Statements of G-77 and China to be made during the Board of Governor's Meeting , 8 - 12 March 2004 delivered by H.E. Ambassador Taous Feroukhi, Permanent Representative of Algeria

Thank you Mr. Chairman for giving me the floor. The Group of 77 and China wishes to thank Dr. Mohamed El Baradei, Director General of the IAEA for his comprehensive introductory statement on various agenda items and on the developments taken place since the previous Board meeting.

Mr. Chairman, the Group of 77 and China would be pleased to render its full assistance to you during the current Board meeting in order to make its deliberations a complete success.

The Group expresses its deepest condolence and sympathy to the government and people of the Kingdom of Morocco and also to the families and friends of the victims of the tragic earthquake which occurred on 24 February 2004.

Now Mr. Chairman let me say a few words about

Agenda item 2(a) on Nuclear Safety Review for the year 2003:

First of all I would like to express the appreciation of the Group of G77 and China to the Secretariat for producing the Nuclear Safety Review for 2003 as contained in the Agency document GOV/2004/3 and the three accompanying complementary documents. The Group also thanks DDG Nuclear Safety and Security, Mr. Taniguchi for his introduction of the present agenda item.

Mr. Chairman, the Group attaches great importance to the nuclear safety and security programmes of the Agency. The members of the Group are continuously taking measures to improve safety and security requirements in their national nuclear organizations. The Group would like to further increase its interaction and cooperation with the Agency and other advanced Member States to draw more benefits for this important area. The analytical nature of the Review provides considerable help to the Group's membership for taking decisions on their nuclear safety policies in accordance with their national priorities. The inclusion in the Review of a vast array of topics broadens the scope for the participation of the Group's Member States in the Agency's safety programmes. The Group notes with interest the integration of security in the department of safety though the Group regards safety and security as two separate domains, albeit the existence of interlinkages. In this context the Group would be pleased to carefully study the forthcoming separate nuclear security report as indicated by the Agency in the present Review. However, it is the preference of the Group for sections C.7 and E, particularly which are devoted to security issues, to be reported in the said forthcoming security report.

Mr. Chairman, the Nuclear Safety Review deals with a large number of safety issues which need careful consideration by the national authorities of the membership of the Group. This will naturally take some time. A feedback mechanism may be established by the Secretariat which will enable it to effectively and comprehensively add the views of the Member States in the final version of the document which the Agency intends to produce later on.

Mr. Chairman, the Group welcomes the progress made in 2003 to improve the corpus of the IAEA safety standards and the means for their application, including the formulation of guidance documents, facilitation of appraisal and advisory services, preparation of syllabus in six official languages and the provision of training and technical assistance. In this respect, the Group encourages the Secretariat and Member States to continue working closely to facilitate the development of safe reactor designs for long term utilization, increase operational safety through information systems and networks for knowledge preservation, enhance the safety of research reactors and radioactive sources, improve the long term management of radioactive waste and spent fuel, protect the environment from discharges of radionuclides, strengthen international response systems for nuclear and radiological emergencies and improve co-ordination on safety and security matters, as well as related issues, such as liability for nuclear damage and communication with the public and between governments in the field of transport of radioactive material.

Mr. Chairman, regarding the Agency's action plans on safety matters, the Group attaches great importance to the current implementation of the Action Plan for the Radiological Protection of Patients and the creation of a Steering Panel to keep it under review. The Group looks forward to participate in the preparation of an international action plan to address the findings of the Morocco Conference on National Infrastructures for Radiation Safety in September 2003.

On the other hand, the Group would like to express that the recent practice to issue the Report's supporting documents as electronic notes 6, 7 and 8 which are posted on the web page in English, hampers the integrated and comprehensive approach that the Secretariat and Member States encourage regarding nuclear safety, therefore, the Group would like to see that this practice is reconsidered. The Group also feels that the inclusion of an Executive Summary in the nuclear safety document which would contain the identified strengths and weaknesses of the previous years experiences and the lessons learned therefrom would greatly benefit the Member States.

With these comments Mr. Chairman, the Group of 77 and China is pleased to recommend that the Board may consider and take note of the Nuclear Safety Review for the year 2003.

I thank you Mr. Chairman.

Agenda Item 2(b): Code of Conduct on the Safety of Research Reactors

Mr. Chairman, the Group of 77 and China greatly appreciates the Secretariat for compiling the Code of Conduct on the Safety of Research Reactors keeping in view the desire for strengthening the international safety arrangements for civil research reactors through the process of consultations with the Member States. The Group also acknowledges the usefulness of the process of negotiations which was adopted to reach the current text of the code. The Group takes this opportunity to thank again the DDG Nuclear Safety and Security for presenting this agenda item whose text is included in the Agency document GOV/2004/4 and its Annex.

