The Group of 77 and China commends the Secretariat for preparing the Medium Term Strategy, as contained in document GOV/2005/8.
I would like to stress that all Member States belonging to our Group attach great importance to the initiative aimed at evaluating the current Medium Term Strategy and preparing the next one in a joint undertaking by Member States and the Secretariat. This proposal, put forward by the G-77 and China, is an important element of the 'package' approved by the Board of Governors in 2003. In view of this, the Group actively participated in the activities of the Working Group established by the Chairman of the Board and skilfully chaired by their Excellencies Ambassadors Javier Paulinich, of Peru, and Peter Jenkins, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which produced the document we now have in front of us.
We firmly believe that the document we have as a result of the discussions of the Working Group will assist the Secretariat in undertaking its activities for the next three complete programme and budget cycles, bearing in mind the Agency's objectives and the interests of all Member States.
The general direction to the activities that the Agency will carry out between 2006-2011, contained in the Medium Term Strategy, will facilitate the tasks of designing programmes and calculating the resource requirements for them, and of facing the challenges that a growing interest in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy for sustainable development represents. The G-77 and China believes that the MTS is an evolving document and expects that any new major development or changes in the needs and interests of the Member States belonging to the Group will be taken into account in the implementation of the MTS.
Allow me now to turn to specific points of the MTS. The Group believes that the assertion contained in the approach to the Strategy that 'a key lesson learned from past experience is that clearer identification of absolute priorities among competing activities is essential to the optimal use of resources' should not represent an additional obstacle for developing Member States when presenting and implementing their Technical Cooperation projects.
The Group of 77 and China expresses its firm support to the statement contained in the MTS that in 2011 the Agency 'will be maintaining an appropriate balance between its promotional and other statutory activities', which also appears in item (vi) of Objective E.1. The Group welcomes the positive response of the Working Group to the requests for a broader mention of the Technical Cooperation Programme in the MTS, so as to reflect its importance. The G-77 would express greater appreciation should there be more emphasis on this importance, by, for example, having a clearly defined section of the MTS dedicated mainly to the TC Programme.
As for the part of the document which states that the Technical Cooperation Fund 'will be adequately and appropriately funded, bearing in mind the shared responsibility of all Member States', the Group wishes to recall the importance of giving due consideration to the financial difficulties faced by some developing Member States. Furthermore, the G-77 is of the view that the definition of whether the TCF is 'adequately and appropriately funded' should reflect primarily the needs and demands of developing Member States, since the creation and existence of the Fund rest on this premise.
The G-77 hopes that the 'self-reliance' and 'self-sufficiency' mentioned in Goal D will not translate into a reduction of the level of resources at the disposal of the TCF, which are already insufficient. The Group would also like to stress that, in our vision of the Agency in 2011, the TC Programme shall have an even higher level of efficiency and a greater impact on our countries.
Bearing in mind the importance of achieving the effective application of the Agency's safeguards system, the G-77 and China encourages those States which still have an outstanding obligation pursuant to their treaty undertakings to bring a comprehensive safeguards agreement into force promptly. In this context, the G-77 and China would also like to reiterate its principled position that a balance be maintained between the verification and promotional activities of the Agency.
With these comments, the Group of 77 and China takes note of the Medium Term Strategy 2006-2011 contained in document GOV/2005/8.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
The G-77 and China thanks the Deputy Director of the Department of Safety and Security, Mr. Taniguchi, for his presentation of the report contained in document GOV/2005/2, and the Secretariat for the elaboration of the document.
As a general comment, we regret that the three documents that support the analytical overview were not made available on the Agency's GovAtom website as Notes by the Secretariat at an earlier stage. In this regard, the Group reiterates that not distributing such data together with the report and as printed copies diminishes the degree of transparency that should prevail concerning safety-related matters to gain public confidence on nuclear issues.
The Group commends the work carried out by the Secretariat during 2004 in order to strengthen nuclear, radiation and transport safety and waste management. We share the view that notwithstanding the good record achieved so far in the field of safety and radiation protection, Member States should avoid complacency and keep improving their national infrastructures to keep up to date with improved IAEA´s safety standards, technological developments and synergies between safety and security matters.
