for clinical applications. It recognises the importance of radiation processing technology and its applications in the development of new materials through radiolytic synthesis, the treatment of flue gas for removal of oxides of sulphur and nitrogen with fertiliser as a by product.
14. The Group of 77 and China notes the Agency's mandate to help maintain the safety and security of global nuclear activities and, in this context, the IAEA's assistance in maintaining an effective and transparent global framework based on strong national safety structures reinforced by widespread subscription to international agreements and norms.
15. The Group has noted with satisfaction that considerable work was done during the year to improve the safety of nuclear installations around the world. The Group appreciates the Agency's efforts in implementing the action plan for the Development and Application of the IAEA Safety Standards. The report also mentions Agency's activities during the last ten years on Model Projects on radiation and waste safety. The progress made towards attaining established milestones to improve radiation and waste safety infrastructure in Member States is noteworthy.
16. As for nuclear security, the Group commends the Agency for the efforts undertaken to help countries to strengthen their national capacities. The Group would like to be informed of the savings achieved by the Secretariat with the implementation of integrated safeguards, mentioned in paragraph 47 of the Annual Report.
17. With these comments, the Group of 77 and China takes note of the Annual Report for 2004 (GOV/2005/24).
1. The Group wishes to thank the Deputy Director General Ana María Cetto for her comprehensive introductory statement and the Secretariat for producing the report contained in document GOV/2005/26.
2. The Group would like once again to stress the importance of the Technical Co-operation Programme of the Agency as a basic instrument for promoting peaceful uses of atomic energy for sustainable socioeconomic development in Member States. The G-77 and China stresses that it is necessary to maintain an adequate balance between the promotional and other statutory activities of the Agency. In this connection, the Group reiterates that contributions to the TCF should be sufficient, assured and predictable, and urges Member States to pay their share of TCF resources in a timely manner.
3. While appreciating the efforts of the Department of Technical Co-operation in 2004, the G-77 and China expressed its concern about the decrease in the overall implementation rate for 2004, which was only 68.1% in comparison with 72.5% for the year 2003.
4. The Group believes that the restructuring of the TC Department into four regions should be completed as soon as possible. While we support all efforts to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the TC Programme and Technical Cooperation Management, delays in the completion of this process as well as staff time taken by internal studies, reviews, audits and evaluations, in the past two years, have been a factor in the continued decrease in the overall implementation rate for 2004. Moreover, the prolonged vacancy of two important positions, namely the two D1 positions in the TC Department, should be resolved soon in order to complete the transition process.
5. The Group underlines the need to strengthen co-operation among developing countries through different mechanisms, such as the Regional Resource Centers, which have provided, last year, an increasing amount of laboratory services, training facilities and experts for the implementation of TC projects in the various regions. TCDC also plays a key role in promoting peaceful uses of atomic energy for sustainable socioeconomic development in Member States and should continue to be a priority in future planning for the programme.
6. The Group notes with appreciation the Agency's efforts to promote co-operation and partnership building with international and regional development organizations and welcomes the co-operation among the Agency, the Regional Office for Africa (AFRO) and UNAIDS as part of the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa to support the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) goals.
7. The Group reiterates its support to the programme on upgrading radiation protection infrastructure (Model Project) and is satisfied to note that the Agency's activities in this field over the last 10 years have had a positive impact on upgrading radiation protection infrastructures in developing countries. We support the continuation of the Agency's proactive approach in assisting Member States in achieving adequate safety and security while using radioactive sources.
8. The Group welcomes the revised guidelines for thematic planning and Country Programme Frameworks (CPFs) based on recommendations from the Standing Advisory Group on Technical Assistance and Cooperation (SAGTAC) and Agency oversight services and looks forward to additional briefings by the Secretariat and the organization workshops for Member States covering the revised guidance documents.
