Statement by the Group of 77 and China during the Board of Governors of the IAEA starting on 11 September 2017, delivered by the Chairman of the Group of 77
H.E. Ambassador Reza Najafi, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Agenda Item 3(a): Measures to strengthen international cooperation in nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety
1. The Group of 77 and China wishes to thank Deputy Director General Juan Carlos Lentijo for his remarks under this agenda item, and commends the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security for the preparation of document GOV/2017/28-GC(61)/11, as well as for the work carried out between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2017, pursuant to the General Conference resolution GC(60)/RES/9.
2. The Group attaches great importance to the issue of nuclear safety, which represents a key element in any nuclear programme. While recognizing that the primary responsibility for nuclear safety rests with the States, the Group believes that the Agency plays an essential role in this field, as provided for in Article III of the Statute. The Group stresses that the Agency must retain a central role in nuclear safety, owing to its mandatory functions, its broad membership and its long-standing expertise.
3. The Group also stresses its principled position that nuclear safety and nuclear security considerations must not hamper the utilization of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
4. The Group highlights the importance of the Agency’s work in maintaining, improving and promoting nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety, and emergency preparedness and response worldwide. The Group appreciates the Agency's continuous efforts aimed at supporting Member States in sharing knowledge, expertise, technology and information on all aspects of nuclear safety. The Group also welcomes the Agency’s activities aimed at supporting nuclear safety infrastructure development in Member States, upon their request. The Group requests the Agency to continue these activities.
5. The Group appreciates, in particular, the assistance provided by the Agency, upon request, to developing countries operating, expanding or embarking on nuclear power programmes in establishing or enhancing their national safety infrastructure and, in this regard, the focus on activities such as building competency in the regulatory functions and management for safety including safety culture. The Group encourages the Agency to continue its efforts in assisting interested Member States in the development of capacities and technical skills in nuclear safety as well as in strengthening the regulatory system and infrastructure needed in the development of nuclear energy.
6. The Group notes the importance of the incorporation, where appropriate, of the lessons learned from the 2011 Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, the experience of States in implementing the Action Plan, as well as the observations and lessons contained in the IAEA Fukushima Report and the principles of the Vienna Declaration into the Agency’s programme of work. In this regard, the Group supports the continuation of the Secretariat’s cross-Departmental activities concerning strengthening nuclear safety.
7. The Group welcomes the assistance provided by the Agency to the activities of regional forums and related networks, including the Global Nuclear Safety and Security Network (GNSSN) and events that focused on strengthening collaboration among national authorities, specialists, international organizations, forums and working groups. The Group requests the Secretariat to further pursue activities aimed at strengthening regional safety forums and related networks, as mandated by the General Conference.
8. The Group commends the Agency for the activities carried out in the field of radiation safety and environmental protection under the reporting period, including, inter alia, through the development of relevant safety guides and the organization of regional workshops. The Group appreciates greatly the Agency’s continued activities aimed at strengthening radiation protection in medicine.
9. The Group attaches high importance to transport safety, and appreciates the involvement of the Secretariat in international efforts to discuss issues related to radioactive material transport.
10. The Group notes activities developed by the Agency in the area of decommissioning, such as the preparation of a project report entitled Management of Project Risks in Decommissioning, the support to Member States’ decommissioning programmes by providing guidance and training material on safe decommissioning, and the development of TECDOCs on remediation and on regulatory supervision of legacy sites.
11. The Group of 77 and China commends the Agency for conducting advisory missions on the regulatory infrastructure for radiation safety and the control of radiation sources, as well as for reviewing the national radiation safety infrastructure during imPACT missions (‘integrated missions of the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy’).
12. The efforts of the Agency in the area of education and training, and knowledge management in nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety are of foremost importance to the Group of 77 and China. The Group reiterates its support for the Agency’s efforts to capture, preserve and transfer the Agency’s knowledge and organizational memory in nuclear safety.
13. The Group appreciates the Agency’s activities in the area of emergency preparedness and response (EPR). The Group encourages the Agency to continue these activities and highlights the importance of supporting the work of regional forums and networks through the conduct of regional EPR workshops in Asia and the Pacific, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean.