The G-77 and China considers that good progress was made in relation to implementing existing international safety instruments, strengthening national regulatory infrastructures, enhancing and providing for the widespread application of IAEA´s safety standards and guidelines, as well as improving occupational and patient´s radiation protection. The Group highlights the importance of Model Projects on upgrading radiation protection infrastructures and regional technical cooperation projects covering radiation protection in medical exposure and encourage the Secretariat to keep the momentum of all its education and training activities, including the preparation of standard learning material and distance learning modules, networking training centers in all regions and fostering the transfer and sharing of all nuclear related technical and scientific knowledge, including on safety matters.
On the issue of transport of radioactive sources and radioisotopes for medical and industrial purposes, once again, the G-77 and China regrets ill-founded limitations placed by certain carriers. This matter is altogether different from and should not be confused with concerns on the safety and security of international shipments of nuclear fuel and waste and matter related to this kind of transport, such as the need to facilitate prior information to concerned Member States, promote an effective global liability mechanism and reinforce international emergency preparedness and response capabilities.
There are also other fields that in the view of the G-77 and China need further development, such as the safety of disposal and storage facilities for spent fuel and high level radioactive waste, as well as for low and intermediate level radioactive waste, including residues generated by mining and processing of ores. Also, the IAEA should continue fostering measures for the safe decommissioning of nuclear installations, the protection of research reactors from vulnerabilities to external events, the safety of fuel cycle facilities and the control of radioactive discharges to prevent exposure of the public, non-human biota and the environment to ionizing radiation.
With those comments, the G-77 and China takes note of the Nuclear Safety Review for the Year 2004 and looks forward to substantive information on the implementation of all Action Plans approved by the Board of Governors on the occasion of the presentation of the draft final version of this document.
The Group wishes to express its appreciation to the Secretariat, for preparing the Draft Safety Requirements on Safety of Research Reactors contained in the document GOV/2005/4, and to thank the Deputy Director General for Nuclear Safety and Security for his introductory statement.
The Group places a high priority on establishing Agency safety standards for research reactors, noting that many developing member states maintain research reactors as important components of national research and development efforts needed to improve the lives of their citizens. We note that this draft will complement the Code of Conduct on the safety of research reactors, which was approved in March 2004 and is non-legally binding.
This draft has undergone extensive consultations with Member States. Since the issue of physical protection is mentioned in paragraphs 7.79 and 7.80 of the draft, the Group takes this opportunity to note that the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, or CPPNM, will be considering some amendments in July 2005. In this regard, the members of the Group which are parties to the Convention hope that any amendment to be adopted will further strengthen physical protection measures and international safety arrangements, particularly for civilian research reactors, and looks forward to further consultations on the issue during the preparatory meeting to be held next April.
With these comments, the Group recommends that the Board approve the draft safety requirements on Safety of Research Reactors contained in document GOV/2005/4.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
The Group of 77 and China commends the efforts of the Secretariat in bringing out a comprehensive update on the Nuclear Technology Review as contained in document GOV/2005/5. The Group also thanks DDGs Sokolov and Burkart for introducing this Agenda item.
The document provides a broad perspective on nuclear technologies for both power and non-power applications in nine different sections. It presents an analytical global nuclear power production scenario with updated medium term projections up to 2030, along with associated issues ranging from site selection to decommissioning. In the process, it clearly brings out nuclear power as a sustainable development alternative, with a comparative cost analysis vis-à-vis other energy options.
As stated in the Review, the safe operation of nuclear power plants can be maintained and strengthened by the international exchange of NPP operating experiences. Furthermore, collecting, sharing and analyzing operating experience are all vital safety management elements. In this context, the Group requests the Agency to increase cooperation with other international organizations or mechanisms, including the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), to facilitate the comprehensive exchange on operational safety experiences.
The Review also brings out the fact that current expansion, as well as near-term and long-term growth prospects, is centered in Asia, while projections for the forthcoming decades show a global increase in many regions of the world. The Group notes with appreciation the cooperative efforts of Member States, both developing and developed, under the aegis of the Agency, in innovative approaches to nuclear power through both fission and fusion technologies. The Agency's International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO) is an important effort in this context and merits our support.
