Statement of the G-77 and China during the IAEA Board of Governors
delivered by H.E. Ambassador Antonio García, Permanent Representative
of Peru, 4-8 June 2012
Agenda Item 3: The Annual Report for 2011
1. On behalf of the Group of 77 and China, I would like to thank the Director General for his introductory statement and the Secretariat for preparing the draft of the Annual Report for 2011 as contained in document GOV/2012/19 and the supplementary document.
Nuclear Power, Fuel cycle and Nuclear Science
2. The Group notes that nuclear power remains an important option not only for countries with existing nuclear programs, but also for developing countries with growing energy requirements. The Group encourages the Agency to continue providing the necessary support to Member States interested in launching and expanding nuclear power programmes. In this regard, the Group welcomes the work undertaken by the Agency in 2011 to assist interested Member States to build their capacities for national energy assessments and planning, through technical assistance, review services, training, capacity building and knowledge networks.
3. The Group notes with appreciation the work of the Agency in rendering engineering support for operation, maintenance and plant life management by compiling and disseminating information on technological advances, best practices and lessons learned from past experience. In this context, the Group takes note of the Agency's activities, development of guidelines and technical meetings held in 2011 to strengthen Member State capabilities to improve nuclear power plant performance and service life.
4. The Group continues to believe that the success of a nuclear programme would largely, inter alia, depend on the availability of sufficient skilled workforce in all stages of the nuclear development. The Group encourages the Agency to continue to provide support to Member States, in particular developing countries, in human resource development. In this connection, the Group notes with interest the work of the Agency in planning tools for countries considering or launching new nuclear power programmes, in particular through development of new self assessment method to review the adequacy of national capacity building arrangements.
5. The Group appreciates the work of the Agency in the area of Nuclear Reactor Technology Development through the Technical Working Groups in different reactor technologies, small and medium sized reactors and non electric applications, such as hydrogen generation and desalination using nuclear power. The Group notes with satisfaction the various activities accomplished in this area through coordinated research projects, technical meetings, workshops, training and publication of documents.
6. The Group values the Agency's International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO) which provides, inter alia, a forum in which technology holders and users jointly consider innovative nuclear energy systems. The Group takes note of the 2011 INPRO Dialogue Forum on Nuclear Energy Innovations with due attention to development and deployment of small and medium sized reactors (SMRs). The Group notes with satisfaction the increase of the INPRO's membership to 35 Member States and encourages the Agency to continue its efforts to seek innovation in nuclear power.
7. In this context, the Group notes with concern that INPRO continues to rely mainly on extra-budgetary contributions from its members. The Group is of the view that the support to INPRO from the Agency's regular budget should be increased.
8. The Group encourages the Agency to continue to provide full support to the developing Member States of the Agency in the area of uranium production. The Group welcomes the inclusion in the Report of activities like Nuclear Power Reactor Fuel Engineering, Spent Fuel Management and Integrated Nuclear Fuel Cycle Information System.
9. The Group notes the efforts of the Agency directed towards efficient use of fissile and fertile material under the heading 'topical advanced fuel cycle' and considers them important and timely from the sustainability considerations in view of the renewed interest in the nuclear power in large number of Member states. The Group takes note of the Agency's work in 2011 on research and development of innovative fuels and fuel cycle options for small and medium sized reactors (SMRs), which several countries have shown interest in.
10. The Group takes note of the recent developments on the Agency's Integrated Nuclear Fuel Cycle Information System (iNFCIS) to assist Member States in analyzing the different stages, facilities, capacities, inter-linkages and synergies related to various fuel cycle options and approaches. The Group also welcomes the addition of a new database in 2011 on the World Distribution of Thorium Deposits and Resources (ThDEPO) to the system and encourages concerned Member States to regularly update the information on the system and calls on the Secretariat to continue assisting Member States to get the best use of this tool.
11. Nuclear power continues to be a major interest for developing countries as they assessed their climate change mitigation options, the Group of 77 and China thereby, attaches great importance to the IAEA capacity building activities in the field of energy-economy-environment (3E) analysis. For the Group, this development underlines the need to increase the transfer of nuclear technology and the sharing of nuclear knowledge to developing countries, to enhance their capabilities to meet future energy needs.
12. On nuclear knowledge management, the Group welcomes the support given by the IAEA to a number of knowledge networks and forums on the regional level. The Group takes note of the Agency's work in 2011 in three important regional networks in Asia, Africa and Latin America for Education in Nuclear technology.