Mr. Chairman, the safety of research reactors is of high importance to the Group as several Member States own these facilities as an important component of their nuclear programme for developmental purposes. The Group will be interested in following appropriate guidelines and standards for the safety of the research reactors. With this spirit, the Group has taken keen interest in the Agency's work to propose the current text of such a code. The Group had informed the Secretariat of its common position on various items of the code and identified certain provisions on which the Group had a different opinion from those proposed by the Secretariat. The major concerns of the Group were on two points. First the code should be legally non binding in nature and should serve as guidelines to be followed by the Member States. The second concern was on the provision which proposed linkage between the disbursement of Technical Cooperation and the application of the provisions of the code. The Group is pleased to note that these two main concerns have now been addressed in the present text.

With these comments Mr. Chairman, the Group recommends that the Board may adopt the Code of Conduct of Research Reactors and to request the Director General to circulate the final approved Code of Conduct to all Member States and relevant international organizations and transmit it to the General Conference with a recommendation that the Conference endorse it calling for its wider application.

I thank you Mr. Chairman

Agenda Item 2(c): Measures to Strengthen International Cooperation in Nuclear, Radiation and Transport Safety and Waste Management: Action Plan for the Safety of Transport of Radioactive Material

Mr. Chairman, The Group of 77 and China would like to express its appreciation to the Secretariat for the document GOV/2004/2 concerning the Action Plan for the Safety of Transport of Radioactive Material and thank again the DDG Nuclear Safety and Security for presenting this agenda item. The Group would also like to appreciate the work of the technical committee meeting which resulted in the draft International Action Plan for the Safety of Transport of Radioactive Material that is contained as the Annex to the aforestated Gov document.

Mr. Chairman, the Group of 77 and China has been closely following the latest developments in the field of transport safety and consider that, notwithstanding the good record of the radioactive transport industry, a large number of Member States from different geographical areas have various concerns on transport related matters, which were expressed in consecutive General Conference resolutions and further substantiated during the International Conference held in 2003. In this context, the Group considers that most of such concerns have been adequately addressed in the Action Plan for the Safety of Transport of Radioactive Material proposed in document GOV/2004/2 and looks forward to its effective implementation while encouraging the concerned Members States to continue their co-operation to achieve a long term understanding on remaining issues, in particular regarding the establishment of effective liability arrangements and the provision of timely and pertinent information to relevant Governments.

With these comments, the Group endorses the recommendation for the Board to adopt this Action Plan for implementation and looks forward to being periodically informed on progress made on this and related matters.

I thank you Mr. Chairman.

Agenda Item 3: Strengthening the Agency's activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications: Nuclear Technology Review 2004

Mr. Chairman, the Group of 77 and China commends Agency's efforts to bring out the third comprehensive report contained in GOV/2004/7, giving a global perspective on nuclear technologies for both power and non-power applications and thank the DDG of Nuclear Sciences and Applications Mr. Burkart for introducing this agenda item. Although a considerably detailed information is contained elsewhere, the current Review provides good reading on the five distinct areas, i.e., Fundamentals of Nuclear Development, Power Applications, Applications for Food, Water and Health, Application for Environment and Sustainable Industrial Process and finally the Socio - economics of Nuclear Energy and Applications. As it is very evident from these topics, the Group of 77 and China, due to its vast and diverse membership with varying national priorities, would be highly interested to give a careful consideration to all the areas described in the Review as they contribute, one way or the other, to the developmental needs of the Group's membership.

Mr. Chairman, the Group appreciates the information provided in the Review which is largely descriptive in nature. The Group feels that analytical and inference oriented approach contained in one comprehensive report could be more appropriate for many Member States. More focused emphasis on specific developmental aspects of energy production, food security, water resources, cost effective health care, marine and terrestrial environment and radiation technology for clean and safe industries would be a better approach for drawing tangible benefits out of such studies. A separate section dedicated to the status of the transfer of technology to the G-77 and China membership from the advanced countries through the aegis of the IAEA with particular reference to the role of CRP's would be of considerable benefits for the Group. A comprehensive analytical account of the outcomes of TCDC efforts carried out during the reporting period will be of additional help.

Mr. Chairman, the Group has noted with satisfaction that the status of nuclear power has remained fairly sound during the review period. Many countries of South Asia and the Pacific region where nuclear power is a promising energy source for their future economic requirements, would be interested that international encouragement and Agency efforts could further be enhanced in this area. A complimentary approach, consisting of the promotion of INPRO and desalination of sea water, would add economic benefits to the overall power programmes currently under way in these countries. The Review also gives a positive picture of medium term nuclear energy projections which should be encouraging for the Agency to maintain the pace of its promotional efforts in the area of nuclear power as provided for in the Article III.A.2 of the Agency's Statute.

Mr. Chairman, the Group supports work on crop improvement using genetic techniques including radio labeling of DNA markers and targeted mutagenesis, harnessing benefits of the Sterile Insects Technique (SIT), improving livestock productivity and health by bringing the results of research carried out in the developed world on biotechnology and the gene-based technologies to the developing countries. The Group also supports efforts aimed at enhancing food safety using irradiation facilities and improving water resources management capabilities through the latest isotopic techniques which have been successfully used in the USA, Australia, Germany, India and UK.