14. With these remarks, the Group of 77 and China takes note of document GOV/2017/28-GC(61)/11.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Agenda item 4: (a) Nuclear Security Report 2017
1. The Group of 77 and China wishes to thank the Secretariat for preparing the Nuclear Security Report 2017, which covers the period 1 July 2016 – 30 June 2017, as contained in document GOV/2017/31-GC(61)/14 . The Group also expresses its thanks to Deputy Director-General Juan Carlos Lentijo for his introductory remarks under this agenda item, as well as to the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security for the technical briefing provided to delegations on 31 August.
2. The Group reiterates its view that the responsibility for nuclear security within a State rests entirely with that State and the Secretariat should modify Para 2 of the report to reflect this important principle in full.
3. The Group remains of the view that nuclear security considerations should not hamper the utilization of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, including through the Technical Cooperation Programme.
4. The Group concurs with the notion that the role of the Agency in enhancing nuclear security and the scope of its activities must be determined by Member States, as reflected in the Board decisions and General Conference resolutions, with due account of the need to ensure an appropriate balance between activities in the promotional and non-promotional areas.
5. The Group notes that successive General Conference resolutions have affirmed the Agency’s central role in strengthening the nuclear security globally and in coordinating international activities in the field of nuclear security. The Agency has responded to the these GC resolutions by organizing or participating in a number of major meetings and coordination efforts. The Group requests the Secretariat to include this important principle in Section C of the report, as it was also contained in the previous year’s report.
6. The Group appreciates the Agency’s continued efforts to assist Member States, upon their request, to build and develop their nuclear security capacity which include, facilitating adherence to and implementation of relevant international legal instruments; developing nuclear security guidance and supporting States in the voluntary implementation of the guidance; and helping States in the establishment of effective, sustainable and comprehensive national nuclear security infrastructures.
7. The Group takes note of the fact that, during the reporting period, there was an increase in adherence to the international legal instruments relevant to nuclear security.
8. The Group welcomes the voluntary reporting of Member States to the Agency's Incident and Trafficking Database (ITDB), and notes that, during the reporting period, outreach efforts to promote the ITDB included national and regional workshops and consultancy meetings.
9. The Group appreciates the continued efforts of the Agency to develop and implement Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plans (INSSPs) to assist Member States, upon request, in applying a structured and holistic approach to nuclear security capacity building and enabling increased coordination to ensure appropriate allocation of resources and reduce duplication of efforts.
10. The Group welcomes the continued improvement of the Nuclear Security Information Portal (NUSEC) and a significant increase of the number of registered users in the past year. The Group also notes improvements made to NUSEC in this reporting period, including the development of an IPPAS Good Practice Database, an International Network for Nuclear Security Training and Support Centres (NSSC Network) database, and a common calendar to provide information on all training courses and other events hosted by NSSC Network members. . The Group further notes the maintenance of the Nuclear Security Information Management System (NUSIMS), a web-based platform for States to perform nuclear security self-assessment on a voluntary basis.
11. Recognizing the growing requests of Member States for the Agency’s support in information and computer security, the Group appreciates the Agency’s efforts in responding to those requests through developing additional nuclear security guidance, continuing a coordinated research project on this matter, and providing a number of training courses, as well as promoting relevant fora for information exchange.
12. The Group also reiterates its appreciation to the Nuclear Security Guidance Committee, the Interface Group and the Secretariat for their work on and contributions toward the Agency’s Nuclear Security Series publications. The Group also expresses its satisfaction with the Secretariat’s efforts to foster the participation of all Member States in the process of development and review of the Agency’s Nuclear Security Series publications. The Group reiterates its call on the Secretariat to further facilitate a broader participation of representatives from developing countries in its meetings, with a view to ensuring greater transparency and consensus in the development of such publications.
13. Concerning the Agency’s advisory services, the Group notes that the Agency’s International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) mission was conducted, upon request, in Member States and that the Agency is currently drafting guidelines for International Nuclear Security Advisory Service (INSServ) mission.