13. The Group notes with satisfaction that a large number of energy analysts in various developing countries have been trained and national energy assessment efforts were supported through Agency TC projects. The Group appreciates the various activities of the Agency in the area of knowledge management and notes with satisfaction that International Nuclear Information System (INIS) has a current membership of 127 countries and 24 international organizations and is a key provider of knowledge on the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology.
14. The Group welcomes the inclusion in the Report of activities under atomic and nuclear data, research reactors, accelerators, nuclear instrumentation and spectrometry and nuclear fusion and reiterates its support for these programmes.
15. The Group takes note of the ongoing efforts undertaken by the agency to support the transition to Molibdenum-99 production based on LEU, with a view to preventing future shortages of its supplies. The Group requests the Secretariat to redouble its efforts to ensure uninterrupted radioisotope supplies, including through the enhancement of the utilization of reactors in developing countries for isotope production.
16. With regard to non-power nuclear applications, the Group attaches great importance to the various activities in the application of nuclear and isotopic techniques in the fields of food and agriculture, human health, management of water resources, environment, industry, radioisotope and radiation technology.
17. The Group commends the work of the Agency, in its joint programme with FAO, for developing and implementing technologies for animal disease control. The Group is particularly pleased with the official declaration by FAO and the World Organization for Animal Health of global freedom from rinderpest. The Group further notes with appreciation that the sterile insect techniques continues to be used for suppressing or eradicating insects such as fruit flies, tsetse flies, moths and others. The Group therefore encourages further expansion of these techniques to other crops and to other regions in order to achieve greater yield in food production for mankind.
18. The Group views that it is important that the Agency continues to assist Member States through Coordinated Research Projects (CRPs) on a variety of technological and scientific resources available within the Agency's capacity. In this regard, the Group values the networking activities and the educational role played by the Agency leading to the development of, inter alia, on-line curriculum in the area of human health and training videos in isotope hydrology. The Group encourages the continuation and expansion of such activities in the future.
19. The Group notes with appreciation the Agency's efforts in fulfilling one of its mandates by seeking to enhance the capabilities of Member States in preventing, diagnosing and treating health problems, including cancer, through the application of a range of nuclear techniques. The shortage of medical specialists in developing countries is of grave concern to the Group.
20. In acknowledging the danger of improper use of ionizing radiation for health treatment and the importance of accurate use of dosimetry, the Group commends the activities undertaken by the Agency to promote the safe use of nuclear technologies in medicine. The Group welcomes those efforts which aim at promoting public acceptance to the safe use of nuclear technology.
21. In the field of cancer therapy, the Group urges the Agency to continue building capacities for developing countries, particularly to those that still have no access to radiation medicine techniques and radiotherapy. The Group highly commends the continued efforts to strengthen the Agency's collaboration with leading cancer organizations through the WHO/IAEA Joint Programme on Cancer Control under the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT), inter alia by carrying out more integrated missions of PACT (imPACT) and fostering more regional PACT programmes. In this regard, the Group notes with appreciation the activities undertaken within the framework of the Agency's integrated missions of PACT reviews in 2011 and hopes that more Member States could benefit from this programme.
22. Furthermore, the Group is deeply concerned about the lack of necessary funding for (PACT) being dependent on extra-budgetary funding for the implementation of the programme. The Group calls upon the Secretariat to work closely with Member States and relevant entities to increase financial contributions to implement PACT's strategy.
23. The Group reiterates its request to the Secretariat to report on the status of the ongoing development of an Agency-wide strategy for cancer-related activities. The Group further stresses that any changes in any of the elements of PACT, including its regulatory framework and program scope, should only be made in close consultation with Member States.
24. The Group would like to take this opportunity to express its appreciation to Mr. Massoud Samiei, Programme Director, for all his hard work in shepherding the PACT Programme Office (PPO), in facilitating delivery of the Agency's cancer-related activities in Member States. The Group believes that the efforts of Mr. Samiei and his team have facilitated the development of PPO and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours.
25. The Group commends the Agency for its role in the ongoing global water management and takes note of the progress made towards the implementation of the IAEA Water Availability Enhancement (IWAVE) project in 2011, which helps Member States to fully assess the availability and quality of water resources using isotope techniques. The Group further appreciates the efforts of the Agency in providing training, enhancing data analysis methods, expanding its global isotope monitoring networks, and initiating a thematic series of isotope hydrology atlases.
26. The Group recognizes the unique role that the Agency plays in enhancing the capabilities of Member States in managing the marine and terrestrial environmental pollutants using nuclear techniques and by providing reference materials to Member States to improve quality, accreditation and measurement procedures for the analysis of environmental samples. In this context, the Group takes note of the work of the Agency in 2011 pertaining to building technical capacity of regional laboratories to improve quality assurance and management of laboratories in Member States. The Group therefore encourages the Secretariat to enhance these efforts for the larger benefits of Member States.