Mr. Chairman, one of the most important and pressing needs of many of G77 and China membership is the application of nuclear medicine and radiotherapy in the treatment of growing number of cancer patients. Training of doctors, radiation physicists and other paramedical staff, cost effective treatment methodologies and equipment support in the developing areas of the world are the main challenges facing the G77 countries and the Agency. The Group strongly encourages the Agency to facilitate the introduction of positron emission tomography (PET) technique in the G77 and China Member States.

Mr. Chairman, the Nuclear Technology Review has provided valuable inputs in the current developments of various techniques to tackle the problems associated with the protection of marine environment, prevention of the release of pollutants, and humanitarian demining. The Group recommends that the Agency involves more of its membership in the R&D efforts and applications of the relevant technologies on a broader basis. In this context, the Group will appreciate promotion of electron beam technique for checking the fluegas pollution generated by fossil fuel combustion plants and also nuclear techniques involving electromagnetic radiation or isotopic sources for aqueous effluents, sewage waters, industrial waste waters and sludges. It appears that closer cooperation between the industrialized nations and the developing countries of Group for the exchange of expertise, transfer of technology and enhancing training opportunities in conjunction with the strengthened inter G77 and China collaboration can go a long way to produce better results for socio-economic progress of the G77 and China countries. In this context the Agency has to play a more proactive role for which Group will be happy to cooperate.

With these remarks, Mr. Chairman, the Group would be pleased to recommend that the Board of Governors take note of the draft Nuclear Technology Review 2004.

I thank you Mr. Chairman.

Agenda Item 5: Technical Cooperation: Financing of the Technical Cooperation Fund

Mr. Chairman, the Group of 77 and China would like to thank the Director General for presenting the report on the Financing of the Technical Cooperation Fund, as contained in document GOV/2004/8.

The Group reaffirms its commitment to the TCF as a major instrument for the development of peaceful applications of nuclear energy for the improvement of socio-economic conditions of the Agency's Member States. Therefore the Group notes with grave concern the current financial situation of the Agency's technical cooperation programme for 2004 after the unexpected reduction in the contributions to the Technical Cooperation Fund at the end of last year.

Mr. Chairman, the promotion of peaceful applications of atomic energy constitutes a fundamental element of the core activities of the Agency and is of utmost importance to developing countries. It is essential to ensure that the Technical Cooperation Programme of the IAEA also receives sufficient, assured and predictable funding. There is a basic political commitment underlying the creation of this Organization, which presupposes that the interests of all Member States must be taken into account through the balanced advancement of all its areas of activities.

The situation we are confronted with at this moment is all the more regrettable in the light of the package of measures agreed upon last July after intense and complex negotiations which lasted several months and consumed great effort on the part of Member States. As we all remember, after the proposal of an unprecedented increase in the Agency's regular budget for 2004-2005, heavily tilted towards the area of verification, the set of measures contained in the package attempted to ensure the necessary balance between all statutory activities of the IAEA, which is crucial in maintaining a sound and efficient Agency.

The Group was engaged in good faith in the negotiations that led to the approval of the package proposal. I should like to recall that, upon agreeing on that set of measures, the Group stressed that "we are confident that the goodwill of all parties and their commitment to the elements of this package will not fade away after the budget increase for safeguards begins to take place".

Mr. Chairman, the decrease in the funds of the TCF will have a negative impact in terms of lives expected to be saved, facilities that can be built and the research that should be continued. The membership of the G-77 and China is doing its utmost to make their payments to the TCF in full and in a timely manner. In this connection, the Group appeals to all Member States and, in particular to major contributors, who have not paid their dues to do so in order to meet our collective objectives through the Technical Cooperation Programme. We sincerely hope that the current situation is reversed and that Member States live up to their commitments so that the Agency can be a stronger and more efficient international organization, in all its areas of action, for the benefit of all its Members.

This situation requires enhanced collective efforts of all Member States. In this regard, the G-77 and China welcomes the ongoing consultation process, which will recommend actions aimed at helping to rescue the technical cooperation activities of the Agency by bridging the gap in the funding of the TCF and thus, avoiding any reduction in the Programme. We trust that this process will come up with good solutions for the problems we are now faced with. The Group encourages the Secretariat to actively support Member States to achieve this objective.

Mr. Chairman, the Group of 77 and China takes note of the Report by the Director General and in view of the seriousness of the current circumstances, reluctantly agrees that the Board authorizes the Secretariat to maintain a level of 20% overprogramming as an exceptional measure for the TCF funded part of the Technical Cooperation Programme through 30th June 2004, pending a review of the resource situation at that time. This, however, should not be considered as an authorization to reduce or terminate any components of the agreed Technical Cooperation Programme, nor as creating a precedent for future occasions. The Group requests that this be reflected in the Summary Conclusions of the Board on this Agenda Item.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Home Home
First Page
Vienna Chapter
G-77 Homepage