14. Regarding human resource development, the Group welcomes the Agency’s continued support of comprehensive human resource development activities to ensure the sustainability of national nuclear security regimes, including the International Nuclear Security Education Network (INSEN) and International Network for Nuclear Security Training and Support Centres (NSSCs).
15. The Group notes with satisfaction that, during this reporting period, the Agency has provided instructor-led training to over 2111 participants from 134 States and e-learning modules to 1079 users from 122 States. The Group further encourages the Secretariat to enhance its activities oriented at capacity-building in Member States, particularly developing countries, thus helping to ensure adequate human resources with the necessary training and competence.
16. The Group takes note of the Agency’s activities, undertaken at the request of Member States, in the area of risk reduction and security improvement. The Group calls on the Secretariat to continue its efforts aimed at strengthening the capabilities of Member States in this regard, including in the areas of threat characterization and assessment, the promotion of nuclear security culture, nuclear material accountancy and control, transport security, and nuclear forensics, among others.
17. The Group notes the Agency’s goals and priorities concerning nuclear security for 2017-2018, which include inter alia, promotion of further adherence to the CPPNM with the aim of its universalization, organization of the International Conference on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities in Vienna in November 2017, and preparation of a report on the implementation of the Nuclear Security Plan 2014-2017.
18. With these remarks, the Group takes note of the Nuclear Security Report 2017, as contained in document GOV/2017/31-GC(61)/14 .
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Agenda Item 5: Strengthening the Agency's activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications
1. The Group of 77 and China thanks the Secretariat for the report on Agency activities in the area of nuclear science, technology and applications, as contained in document GOV/2017/30-GC(61)/12, in response to General Conference resolutions GC(59)/RES/12 and GC(60)/RES/12.
2. The work done by the Agency in nuclear power and nuclear applications highlights the need to increase the transfer of nuclear technology and the sharing of nuclear knowledge to developing countries so as to enhance their capabilities and thus contribute to maximizing the benefit of peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The Group urges the Agency to continue to provide training and education, to support national and regional laboratories and to further enhance the coordinated research activities. The Group also welcomes the contributions made by Member States to various Agency projects, and encourages all Member States, in a position to do so, to continue providing such support through the Agency.
3. On Annex 1, related to the “Support to the African Union’s Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Eradication Campaign (AU-PATTEC)”, the Group appreciates the Agency’s continuous efforts to support the AU-PATTEC Plan of Action through TC projects providing training, expert services and equipment to countries in the African region affected by this problem. The Group encourages the continuation of these activities to successfully eradicate tsetse and Trypanosomosis from the African continent. The Group takes note of the conclusion in Annex 1, stating that African trypanosomosis affecting livestock continues to pose a significant constraint to development in much of sub-Saharan Africa, especially in the rural areas where poverty and lack of infrastructure are most acute. In this regards, the Group strongly encourages the Agency to provide support to the AU PATTEC initiative and encouragesMember States to contribute additional funds in order to ensure the sustainability of the program.
4. On Annex 2, in relation to the ReNuAL Project, the Group commends the efforts of the Secretariat, Friends of the ReNuAL and Member States of the Agency, to raise funds for this project, and is pleased to note that building construction has made steady progress since it commenced in July 2016 and remains on schedule and on budget, with ReNuAL and ReNuAL + elements now being implemented. The Group notes that the frame and envelope of the new Insect Pest Control Laboratory (IPCL) are complete and that furnishing of the interior of the building is under way. The Group also notes that construction of the frame and envelope of all three planned laboratories of the new Flexible Modular Laboratory (FML) began in July 2017 and is planned for completion in the first quarter of 2018.
5. The Group reiterates the great importance it attaches to the role of the Agency’s Nuclear Application (NA) laboratories in Seibersdorf in developing and transferring nuclear related and complementary technologies that contribute significantly to food security and safety, medical dosimetry, water management and environmental protection, and thanks Member States for their contributions towards this project of immense importance to the Group, and has particular relevance to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The Group has noted that resource mobilization efforts are continuing for the funding of the Animal Production and Health Laboratory (APHL) and invites Member States, in a position to do so, to make financial contributions to the project. The Group looks forward to the timely completion of the ReNuAL+ project.