27. The Group recognizes that radioisotope products are major tools for nuclear applications and therefore appreciates the Agency's activities in this field which focus on promoting innovation in Member States. The Group also notes with satisfaction the conclusion of two CRPs in 2011 which positively contributes to Member States' capabilities for clean and efficient application of radiation processing technology. Owing to its importance, the Group believes that these activities should be further enhanced.
Nuclear Safety and Nuclear Security
28. The Group reiterates its appreciation for the Agency's continuing efforts to promote nuclear safety worldwide and welcomes the diverse Agency activities undertaken in 2011 in this area.
29. While recognizing that the primary responsibility for nuclear safety rests with the States, the Group believes that the Agency plays an important role in this field as provided for in Article III of the Statute. The Group remains of the view that nuclear safety and security considerations should not be used to hamper the utilization of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
30. The Group acknowledges as reflected in the report that the level of nuclear safety among the 435 operating nuclear power plants in operation around the world remained high in 2011. However, the Group believes that the Fukushima accident has demonstrated the need to continue reviewing and strengthening the international nuclear safety framework, including emergency preparedness and response capabilities, and that there is no scope for complacency. The Agency has to continue strengthening and improving its activities in this field.
31. In this regard, the Group encourages the Agency, in coordination with interested Member States, to enhance the use and effectiveness of RANET. The Group also appreciates the strengthening of national emergency preparedness and response capacities through training events and exercises, and carrying out Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) activities. The Group encourages the Secretariat to strengthen its coordination with other international organizations in the domain of emergency preparedness and response to improve interoperability and consistency in responding to nuclear accidents and radiological emergency.
32. The Group appreciates in particular assistance to developing countries embarking on nuclear power programmes and encourages the Agency to continue its efforts in developing and strengthening the nuclear safety infrastructure needed to develop nuclear power as part of their national energy mix.
33. In this regard, the Group welcomes the recent nuclear safety review missions undertaken by the IAEA in to assist some members of the Group, including IRRS (Integrated Regulatory Review Service) & INIR (Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review) missions conducted in Bangladesh and the UAE, as well as the safety review missions undertaken at the research reactors in Egypt, Jordan and Morocco, as well as the EPREV missions in Pakistan in the field of emergency preparedness.
34. The Group takes note of the Agency's continued efforts in supporting the sharing of knowledge, expertise and information on all aspects of nuclear safety. The Group appreciates the Agency's continued efforts on development of Safety Assessment Education and Training Programme (SAET) for the standardization and harmonization of education and training programmes based on the Agency's safety standards.
35. Turning to nuclear security. The Group is of the view that investing in human resource development and capacity building continues to be vital to maintain effective and sustainable nuclear security programmes in Member States. The Group, thus, appreciates provision of training in the area of nuclear security to a large number of relevant professionals and provision of equipment to Member States for detecting and responding to the unauthorized movement of nuclear and other radioactive material. Many of these activities were undertaken as part of the Agency's Nuclear Security Plan 2010-2013.
36. On the development and review of the Agency's Nuclear Security Series publications, the Group welcomes the establishment of the Nuclear Security Guidance Committee (NSGC) consisting of experts nominated by Member States. The Group is of the view that this process enhances transparency and ownership of nuclear security guidance documents. In this regard, the Group calls on the Secretariat to make every effort to support the participation of experts from developing countries in the work of the committee.
37. In this connection, the Group would like to stress its position that nuclear safety and nuclear security should not be used as a condition or pre-requisite for deciding on technical cooperation projects. In general, the Group encourages the Secretariat to continue the practice of getting constant feedback from Member States in the process of formulating tools and guidelines to assist them in the assessment of their national regulatory infrastructure.
38. Finally with regard to the Technical Cooperation Programme, the Group of 77 and China reiterates its calls for the strengthening of the promotional activities of the Agency including technical cooperation through the provision of adequate resources to properly respond to the growing needs of Member States. The Group will provide its comments in detail in its statement under agenda item 4 regarding the IAEA report on technical cooperation activities in 2011.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.
Agenda Item 4: Strengthening of the Agency's Technical Cooperation Activities
1. The Group of 77 and China wishes to thank DDG Mr. Kwaku Aning for his introductory statement and the staff of the Technical Cooperation Department for the preparation and early release of the documents, as well as for organizing the briefing of 11th May, on this subject, in a timely manner.
2. The Group highlights the paramount importance of the Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP), which is a key statuary function of the Agency in the promotion and transfer of nuclear technology for sustainable socioeconomic progress in developing countries.
