Statement of the G-77 and China during the IAEA Board of Governors
delivered by H.E. Ambassador Mahmoud Elamin, Permanent Representative of the
Sudan, 3-7 June 2013
Agenda Item 2: The Annual Report for 2012
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 2012 as contained in document GOV/2013/18.
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 2012 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 2012 to strengthen Member State capabilities to improve nuclear power plant performance and service life.
4. The Group believes 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's tools for analysing and planning energy systems 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 Nuclear Reactor Technology Development in different reactor technologies, small and medium sized reactors and research reactors. 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 two 2012 INPRO Dialogue Forums on the contribution of innovation and technology to the sustainability of Nuclear Energy
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 takes note of the Agency's work in 2012 on research and development of innovative fuels and fuel cycle options for small and medium sized reactors (SMRs)
10. The Group takes note of the Agency's Integrated Nuclear Fuel Cycle Information System (iNFCIS) which aims 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 encourages concerned Member States to regularly update the information contained in different databases of iNFCIS 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 assess their climate change mitigation options. The Group attaches great importance to the IAEA's activities in the field of energy-economy-environment (3E) analysis. In this regard, the Group notes the Agency's conclusion that achieving goals of ensuring sustainable energy supplies and curbing greenhouse gases will be difficult without nuclear power and 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 2012 in three important regional networks in Asia, Africa and Latin America for Education in Nuclear technology.
13. The Group appreciates 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 128 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, and 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 and high yield crop development. The Group further notes with appreciation that the sterile insect techniques continue to be used for suppressing or eradicating insects. The Group, therefore, encourages further expansion of these techniques achieve higher yield in food production.
18. In the field of cancer therapy, the Group urges the Agency to continue building capacities of developing countries, including 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 2012 and hopes that more Member States could benefit from this programme.
19. Whilst noting the proposed move from MP2 to MP6 the Group would like to caution the Secretariat to make every effort to ensure that the successful delivery mechanism of PACT is not affected by the move and at the same time that the TC programme is not impacted adversely by this move
20. The Group commends the Agency for its role in the global water management and takes note of the progress made towards the implementation of the IAEA Water Availability Enhancement (IWAVE) project in 2012, which assists Member States in increasing the availability and sustainability of water resources using science based assessments of natural water resources. The Group appreciates the efforts of the Agency in providing training, enhancing data analysis methods and expanding its global isotope monitoring networks
21. 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 to assist regional laboratories to improve quality assurance and management of laboratories in Member States. The Group encourages the Secretariat to enhance these efforts for the larger benefit of Member States.
22. 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 a CRP in 2012 which facilitated introduction of some radiopharmaceuticals in Member States' institutions. Owing to their importance, the Group believes that such activities should be further enhanced.
Nuclear Safety and Nuclear Security
23. The Group reiterates its appreciation for the Agency's continuing efforts to promote nuclear safety worldwide and welcomes the diverse Agency activities undertaken in 2012 in this area.
24. 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 nuclear security considerations should not be used to hamper the utilization of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
25. 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.
26. 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.
27. 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 for the standardization and harmonization of education and training programmes based on the Agency's safety standards.
28. On 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.
29. On the development and review of the Agency's Nuclear Security Series publications, the Group welcomes the approval of Nuclear Security Fundamentals by the Nuclear Security Guidance Committee (NSGC). The Group is of the view that the work of NSGC enhances transparency and ownership of nuclear security guidance documents. In this regard, the Group reiterates its call on the Secretariat to make every effort to support the participation of experts from developing countries in the work of the committee.
30. In this connection, the Group would like to stress 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.
31. 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 2012.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.
Agenda Item 3: Strengthening of the Agency's Technical Cooperation Activities-Technical
Cooperation Report for 2012
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 of Technical Cooperation Report for 2012 as well as for organizing the briefing on 14th May.
2. The Group highlights the paramount importance of the Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) in the promotion and transfer of nuclear technology for sustainable socioeconomic progress in developing countries which is a key statuary function of the Agency.