6. On Annex 3, the Group appreciates Agencies activities in relation to “Use of Isotope Hydrology for Water Resources Management”. The Group notes the Agency’s efforts to strengthen isotope hydrology activities, such as the focus on research, training, protocol development and analytical services to expand the use of groundwater age dating with isotopes to map water resources. The G77 also notes the completion, in 2016, of the pilot phase of the IAEA Water Availability Enhancement (IWAVE) Project in countries which are members of the Group. The Group commends the Agency for its activities aimed at expanding access to isotope techniques and capacity building, as well as improving understanding of the water cycle and climate change.
7. With regard to Annex 4, “Nuclear Energy Activities”, the Group notes with appreciation the activities undertaken by the Agency as requested by the General Conference in resolution GC(60)/RES/12, specifically in Section A.1 on non-power nuclear applications and in Section B on nuclear power applications. The Group notes the projected rate of growth in nuclear power capacity, as mentioned in the Nuclear Technology Review 2017, as an indication of continuing interest of Member States in nuclear energy, as a proven, clean, safe and competitive technology. The Group believes that nuclear energy will make an increasing contribution to the sustainable development of human kind throughout the 21st century and beyond. The Group further notes the role played by nuclear power in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and its contribution to addressing climate change issues and to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In 2015, a new binding agreement on climate change was adopted at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), which recognizes that reductions in global greenhouse emissions are needed as soon as possible. In this context, the IAEA should further strengthen its role in promoting the safe use of nuclear power. The Group highly values the Agency’s central role in this regard, which is of particular importance in developing countries and notes with satisfaction the continued assistance provided by the Agency to Member States in training and capacity building.
8. On Annex 5, on the Agency Activities in the “Development of Innovative Nuclear Technology”, the Group is pleased to note the work carried out by the Agency’s International Project on Innovative Nuclear reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO), The Group notes that the INPRO work programme reflects the interests and priorities of its members which are in line with the Agency’s regular programme and that the results obtained under INPRO are in turn available to all IAEA Member States. However, the Group notes with concern that INPRO continues to rely mainly on extra-budgetary contributions from its members. The Group reiterates its view that the support to INPRO from the Agency’s regular budget should be enhanced. The Group notes with appreciation the Agency’s role in monitoring and participating in worldwide activities on advanced and innovative technology development, fostering collaboration among Member States on selected innovative nuclear technologies and related research and development through several Technical Meetings and through Coordinated Research Projects.
9. On Annex 6, “Approaches to Supporting Nuclear Power Infrastructure Development”, the Group welcomes the various activities carried out by the Agency in this area, which support the successful introduction of nuclear power and its safe, secure and efficient use. The Group notes that more than 45 events – including Technical Meetings, roadmap discussions, self-evaluation support missions and expert missions/workshops) took place in 2016-2017 focused on increasing Member States’ awareness and understanding of the Agency’s ‘Milestones’ approach for the development of a national infrastructure for nuclear power, as well as key infrastructure issues., The Group notes that evaluation methodology for Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) Phase 3 missions was used in 2016 to simulate a Phase 3 self-evaluation in 2016 and the Phase 3 evaluation methodology was finalized following this exercise.
10. On Annex 7, “Small and Medium-sized Nuclear Reactors – Development and Deployment”, the Group notes the different activities undertaken by the Agency, such as the approval of new coordinated research projects, the organization of technical and consultancy meetings, the development of TECDOCs and of training material.
11. With these comments, the Group takes note of document under this agenda item (GOV/2017/30-GC(61)/12).
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Agenda Item 8: Other matters arising from the fifty-ninth (2015) and the sixtieth (2016) regular sessions of the General Conference: (b) Personnel matters: (i) Staffing of the Agency's Secretariat and ii) Women in the Secretariat
1. The Group 77 and China would like to thank the Director General for his reports contained in GOV/2017/38-GC(61)/18 and GOV/2017/39-GC(61)/19, on Staffing of the Agency's Secretariat and Women in the Secretariat, respectively.
2. The Group notes the Secretariat's continuing efforts to improve, pursuant to General Conference resolutions, its recruitment practices with regard to staff members from developing countries, particularly of women, and from other G-77 Member States which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the Secretariat.