3. The Group reiterates that the TCP is a shared responsibility and it has to be the result of the combined efforts of the technical Departments, the Department of Technical Cooperation and the Member States. These efforts are crucial for the planning and successful implementation of the TCP, which should be based on the needs, evolving priorities and the ownership of Member States implementing TC projects.
4. With regard to enhancing transparency and efficiency of TC projects, the Group takes note of the efforts made by the Secretariat in 2011, for the preparations of the new TC programme cycle, as well as the implementation of the guidelines for the preparation of the 2014-2015 TC cycle. In this context, the Group reiterates that the present guidelines and criteria as contained in INF/CIRC/267 for the screening of TC project proposals, programme implementation and subsequent evaluation are sufficient and effective. Any changes to the established TC programmatic approach by the Secretariat should be considered in close consultation with the Group.
5. The Group notes with concern the decrease in the rate of attainment on payments to TCF from 90.9 % in 2010 to 86% in 2011. The Group therefore calls upon all Member States to pay their contributions in accordance with the indicative scale of assessment in full and in a timely manner. In addition to that, the Group reiterates to the Secretariat to strictly apply the due account mechanism.
6. The Group also notes with concern, that despite the increase in the number of developing countries receiving TC, the resources of the TCF has not grown over the years compared to the large increases for non promotional activities of the Agency in the regular budget. The Group considers it necessary to maintain a balance between promotional and other statutory activities.
7. In this context, the Group remains concerned that the resources for the TCP are still not sufficient, assured and predictable (SAP) to meet the objectives mandated in Article II of the Statute as called for in several General Conference resolutions. The Group also calls for sufficient human resources and adequate funding for MP6 to facilitate successful delivery of the TC programme.
8. The Group calls on the Agency to address the long-standing obstacles such as delays and denials of shipment, as well as travel and visa restrictions imposed by a number of countries that affect the programme delivery.
9. The Group welcomes the success of the TC activities within the different regions and thanks the Secretariat for its role in providing support and assistance to Member States. In particular, the Group takes note with appreciation of the TC projects related to capacity building, enhancement of nuclear safety and, in a more general way, the various projects contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in developing countries, such as human health, food and agriculture and radioisotope production projects.
10. The Group notes with appreciation the efforts made by the Agency in 2011 to help Member States develop their national and regional programmes for the 2012-2013 cycle and the extensive consultative processes which enabled 16 countries to sign their Country Programme Framework (CPF) in 2011.
11. In this vein, the Group considers the Country Programme Framework (CPF) to be a useful programming tool to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the technical cooperation programme. While CPF certainly cannot fully express the dynamic needs and priorities of Member States participating in TC programs, it provides guidance in planning and prioritization.
12. The Group takes note of the new online communication platform "In Touch" as well as the integration between PCMF and the TCPRIDE platform, and looks forward to further enhancement and provision of training to Member States in this regard, in particular to developing countries, who do not have the appropriate infrastructure to have access to this IT programme.
13. The Group believes that the Programme Management Officer (PMO), who is the direct interface between the Agency and the Member State, acts as the Agency's resident expert on a Member State's needs, interests and priorities. In that regard, taking into account the technical nature of the Agency's programmes, the close collaboration between the PMO and Member States counterpart, usually the National Liaison Officer (NLO), cannot be delegated to UN resident representatives. The joint responsibility of the PMO and the Member State's counterpart is to carefully design projects based on the Central Criterion and developmental strategies of the Member States concerned, using the IT-based Programme Cycle Management Framework (PCMF).
14. The Group stresses the vital role of the National Liaison Officers (NLOs) in TC project design and implementation. In this context, the continued strengthening of the NLOs' management capabilities, together with the strengthening of the role of the Programme Management Officer (PMO), would be essential to enhance country programme delivery.
15. As expressed before, the Group would like to emphasize that the alignment with UNDAF should not be made a requirement for TC projects. However, the Group takes note of the Agency's increasing visibility within the UN system with a view to contributing toward the global development agenda through its TC programme. In this regard the Group welcomes the strengthening of the Agency's cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
16. Regarding the WHO-IAEA Joint Programme on Cancer Control, the Group reiterates its request to the Secretariat to report on the status of the implementation of the Joint WHO/IAEA Programme, and to provide information on the mechanisms at the operational level that are necessary in order to fully reap the benefits of this partnership
17. The Group welcomes the transboundary water resource projects notably on the "Formulation of an Action Programme for the Integrated Management of the Shared Nubian Aquifer" and "Adding the Groundwater Dimension in the Nile River Basin" which will further strengthen water resource management for developing countries in the African region.