The document highlights the advantages of nuclear techniques in the areas of food safety and agriculture, human health, water resources management, protection of marine and terrestrial environments, industrial process monitoring and utilization of research reactors and accelerators, and provides valuable inputs on the latest developments in these areas. On sustainable land management and water use, the Group appreciates the Agency's efforts in developing options to increase agricultural production without degrading natural resources through the use of specific isotopes and non-isotopic tracers and soil moisture neutron probes. Under crop improvement, the Group recognizes the significance of the fact that to date 2322 officially released mutant varieties are documented in the Mutant Variety Database (MVD), of which 89 % are radiation induced, indicating an increased role of the private sector in research in mutation-induced breeding programmes.
The Group encourages the Agency in promoting molecular techniques approach for better use of the Sterile Insects Technique (SIT), as well as for irradiation and other nuclear techniques to ensure food safety. In this regard, the Group shares the view that training and education programmes and information related to the benefits of those techniques are needed.
The Group notes with appreciation the work done by the Agency and other relevant organisations in addressing the issue related to the protection of marine environment. We notice with appreciation the efforts towards the use of radiotracing nuclear technologies to access and monitor land-based contaminants in coastal fisheries in fighting against the problems of land-based metal contaminants in the coastal environments. The Group shows the same interest for the use of radiotracing contaminants in seafood, and isotopic tracing of the El Nino southern Oscillation phenomenon as well as the use of remote sensing tools in particular airborne surveys in the field of Environment management. The Group follows with equal interest the new developments in matters related to research reactors and their operational capabilities, the Accelerator utilisation and in the field of Industrial monitoring.
Nuclear technologies also play an active role in improving live stock productivity. The advances in the diagnostic and therapeutic applications of nuclear medicine is of particular interest to the Group of 77 and China in the treatment of cancer patients. The complementary use of MRCT, IGRT, CT and PET techniques and other recent imaging developments help in the precise location of tumors. In this context, the Group strongly encourages the training of medical staff and the transfer of cost-effective treatment procedures and equipment to developing countries.
The Group notes that the present update is analytical and inference oriented to the extent possible. However, there is no reference to transfer of technologies to developing countries nor details of CRPs which had been requested by the Group last year. The Group also notes that there is a new paragraph on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Nuclear Technology Review, which is unprecedented, since the Review has traditionally been a straightforward, technical document, which reviews developments in various areas of the peaceful uses of nuclear technology. While the Group reiterates its commitment to the issue of non-proliferation, it recalls that any developments in this realm shall take into account the inalienable right of Member States to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination.
With these documents, the G-77 and China takes note of the Nuclear Technology Review - Update 2005.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
The Group is pleased to reiterate its support to the re-election of Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei for a third term as the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency. In this regard, the Group commends the valuable work that the latter has done for promoting and enhancing the Agency's activities. The G 77 and China is also grateful for the impartial, effective and professional manner with which Dr. ElBaradei has discharged his responsibilities as Director General of the IAEA.
Furthermore, the Group is of the view that the re-election of Dr. ElBaradei is important for the continuation of the Agency´s activities in a stable and professional way.
Having in mind Dr ElBaradei's credentials and the fact that he is the sole candidate for the position, and noting the broad and strong support from Member States that he enjoys, the Group calls for the re-election of Dr. ElBaradei as soon as possible.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
The Group of 77 and China would like to express very sincere appreciation for the tireless efforts you have made to move forward in regard to procedural steps for reappointment of the Director General.
That the Director General enjoys the full and unwavering support of the Group has been reported several times and we have noted the points made in your summaries with full attention. We thank you for it. Our interest is in expressing the Group's position that "as soon as possible" in your summary include calling at an early appropriate stage a special meeting of the Board.
Thank you Madam Chair.
The Group of 77 and China listened carefully to the Director General's
introductory statement, which included proposals to decide not to
authorize the conclusion of any further Small Quantity Protocols (SQP) and
to authorize the DG to enter into an exchange of letters for each State
with an SQP agreeing to the rescinsion of its SQP.
The Group notes the arguments for this proposal but expresses concern about how this will further affect the balance between promotional and verification activities.
The Group also notes that the SQPs have, inter alia, kept down the costs of verification activities.
In general, the Group is of the view that any increase in the costs of verification activities should be matched by an increase for promotional activities deemed important to the Group.
Thank you, Madam Chair.