1. I have the honour to make this statement on behalf of both the Vienna Chapter of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Group of 77 & China.
2. At the outset, allow me, on behalf of NAM and G-77 & China, to express our deepest symphathies and condolences to the peoples and governments of Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan for the loss of many lives and properties due to the devastating earthquake. We would also wish to express similar sentiments of sadness and condolences to the peoples and governments of Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico for the tragic loss of lives and properties caused by hurricane Stan.
3. I have pleasure in welcoming, on behalf of the NAM and G-77 & China, the decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee in awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 2005 to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its Director General, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei. We wish to convey our heartiest congratulations to the Agency and its Director General on the outstanding achievement of being awarded the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.
4. NAM and G-77 & China believe that the Nobel Peace award is testimony and recognition of the great efforts carried out by both the Agency and its Director General in ensuring the safe and peaceful development and use of nuclear technologies. This award is also an acknowledgement of the Agency's role in promoting atomic energy towards peace, health and prosperity. We are confident that the award should be a further impetus in drawing more support and in strengthening the Agency and its Director General to further carry out their mandate and objectives in promoting the peaceful uses of atomic energy.
5. NAM and G-77 & China strongly reiterates the basic and inalienable right of all Member States to develop research, production and use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes. While reiterating the importance we attach to verification activities, we believe that safeguards should be implemented in a manner designed to avoid hampering economic or technological development of Member States or international cooperation in the field of peaceful nuclear activities, including the international exchange of nuclear material and equipment for the processing, use or production of nuclear material for peaceful purposes.
6. While fully supporting multilateral efforts that are in conformity with international law towards nuclear disarmament, elimination of nuclear weapons and nuclear non-proliferation, NAM and the G-77 & China maintain the position that non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear technology should be addressed in a balanced and non-discriminatory manner. In this regard, we underline the importance of dialogue and multilateral process. While ensuring Member States legitimate right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the Agency should also continue its efforts, in conformity with its Statute and within its legal authority, in making sure that nuclear technology is not diverted to further any military purpose.
7. We would also like to reiterate our position that the IAEA is the sole competent authority for nuclear verification in the framework of the Agency's safeguards system and that in this connection, it is important to preserve the integrity of the Agency and continue with the professionalism and impartiality that characterize the work of the Agency and its Director General.
8. Besides nuclear verification, the Agency under its statutory obligations pursues the goal of technical cooperation in peaceful applications of atomic energy as one of the three pillars of its activities. In order to meet the objectives of technical cooperation for peaceful purposes as enshrined in the Agency's Statute, NAM and G-77 & China urge the IAEA to maintain the balance between promotional and other statutory activities. In this regard, we believe that the Board of Governors should give due consideration for the Agency's monetary award from the Nobel Committee to be used for funding development and practical application of atomic energy for peaceful purposes for the needs of the developing countries.
9. Finally, on behalf of NAM and the G-77 & China, I would like to once again convey our heartiest felicitations and best wishes to the Agency and the Director General, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei for the well deserved Nobel Peace Prize and we wish to assure of our continued support to the Agency and the Director General in all of their work and activities.
10. We support the recommended action as contained in document GOV/2005/83.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.