Statement of the the G-77 and China during the IAEA
Board of Governors, 10-14 September 2007, delivered by His Excellency
Ambassador Sayed G. Elamin, Permanent Representative of Sudan
Item 3: Measures to Strengthen International Cooperation in Nuclear, Radiation and Transport Safety and Waste Management
The Group of 77 and China commends the Secretariat for preparing the documents GOV/2007/25 and its associated notes on "Measures to strengthen international cooperation in nuclear, radiation and transport safety and waste management", and the document GOV/2007/35, Draft Safety Requirements: Safety of Fuel Cycle Facilities. The Group wishes also to thank DDG Taniguchi for introducing the Agenda items.
The Group commends the work carried out by the Secretariat during 2006 in order to strengthen nuclear, radiation and transport safety and waste management pursuant to the pertinent General Conference resolutions.
The Group notes that in October 2006, the Director General established the Nuclear Power Support Group in the Secretariat to ensure coordinated Agency support to Member States considering the introduction of nuclear power as a part of their energy mix or an expansion of their existing programme. The Group welcomes this initiative of the Agency and is of the view that such support will greatly assist those Member States considering the nuclear option, including utilization of current safety standards.
The Group notes from the report that from 21 April to 9 May 2007, the Agency conducted a pilot Safety Evaluation during Operation (SEDO) mission to the Brazilian Nuclear Industries' uranium fuel fabrication facilities in Resende, Brazil. The Group welcomes this development and encourages the Agency to hold similar missions in other developing countries. The Group notes that the objective of the mission included verifying the adequacy of the Agency's documentation in field implementation (SEDO guidelines and experts' training package) and identifying potential improvements for SEDO missions to other types of fuel cycle facilities.
The Group welcomes the fact that the Agency convened an international workshop on a common framework for the safety of radioactive waste management and disposal in Cape Town, South Africa, in July 2007. The workshop had been triggered by the continuing international interest in the establishment of comprehensive national radioactive waste management policies and the implementation of strategies that will ensure that all radioactive waste is appropriately managed and disposed off. The Group appreciates South Africa for taking interest in promoting an awareness of the importance of safe management and disposal of nuclear radioactive waste.
The Group of 77 and China firmly believes that the concept of a common framework linking radioactive waste types to disposal options in a manner that respects international safety standards and takes cognizance of local circumstances that have been evolving over a number of years. Important to the concept is a comprehensive system of radioactive waste classification - a topical area where the Agency Safety Standards are presently being revised - and international consensus on methodological approaches to safety demonstrations to provide assurance of compliance with safety standards.
The Group stresses the importance of giving due attention to the financial and regulatory requirements of raising safety standards, particularly in developing countries, and to providing appropriate support for their implementation.
The Group of 77 and China reiterates the importance of the Agency's efforts in promoting education and training in nuclear safety. The Group encourages the Agency to continue doing so in order to ensure the safe use of nuclear energy.
The G-77 reiterates its views that establishing, maintaining and improving technical competence in the regulatory bodies and technical support organizations as a major challenge facing Member States in the upcoming years. The Group looks forward to cooperating with the Agency in establishing comprehensive and multi-faceted approaches in establishing succession planning, educational and training programmes and quality management programmes and maintaining a continuous process providing appropriate response to the needs of developing Member States.
The Group would like to express its support for the work of the International Expert Group on Nuclear Liability (INLEX) and would like to thank the Secretariat for reporting, as requested, on the activities of INLEX. While taking note of the reported activities, the Group looks forward to discussing the lessons learned from the outreach activities held in 2007 mainly on the discussions that took place regarding fostering of and adherence to the international nuclear liability regime.
With these comments, the Group takes note of the report as contained in document GOV/2007/25.
The Group welcomes the preparation of the document GOV/2007/35, Draft Safety Requirements: Safety of Fuel Cycle Facilities for the establishment as an Agency safety standard. The Group takes note that the objective of this publication is to establish requirements that, in the light of experience and the present state of technology, must be satisfied to ensure safety at all stages in the lifetime of a nuclear fuel cycle facility. The Group attaches high importance to the Safety Standards and appreciates the progress in implementing the Action Plan for the Development and Application of IAEA Safety Standards. The Group welcomes the efforts of the Secretariat to enhance the implementation of these standards through information and promotional materials.
With these comments, the Group agrees to the recommended action as contained in document GOV/2007/35.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Agenda Item 5: Strengthening the Agency's activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications
The Group of 77 and China would like to thank the Secretariat for the preparation of the Agency's report contained in Document Gov/2007/26-GC(51)/4 and its Annexes. We would also like to thank DDGs Burkart and Sokolov for presenting this Agenda item.