3. The Group notes that during the period 1 June 2015 to 01 June 2017, 24.4% of all 201 appointments came from developing Member States, which represents a slight increase with respect to the previous biennium. The Group also notes that, as of 1 June 2017, 38.5% of the senior staff come from developing countries, representing a slight increase from the percentage in 1 June 2015 (37%). The Group encourages the Secretariat to continue building on this modest progress and exert more effort to increase the number of staff from developing countries.
4. The Group notes the Secretariat's projection indicating that, as a result of staff retirements and the application of the rotation policy, the Secretariat can anticipate 548 vacancy notices over the next 7 years. In this regard, the Group urges the Secretariat to take advantage of this opportunity and work with Member States in order to fully implement General Conference resolutions on recruitment and staffing. The Group welcomes the information that 39.8% of the applications received by the Agency through its new web-based application system for advertised agencies come from developing countries. In addition to proactive measures mentioned in the Director General’s report, the Group requests the Director General to ensure transparency in the Secretariat’s selection process.
5. The Group welcomes the information that the Regular Budget consultant expenditure has decreased by 6.1% compared to the first year of 2014-2015 biennium as a response to the Group’s request that the Agency rationalize the policy of hiring consultants. However, the Group continues to note with concern the relatively low percentage of consultants from developing countries holding Special Service Agreements. The Group notes the Director General’s report on the impact of the introduction of the Agency-wide Information System for Programme Support (AIPS) module for human resouces on consolidate reporting, including on the use of consultants by the Secretariat. In this regard, the Group requests the Agency to use information generated from AIPS in its continuing efforts to rationalize the policy of hiring consultants, exercise transparency in their selection and, when necessary, to hire them, apply the policy of equitable geographical distribution, and to continue to identify the nationalities of consultants holding Special Service Agreements in future reports.
6. Finally, on the recruitment of women, the Group welcomes the information that the the percentage of professional women in the Agency’s Regular Staff during the reporting period increased by 1.6% and is now at its highest level in the Agency’s history at 29.4%. The Group also takes note of the Secretariat's work with Member States to encourage applications by well qualified female candidates to Professional posts The Group, however, wishes to emphasize that implementation of the General Conference resolution on Women in the Secretariat should not prejudice the implementation of the General Conference resolution on Staffing of the Agency's Secretariat. In this regard, the Group requests the Secretariat to brief and consult Member States in its efforts to strengthen its policy framework through the revision of the Action Plan for Gender Concerns in 2018.
7. With these comments, the Group notes the documents GOV/2017/39-GC(61)/19 and GOV/2017/38-GC(61)/18.
Thank you Mr. Chair.
G-77 and China statement during the IAEA Board of Governors, 25 September 2017 delivered by H.E. Ambassador Reza Najafi, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Agenda item 4: Any other business
Mr. Chairman, [H.E. Ambassador Darmansjah DJUMALA, Permanent Representative of Indonesia]
1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China to thank the outgoing Chair, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of South Africa, His Excellency Mr. Tebogo Joseph SEOKOLO, for his successful Chairmanship of the Board of Governors between the 60th and 61st sessions of the General Conference.
2. The Group of 77 commends Ambassador SEOKOLO and his team for their dedication and hard work over the past year. We wish him all the very best in his future endeavors.
3. The Group would also like to take this opportunity to express its appreciation to the President of the General Conference, Her Excellency Ambassador Maria Zeneida ANGARA COLLINSON, for her excellent work and for her able stewardship of the 61st session of the General Conference.
4. The Group commends His Excellency Ambassador Rolf STALDER from Switzerland for his outstanding Chairmanship of the Committee of the Whole.
5. On behalf of the Group, I wish to congratulate Director General Amano on his reelection and on your assumption as Chairman of the Board of Governors. Our congratulations as well to your Vice-Chairs, Ambassador Liselotte KJÆRSGAARD PLESNER, Governor for Denmark, and Ambassador Andrej BENEDEJCIC, Governor for Slovenia.
6. The G-77 and China is confident that the Board will remain in good and steady hands as we move forward with the work of the Agency. Rest assured that you have the full support of the Group.