Allow me at the outset to express our appreciation to the Director General Mohamed El-Baradei for his comprehensive statement. The Group wishes also to express its gratitude to DDG Mr. Domaratzki and the Secretariat for the preparation of the document and the other INF documents in that regard.
The Group has carefully studied the document GOV/2000/34 containing the Action Plan and would like to reiterate its position delivered at the Board's meeting in March 2000. The Group appreciates in particular the support extended to the developing Member States through TC programmes in safety related activities and on the progress made on Model Project on upgrading radiation and waste safety infrastructure. The Group also notes with appreciation the increasing training activities and meetings and looks forward for continuing support to Coordinated Research Projects (CRPs).
The Group wishes to reiterate its concern about further accidents resulting in the exposure of non-radiation workers to radiation sources left abandoned or unattended. It indicates that the management of the institutions using these sources requires further education, specially strict compliance with the regulations, regarding their safe-keeping or disposal after use. Similarly, lessons must be learnt from the accident at Tokaimura which resulted in the exposure of workers and members of the public to high neutron doses. It underscores the need for the extension of rigorous safety procedures to nuclear installations of all types.
With these comments, Mr. Chairman, the Group wishes to approve the recommended action contained in the document GOV/2000/34.
Allow me at the outset to express to you the Group's deep appreciation and gratitude for your strenuous efforts in reaching an agreement on the issue of financing of Technical Cooperation.
The G 77 and China have presented specific proposed amendments on the draft, and it is satisfied that some of them were taken into consideration in the present draft. The Group would like to underline the importance of the issue of rendering the resources to the TCF predictable, assured and sufficient. In that regard, the Group did not object to the new proposed mechanism of "Rate of Attainment " which it considers as a means to attain the objective of fulfilling the target figure of the TCF in full and on time, and, meanwhile to render more actual resources to the TCF.
On the specific issue of the level of the target figure, the Group has manifested its understanding to the concerns and views of several other member states which regarded it difficult to go along with an increase of the target figure for the new biennia, fearing this would endanger the successful functioning of the new mechanism of "Rate of Attainment ". However, the Group would like to underscore that it considers that the "Rate of Attainment should by no means prejudge the decision of setting a target to the TCF. The mechanism should not entail- even on the abstract level - a freeze on the target figure, as the mechanism is determined by the target, and not vice versa, and as the target is the only indicator and mechanism designed to meet the growing needs of TC Programmes.
The Group would like to express its satisfaction for having a separate resolution on the issue of financing of technical cooperation, a fact which corresponds to a long held position of the group, and reaffirms the importance of rendering the sufficient resources to the technical cooperation activities of the Agency. Moreover, the Group is of the conviction that this resolution, as much as all General Conference resolutions, carry with it a firm political commitment by all member states to ensure its implementation. It will be the duty of the Secretariat to pursue its implementation and report to the Board of Governors on the progress, or lack of progress and the causes for that.
In this context it is imperative for all member states, particularly the major contributors, who do not pay in full and on time their assessed contributions to the TCF to uphold their commitments according to this resolution.
Finally, Mr. Chairman,
The Group has always held the view that both issues of financing of TC and financing of SG are effectively interrelated. Therefore the Group welcomes the approach which dealt with them in sort of a package, and though we have two resolutions, but it was only due to this interrelation and package approach which permitted us to have fruitful discussions consensus on both issues.
We thank you again Mr. Chairman for all your efforts.
At the outset allow me to express to you once again our deep appreciation and gratitude for your tireless efforts and indulgence to accommodate the divergent views on this issue and to be able to present us with this draft resolution.
The Group of 77 and China attaches great importance to the Safeguards activities of the Agency and supports its efficiency and effectiveness.
It is precisely for this purpose that the Group encourages the constant review of the implementation of the safeguards activities in order to ensure the cost-effectiveness of the safeguards activities of the Agency, taking into account especially the pertinent observations of the External Auditor in that regard.
The Group considers that there has been no dramatic change in the circumstances which led to the application of the shielding system some 30 years ago, and therefore no real need was evident to have an immediate elimination of this system at the year 2000 as has been advocated by some Member States. Moreover, the Group regarded no urgency to implement the de-shielding, since this was not of a direct benefit to the Agency per se, rather it was only a matter of transfer of resources among member States themselves.
It was on these premises that the group held at the beginning of the process the position to maintain the status quo in that regard. However, and in the course of negotiations, the group is prepared to make a major concession by accepting the de-shielding arrangements for the sake of equality in obligations and commitments by all Member States, and it is the expectation of this group that such a concession would be reciprocated on an equitable basis, in all domains related to the Agency's activities.
Furthermore, it is of fundamental importance to the Group to implement the de-shielding in a time span that would take into consideration the additional burden on the budgets of the de-shielded countries. In that context, the Group insisted to have the longest duration possible to LDC's, which amounted in the end to 28 years.
The Group would like once again to appreciate the interrelated approach pursued in dealing with both issues of financing of TC and SGs. And although the members of the Group are fully aware of the difference of the financing nature of both activities, the adoption of the General Conference of the two pertinent resolutions gives equal obligation to all member States to faithfully implement them.
The Group of 77 and China would like to express its appreciation to the Secretariat for the document (GOV/2000/37-GC(44)/13) on the overview of the plan for producing potable water economically.
The Group welcomes the developments accrued so far on that project, which include, inter alia, the initiation of a Feasibility Study on the construction of a nuclear desalination plant in Egypt. Ongoing new projects and studies being conducted in this field in other members of the group are also appreciated. Interaction with other international organisations is important and the Group notes that efforts have been intensified towards this end. Small and Medium Sized Reactors (SMR) offer suitable options for electricity generation in countries with small electricity grids together with the production of potable water through the nuclear desalination process.
The Group further welcomes and appreciates the extrabudgetary contributions made by some Member States to support this interrelated project on producing potable water economically, and requests all interested members to make similar contributions.
Finally, Mr. Chairman,
The Group appreciates the efforts of the Secretariat in that regard, and further appreciates its efforts in bringing out various documents on the nuclear desalination process which are of significant usefulness. And while anticipating the increase of the resources allocated to this program in the draft budget for the year 2001, we appeal to all donor countries to lend their financial and technical support to this very important activity. With these comments, we request the Agency to continue to assign importance to this vital area.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.