The Group continues to regard with high priority the development of nuclear technology and recognises the role of its peaceful applications in the socio-economic uplift of the developing countries. The Group thanks the Agency for continuing progress in implementing nuclear applications in areas such as isotope hydrology, Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT), the African Union's Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC), innovative nuclear technology, nuclear power infrastructure development and nuclear knowledge management. These areas are crucially linked to human needs in the developing countries. The Group therefore encourages the Agency to continue to intensify its efforts in supporting them. The Group looks forward to the report on the innovative ways of financing nuclear power, with particular emphasis on developing countries, in the near future.
The Group continues to consider that increased participation of national and regional resource centres of the developing countries, with strong Agency support through training and education, will strengthen the above activities. The Group underlines the importance of increased level of transfer of technology to developing countries and a higher interaction of the scientists among all the Member States. In this regard the Group would recommend strengthening of Coordinated Research Projects (CRP) mechanism and its greater synergy with the technical cooperation programme taking into account the role of CRPs in technology transfer.
I wish now to make some specific comments on the Annexes to the DG's report:
Annex 1: Use of Isotope Hydrology for Water Resources Management
The Group notes with satisfaction that through the Regional Cooperation Agreement (RCA) project RAS/8/092 "Investigating Environment and Water Resources in Geothermal Areas (RCA)", the capacities in carrying out inter-laboratory comparison exercises and stable isotope measurements of water of Member States involved in said project were strengthened. The Group notes the Agency's work in the development of a new machine for isotope analysis that uses a laser spectroscopy technique.
The Group welcomes the CRP entitled "Geostatistical analysis of spatial isotope variability to map the sources of water for hydrology" which was initiated to develop protocols for visualizing, integrating, and mapping hydrological, hydro-chemical and isotope data.
The Group further welcomes the involvement of the Agency's Water Resources Programme to Global Environment Facility (GEF) Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel for the theme of "Managing Aquifer Recharge" and the initiation of several GEF-funded projects related to the adaptation of water resources management practices to potential impacts of climate change.
The Group notes with satisfaction that several regional training programmes were successfully conducted in water resource management is an effort towards capacity building in Member States, and thanks the Secretariat for the various information disseminating tools that have been developed and distributed to Member States.
Annex 2: Programme of Action on Cancer Therapy (PACT)
The Group wishes to state that it remains seriously concerned about the suffering of cancer patients and their families, the extent to which cancer threatens development, particularly in developing countries, and that the number of new cases could reach 16 million by 2020 unless the international community acts. The Group is also concerned that 12.5% of all deaths worldwide are caused by cancer as reported by the Wor1d Health Organization.
The Group believes that PACT embodies in a clear way the peaceful use of nuclear technology for civilian and humanitarian purposes, and that the timely implementation of PACT, enabling Member States to develop capacities to fight cancer in a comprehensive way, will impact the health and development of all regions, and promote the other statutory activities of the Agency. The Group also notes the Agency's policy of seeking to develop an Agency-wide strategy for the implementation of PACT, and welcomes the inclusion of PACT as part of the Human Health programme of the Agency under Major Programme 2, as well as the provision included in the regular budget to cover a portion of PACT's required funding for management and essential support.
The Group commends the Pact Programme Office (PPO) for the progress made in the establishment of public-private partnerships with Member States, other international organizations and private entities taking into consideration relevant IAEA General Conference and UN General Assembly resolutions. The Group urges the PPO to continue to foster development and deployment of cost-effective, reliable systems for radiation treatment of cancer patients through such partnerships. We welcome the recognition being accorded to PACT by other international organizations, particularly the WHO, and in this respect supports the collaboration work of the PPO with WHO Regional Offices, including the establishment of PACT model demonstration sites and Regional Cancer Training Networks in each region. The Group recognizes the importance of PACT Missions as a tool of comprehensive assessment and its usefulness for planning of integrated Cancer Control Programmes, and supports its continued use.
The Group welcomes the IAEA Nobel Cancer and Nutrition Fund "Special Events" held in Africa (Cape Town), Asia (Bangkok) and Latin America (Buenos Aires), which generated much public awareness about the global cancer burden in low and middle income countries. The Group wishes to highlight the declarations signed by the participants in these events, and expects that the call for greater support by the international community and donors to effectively mitigate the growing cancer burden will bring the expected results. The Group notes the coverage given to PACT by local and international media, and its usefulness in raising awareness of the global cancer problem, the IAEA's work in fighting cancer and PACT's role in this regard.
The G-77 and China welcomes the realization of the "Forum on Cancer Control in Africa", and highlights the wide participation and its London Declaration, which calls on interested national governments, institutions, partners, international organizations and civil society to work together to enable the delivery of comprehensive cancer care in Africa. The Group expects the London Declaration to be the first step in the building of wide support for PACT's Plan for Africa.