18. The Group welcomes the Agency's efforts, in partnership with the UN Agencies and Members States on the trans-boundary water resource projects in developing countries. Owing to the importance of management and access to clean drinking water, the Group appreciates the Director General's special focus for the year 2011 on water and as a subject of the Scientific Forum. In this context, the Group calls for the full realization of the technical cooperation project on "integrated and sustainable management of shared aquifer systems and basins of the Sahel region", as contained in document (GOV/2012/21). The Group hopes that this project will enjoy the support of the Board as a footnote a/ project and calls on Member States to provide the financial support needed for its implementation.
19. With these remarks, the Group of 77 and China takes note of the TC Report for 2011, as contained in document GOV/2012/20.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.
Agenda Item 5: Report of the Programme and Budget Committee
1. The Group of 77 and China takes note of the Report of the Programme and Budget Committee on its meetings held from 7 to 8 May 2012 as contained in document (GOV/2012/22). The Group would like to thank Janice Dunn Lee and her team for their efforts during the deliberations of the Committee, as well as thanking the External Auditor and his staff for their report.
2. The Group reiterates the position it has made during previous meetings at the preparation for the Agency's regular programme for the biennium 2012-2013, as well as through the statement it delivered during the deliberations of the Committee held on the 7th of May 2012.
3. In particular, the Group would like to highlight once again its concern for the missing balance between voluntary and assessed contributions, as well as the asymmetry that exists between the promotional and non-promotional activities of the Agency as reflected in the increases of the proposed regular budget directed towards non-promotional activities.
4. In addition, the Group would like to emphasize the importance of making the resources of the Technical Cooperation Fund (TCF) Sufficient, Assured, and Predictable (SAP). The Group also underscores the need for sufficient funding from the Regular Budget for Major Programmes 1, 2, and 6 to respond to the growing needs of developing countries.
5. With these comments, Mr. Chairperson, the Group of 77 and China takes note of the Report of the Programme and Budget Committee as contained in document (GOV/2012/22) and calls on the Board to adopt it.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
Agenda item 6: Implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety
1. The Group wishes to thank DDG Denis Flory for introducing this agenda item and his team for the briefing to Member States on the 25th of May.
2. The Fukushima accident brought nuclear safety to the forefront of global attention and underlined the important role of the IAEA in this field. The IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, in its response, underscores the need for further strengthening global nuclear safety and identified actions for different stakeholders, including the Agency, to achieve this goal.
3. The Group is committed to strengthen global nuclear safety in light of the lessons from Fukushima. At the same time, the Group reiterates that enhanced nuclear safety should positively contribute to the development and utilization of nuclear technology for peaceful uses, and not to impede it.
4. While recognizing that the primary responsibility for nuclear safety rests with the Member States, the Group believes that the Agency plays an important role as provided for in Article III of the Statute and must retain the central role in this field, owing to its statutory functions and long-standing expertise.
5. In this context, the Group underscores the importance of the IAEA assistance to Member States in developing and expanding nuclear power programmes, in particular developing countries. The Group values the Agency's broad range of assistance and support services to Member States in the field of nuclear safety, in particular through transfer of knowledge, enhancing developing capacities and technical skills to strengthen their regulatory systems and infrastructures needed to develop nuclear power as part of their national energy mix.
6. The Group takes note of the activities undertaken by the Agency in this regard, inter alia, the peer review services on a voluntary basis conducted in 2011, for the assessment of nuclear power plants and fuel cycle facilities, during operation, design and decommissioning stages.
7. The Group reiterates its call on the Secretariat to provide information in future reports on the implementation of the Action Plan on Nuclear safety on cost implications of the activities under the Plan, especially with regard to the proposed biennial budget and on other future activities of the Agency.
8. The upcoming Board of Governors meeting in September will mark one year since the approval of the Action Plan. For the coming period, the Group looks forward to receiving analytical assessments and evaluations on how new and existing activities are actually contributing to the overall objectives of this plan.
9. With these remarks, the Group takes note of the Director General's report on the "Progress in the Implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety" as contained in document GOV/INF/2012/10.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Agenda item 12: Any other matters
1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and would like to express our gratitude to you, Ambassador Gianni Ghisi, for the excellent work carried out over the last year as Chairman of the Board. Your stewardship, efforts and continuous consultations with Members States were greatly appreciated among the Group, and I would like to take this opportunity to extend to you our sincere thanks and good wishes for your future endeavors.
2. The Group is welcoming Ambassador Filippo Formica and is looking forward to working with him in future boards.