Statement of the G-77 and China during the IAEA Board of Governors Meeting, 25-26 November 2004 delivered by H.E. Ambassador Taous Feroukhi, RR of Algeria

Agenda Item 3: Measures to strengthen international cooperation in nuclear radiation and transport safety; the 2005 edition of the Agency's regulations for the safe transport of radioactive material

Madame Chair,

The Group of 77 and China wishes to thank Mr. Tomihiro Taniguchi, Deputy Director General, Department of Nuclear Safety and Security for his presentation and expresses its appreciation for the work that has gone into producing the 2005 Edition of the Agency's Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material as contained in the document, GOV/2004/88. The Group is fully aware of the Agency's efforts to further strengthen international cooperation in nuclear, radiation and transport safety and waste management.

Madam Chair,

The Group notes that the changes proposed in Annex 1of the document have been approved by the Transport Safety Standards Committee (TRANSSC) and later endorsed by the Commission on Safety Standards (CSS) in 2004. It is on this note that the Group concurs with the recommendation for the Board to approve the 2005 Edition of the Transport Regulations with the changes to the 1996 Edition (as Amended 2003) that are contained in Annex 1 and also authorizes the Director General to promulgate the 2005 Edition as part of the Agency's safety standards. The Group is of the view that this is only part of the evolving progress to substantially improve transport safety regulations, and would like to recall that issues such as prior notification procedures have not yet been totally covered.

Madam Chair,

Regarding the process for approval and formulation, the Group underlines the importance of having the widest participation of Member States, especially developing ones, and the need for ample time to study the proposed changes in the final draft to achieve full transparency.

Thank you, Madame Chair.

Agenda Item 5: Proposed new conference facilities at VIC

Madam Chair,

The Group G-77 and China thanks the Secretariat for the preparation of the document GOV/2004/85 and acknowledges the steps that it has taken on this issue. At the same time, the Group greatly appreciates the Austrian Government's offer to provide a new conference facility to the VIC based organizations. The Group would like to thank the Secretariat for the series of joint presentations by the VIC-based organizations, including the IAEA, on the new proposed conference facility at the VIC, the latest of which was held on 05 November 2004. The Group notes that the Agency will shoulder approximately 2 million euros out of the 2.5 million euros apportioned to the VIC-based organizations as their share of the construction costs.

Madam Chair,

The Group recognizes the benefits of the building which provides alternate conference meeting facilities during the removal of asbestos from the C building and fulfills the requirements of space for meetings and offices in the future. However, the cost implications of the project are a matter of concern for the Group due to the financial constraints facing the developing countries. The future operational and maintenance costs of the new facility, in addition to the maintenance costs of building C, would imply an additional burden. That is why the Group encourages the Secretariat and the Member States to find alternative solutions to cover the costs to build the new facility and its future maintenance in order to avoid supplementary increases in the budget.

The Group wishes to emphasize that potential cost overruns for the construction of the euros 52.5 million facility should not be borne through the Regular Budget, and wishes to be further clarified on the means by which the VIC-based organizations, including the Agency, will seek to prevent such cost overruns - consistent with their Memorandum of Understanding with the Austrian Government. Furthermore, the Group wishes to request for more information on the security implications of the new conference building, including the hiring of additional security officers.

Finally, Madam Chair, the Group would like to have an elaboration by the Secretariat about the new facility costs that would be covered by the Major Repair and Replacement Fund (MRRF).

Thank you Madam Chair.

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