The Group wishes to take this opportunity to express its appreciation for the financial and other contributions and pledges made by Member States and others to PACT, and encourages other Member States to similarly contribute to the PACT. The Group will again table a resolution on PACT at the 51st regular session of the General Conference, and will continue to do so to ensure that concrete and sustainable action is made by the international community to adequately address this disease.
Finally, the Group urges the Director General to continue to advocate, build support, and allocate and mobilize resources for the implementation of PACT as one of the priorities of the Agency.
Annex 3 : Support to the African Union (AU's) Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC)
The Group welcomes the efforts undertaken by the Agency in assisting Member States from the African Continent in the area of agricultural development by combating Tsetse flies and the disease they transmit, which constitutes a major transboundary African challenge and one of the greatest constraints on the African continent's socio-economic development.
It is known that this disease continues to claim tens of thousands of human lives and millions of livestock every year and threatens over 60 million people in 37 countries, most of which are Agency Member States.
In this regard, the Group acknowledges the continued support given to AU-PATTEC by the Agency and recognizes the significant contribution by the Agency's programmes in addressing the objectives of the African Union's New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG's),
The Group appreciates the continuous support of the Agency to the Member States in their efforts to build capacity and further develop the techniques for applying the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) in creating and expanding tsetse-free zones in Africa, and also appreciates the contributions provided by some Member States and United Nations specialized agencies in support of these efforts.
Furthermore, the Group welcomes the special donors' conference organized in February 2007 in Addis Ababa by PATTEC and African Development Bank to generate further loans and grants for additional countries embarking on sub-regional tsetse control programmes, and calls upon Member States to strengthen the provision of technical, financial and material support to African States in their efforts to create tsetse-free zones.
Finally the Group requests the Secretariat, to continue to support R&D and technology transfer to African Member States in order to complement their efforts to create and subsequently expand tsetse-free zones.
Annex 4: Nuclear Power Applications
With regard to Nuclear Power Applications, the Group notes a substantial increase in the requests for assistance in national energy studies exploring nuclear energy as an option and encourages Agency efforts in this direction. The Group welcomes the publication of a brochure on 'Considerations to launch a Nuclear Power Programme', and appreciates the Agency's publication of several related TECDOCS. The Group looks forward to the publication of another document 'Milestones in the Development of a National Nuclear Power Infrastructure' and participation in the workshop on this theme scheduled for November 2007. The Group further notes that initial arrangements have been made for a second ministerial meeting on Nuclear Power to be held in China in 2009.
The Group supports collaborative efforts with other international organizations on plant life management (PLiM) for long-term operation.
The Group notes the increasing interest in uranium exploration, mining and production and a further expansion of such activities in 2008-2009 biennium and requests the Secretariat to keep Member States informed of the developments.
On the issue of spent fuel storage and its long-term behavior, the Group notes the publication of related TECDOCS and encourages education and training activities envisaged in this area. The Group supports the Agency in its assessment of Borehole Disposal of Disused Sealed Sources (BOSS) for countries that generate small volumes of radioactive waste and have no other disposal options.
The Group being conscious of the need for training a new generation of nuclear scientists and engineers, endorses Agency activities on nuclear knowledge management aimed at maintaining core knowledge. In this context, it appreciates the conduct of the International Conference on Knowledge Management in Nuclear Facilities in June 2007 and the growth in membership of the International Nuclear Library Network (INLN) which, coordinated by the IAEA library, fosters the exchange of and access to nuclear information through international cooperation amongst nuclear libraries worldwide.
With regard to the development of innovative nuclear technology, the Group has all along supported Agency activities envisaged under its INPRO programme and welcomes the continuous growth in its membership, including from developing countries. The Group looks forward to the publication of a user manual later this year. The Group also awaits the results of the assessments of the INPRO methodology in various Member States aimed at identifying those Innovative Nuclear Systems (INS) that can best contribute to sustainable development under country or region specific conditions. The Group also welcomes the development of Common User Criteria (CUC) and actions with respect to the development and deployment of nuclear power plants in developing countries. While noting with satisfaction that INPRO has been upgraded as a sub-programme, the Group considers that in view of its importance and, in order to expedite and accelerate the successful implementation of its phase-2 activities, it merits funding mainly through the regular budget.
The Group notes and supports Agency activities leading to the development of advanced nuclear reactor designs which are evolutionary and feature passive safety systems, improved economics and a very high level of safety through reduced design complexity and requests the Agency to keep the Member States informed of the progress. The Group endorses the Agency's efforts in support of education and training in the area of advanced and innovative fuel technology development and looks forward to the publication of a fact book on the topic aimed primarily for the new generation of scientists and engineers.