9. On the review and redesign of the TC programme cycle framework being undertaken by the Secretariat in consultation with Member States, as described in paragraph A.4 of the report, the Group recognizes the efforts of the Department of Technical Cooperation to improve TC project delivery to Member States. The Group notes that the proposed change involves the use of a Project Concept in lieu of the regular lengthy Project Proposals coming from individual Member States. The Group regrets that the Project Concept did not attach equal importance to the submission of regional projects based on the needs and priorities defined by the Member States of a region.
10. In this regard, the Group considers that the use of a Project Concept should result in greater interaction among the various stakeholders, promote transparency and improve the efficiency of TC programme management. The Group therefore urges the Secretariat to continue close consultations with all stakeholders in order to fully realize the improvement of TC programme planning and delivery as dictated by the needs and priorities of Member States.
11. Turning to the financial needs and resources of the Technical Cooperation Programme, particularly paragraph C.2 of the Report, the Group continues to urge the Secretariat to implement maximum flexibility in the collection of the first installment of National Participation Cost (NPC) payments, noting that the consensus reached last year on NPCs, in the Group's view, is subject to review by the Board in June 2006, as stated in paragraph 2 of GOV/2004/46. In this regard, the Group wishes to reiterate its statement at the Programme and Budget Committee last month, where we stated that, "with regard to the NPC's system, the Group shares the view expressed by the External Auditor. . .that, 'considering the relatively small amounts per project that were due from all 85 Member States concerned, it appears questionable whether delaying the start of the project is the appropriate reaction to the failure to pay NPCs in full.'"
12. With these comments, the Group supports the recommended action.
I thank you, Madam Chair.
1. The G-77 and China wishes to thank the Secretariat for preparing the report contained in document GOV/2005/31 and the DDG for Nuclear Safety and Security for presenting it.
2. The Group of 77 and China commends the Agency for its continued efforts to strengthen the corpus of its safety standards and to improve the safety of transport of radioactive material.
3. The Group considers that the proposed Policy for Reviewing and Revising the Agency's Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material contained in document GOV/2005/31 should help keep consistency with equivalent processes carried out within the UN Modal Organizations and allow States enough time to adopt compatible provisions in their domestic requirements without precluding the periodical adjustment or change of the Transport Regulations on the basis of experience gained, concerns expressed by Members States and technological developments.
4. Nevertheless, since the proposal of a revision process should come from TRANSSC, the Group requests that the application of the proposed policy be accompanied by further efforts to support a wider participation of experts from developing countries in the work of this and all the other Agency´s safety standards committees. The G77 highlights also that issues of geographical representation and balance of diverse interests should be taken into account when renewing the composition of the Commission on Safety Standards (CSS) and requests a report on measures taken on these matters in due course.
5. With these comments, the Group recommends that the Board approve this Policy and its implementation.
Thank you Madam Chair.
The Group of 77 and China welcomes the decision by the Board of Governors on the re-appointment of Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei for a third term as Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The Group notes with great satisfaction that consensus could be reached on this matter, in keeping with the "Vienna Spirit". In this context, the Group wishes to commend the Chair of the Board of Governors for her efforts towards reaching consensus. We also wish to express our appreciation to all regional groups and Member States for their co-operation and support, which made the re-appointment possible.
Since the beginning of this process, the Group expressed its full support for Dr. ElBaradei´s re-appointment, having in mind Dr ElBaradei's credentials and the fact that he was the sole candidate for the position, and noting the broad and strong support that he enjoyed.
The Group wishes to reiterate its appreciation for the valuable work that Dr. ElBaradei has done to promote and enhance the Agency's activities, as well as for the impartial, effective and professional manner in which he has discharged his responsibilities as Director General of the IAEA. The Group strongly believes that the re-appointment of Dr. ElBaradei will ensure the continuation of the Agency´s activities in a stable and professional way.
Allow me to take this opportunity to wish Dr. ElBaradei, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, all success upon assuming his new tenure and to assure him of our full support.
Thank you, Madam Chair.