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 2012. In this context, the Group reiterates that the present guidelines and criteria as contained in INFCIRC/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 falling rate of attainment on payments to TCF from 96.1 % in 2008 to 88.3% in 2012. 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 requests the Secretariat to take all necessary measures to improve the rate of attainment including strictly applying 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 have 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 notes the External auditor's observation that PMOs are overburdened and that this could impact the quality of input provided by the Agency and requests it to take necessary steps to review the situation. 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 equipment, 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 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, 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 2012 to help Member States develop their national and regional programmes for the 2014-2015 cycle and the extensive consultative processes which enabled 18 countries to sign their Country Programme Framework (CPF) in 2012.
11. 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 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).
13. 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) and the coordination with the Permanent Missions in Vienna, would be essential to enhance country programme delivery.
14. 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).
15. The Group welcomes the projects in thematic areas covering human health and nutrition, agricultural productivity and food security, monitoring and managing water resources and the environment, industrial applications, energy planning and nuclear power and radiation protection, nuclear safety and nuclear security.
16. With these remarks, the Group of 77 and China takes note of the TC Report for 2012, as contained in document GOV/2013/19.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.
Agenda Item 4: 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 6-7 May 2013. The Group would like to thank DDG Janice Dunn Lee and her team for their efforts during the deliberations of the Committee, as well as thank the External Auditor and his staff for their report.
2. The Group reiterates the position it has made during previous meetings on the preparation of the Agency's programme and budget for the biennium 2014-2015, as well as through the statement it delivered during the deliberations of the Committee held on the 6th of May 2013.
3. In particular, the Group would like to highlight once again its concern over 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) in a manner that matches the overall increase in the regular budget. 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. Chairman, the Group of 77 and China takes note of the Report of the Programme and Budget Committee as contained in document (GOV/2013/26) and recommends its adoption.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
Agenda item 5 (a): Implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety
1. The Group of 77 and China would like to thank the Director General and the Secretariat for the continued update on the progress made in the implementation of the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety. The Group also thanks DDG Flory for introducing the item as well as for organizing a useful briefing on 23 May 2013.
2. The Group is committed to support all the Agency activities that strengthen global nuclear safety. The Group reemphasizes that the purpose of enhancing nuclear safety should be to positively contribute to the development and utilization of nuclear technology for peaceful uses and that the Agency should orient its programme in this regard.
3. The Group underscores the importance of the revision of the Agency's broad range of assistance and support services to Member States to take into account the lessons from Fukushima.
4. While the Group notes the progress made by the Agency in coordination with Member States among others, to improve the Agency's peer review services, public information and enhance transparency and communication during emergency situations, continued efforts need to be made to ensure more effective communication in the event of a radiological or nuclear emergency.
5. 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.
6. The Group notes with appreciation the Agency's activities in connection with the implementation of the Plan since the last update. The Group further notes that the Secretariat continues to facilitate learning the lessons from the Fukushima Daiichi accident and sharing them with Member States in all relevant areas covered by the Action Plan.
7. The Group further notes the convening of first Working Group meetings in March 2013 which initiated preparatory work on a comprehensive IAEA report on the Fukushima Daiichi accident.
8. The Group looks forward to receiving analytical assessments and evaluations before September Board on how new and existing activities are actually contributing to the overall objectives of this plan.
9. The Group recalls the observation of the External Auditor on time-frame for the implementation of the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety. The Group endorses the External Auditor's recommendation that activities under the Plan may be completed within a reasonable period of time.
10. 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/2013/7.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Remarks of the G-77 and China on 5 June 2013
The Group of 77 and China would like to refer to the Chair's remarks made this morning on the status of the negotiations on the IAEA's programme and budget and the TCF targets for the biennium 2014-2015.
The Group expresses reservations with respect to the Chair's comments. We expect the Chair to be impartial and neutral in guiding the discussions amongst the member states. In addition, the Group expects the Chair to create an environment that is conducive to achieving a mutually acceptable outcome. The comments which had been made do not contribute to generating goodwill in our efforts to reach a consensus. In particular, we are disappointed with his uncalled-for remarks against previous decisions of the Board which were adopted by consensus after much intensive discussion and deliberations by all member states of the Agency.
The Group would like to reiterate that our approach has been and will continue to be constructive. The Group will remain engaged with all parties to take these deliberations forward.
The Group requests that the Group's remarks be reflected in the official records of this meeting.