In the context of Small and Medium Sized Reactors (SMR's), the Group supports Agency activities envisaged under this area and reiterates that the Agency should facilitate technical, legal, regulatory and financial assistance to interested developing countries in particular, with small electrical grid-sizes, planning to introduce nuclear power as part of their energy mix. The Group welcomes the development of a detailed plan on competitive considerations of SMR's including a country-independent model for their assessment needs. The Group supports all Agency activities in the area of non-electric applications of nuclear energy viz. nuclear desalination and nuclear hydrogen production. In this context, the Group appreciates the efforts of INDAG members for reviewing the progress of the Agency's work and its planned activities for 2006-2007 in the area of nuclear desalination. The Group notes the worldwide collaborative projects among Member States involving techno-economic feasibility studies aimed at both nuclear co-generation and nuclear desalination and requests the Agency to keep Member States informed on the developments and on potentially viable systems.
With these remarks, the Group wishes to note of the Director General's report GOV/2007/26-GC(51)/4.
The Group of 77 and China would like to thank the Director General for presenting the report on the TC Programme Resources as contained in document GOV/INF/2007/15. It has been prepared in response to the GC resolution GC(50)/RES/12, requesting the Secretariat to explore means to ensure that the resources for the Technical Cooperation Programme are sufficient, assured and predictable (SAP). Since the report was released only a few days ago, the Group, therefore, needs more time to study and analyse the report. Meanwhile, the Group would like to reiterate some of its principled positions, and urge the Secretariat to engage Member States in a meaningful dialogue on this issue.
There is a basic political commitment underlying the creation of IAEA that the interests of all Member States shall be taken into account through a balanced approach towards its various activities. The promotion of peaceful applications of atomic energy constitutes a fundamental element of the core activities of the Agency and is of utmost importance to the developing countries. The Group reaffirms its commitment to the Technical Cooperation activities as a major instrument for the development of peaceful applications of nuclear energy for the improvement of socio-economic conditions of the Agency's Member States. An insufficient and unpredictable funding, will have a negative impact in terms of promotional activities, and it is, therefore, essential to ensure that the Technical Cooperation Programme of the IAEA receives sufficient, assured and predictable funding.
There is an urgent need to ensure the necessary balance between all statutory activities of the IAEA, which is crucial for maintaining a sound and efficient Agency. The Statute does not make a distinction between technical cooperation activities and activities of other technical departments. The Group is of the view that technical cooperation activities should be funded and implemented in the same way as all other technical activities of the Agency. If the contributions towards technical cooperation activities are made mandatory rather than voluntary, it would make the availability of resources more assured and predictable.
The Group reiterates its concern that the "Delivering as One" approach for development, financing and delivery of country programme by all UN system organisations may have a negative impact on the TC programme. The Group emphasizes that the Agency is an autonomous international organization related to the United Nations system with a specific nature of its activities including the technical cooperation programme. In this regard, the Group is of the view that the Secretariat should study any possible negative impact of this approach on the TC programme delivery and resources mobilization.
5. The G-77 and China welcomes any proposals and options aimed at strengthening the technical cooperation activities of the Agency. The Group would like to request the Secretariat to continue its work in consultation with Member States to establish a mechanism that would ensure achieving the goal of making TCF Sufficient, Assured, and Predictable. We trust that this process will come up with a good solution for the problem we are faced with.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Agenda item 8 (c) - Personnel matters - (i) Staffing of the Agency's Secretariat, and (ii) Women in the Secretariat
The Group would like to thank the Director General for his reports in GOV/2007/47-GC(51)/16 and GOV/2007/47-GC(51)/17 on Staffing of the Agency's Secretariat and Women in the Secretariat, respectively.
The Group notes the Secretariat's continuing efforts to improve, pursuant to General Conference resolutions, the recruitment practices of the IAEA Secretariat with regard to staff members from developing countries including women, and from other G-77 Member States which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the Agency's Secretariat.
The Group notes that during the period 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2007, 30.7% of all 163 appointments came from developing Member States. However, the Group remains concerned that this percentage is still inadequate, and encourages the Secretariat to exert more effort to address this situation.
The Group notes the Secretariat's announcement that, as a result of staff retirement and the application of the rotation policy, 52% or 478 of the regular posts will become vacant until 2014, and 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.
On the recruitment of women, the Group notes the meetings of Points of Contact for the Recruitment of Women, and looks forward to their positive results. The Group also wishes to emphasize that implementation of the General Conference resolution on Women in the Secretariat should not prejudice implementation of the General Conference resolution on Staffing of the Agency's Secretariat.
With these comments, the Group notes the documents GOV/2007/47-GC(51)/16 and GOV/2007/47-GC(51)/17.