Statement of the Group of 77 and China during the IAEA Board of Governors starting 7 September 2009, delivered by H.E. Ambassador Eugenio María Curia, Permanent Representative of Argentina

Agenda Item 3: Measures to strengthen international cooperation in nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety.

Madam Chair,

The Group 77 and China wishes to thank the Director General, Mr. Mohamed EL BARADEI for his introductory statement and the DDG Tomihiro Taniguchi for his remarks on this Agenda Item. The Group also commends the Secretariat for preparing document GOV/2009/48-GC (53)/2.

The Group welcomes the Agency's continuous effort in promoting nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety in Member States, through dissemination of information, knowledge, training and databases and encourages the Agency to continue doing so to enhance safety in the development and the use of nuclear energy.

The Group wishes also to commend the Secretariat for the work carried out during the year 2008 in order to strengthen international cooperation in nuclear, radiation and transport safety and waste safety pursuant to the pertinent GC resolutions.

Madam Chair,

The Group attaches great importance to the issue of nuclear safety which constitutes one of the important elements of any nuclear programme and takes note of the effort of the Secretariat to support safety worldwide. The Group notes with appreciation the high level of nuclear safety performance recorded worldwide , however, the Group stresses the need for vigilance and continuous improvement.

The Group notes with satisfaction the efforts made by the Secretariat in developing approaches to support nuclear power infrastructure in Members States willing to introduce nuclear power for the first time or those expanding their nuclear power programmes. The Group notes with satisfaction the assistance provided to some developing countries in this regard.

The Group notes with interest the issuance of a new Safety Guide entitled "Establishing a Safety Infrastructure for a National Nuclear Power Programme" which could provide guidance on the progressive application of the Agency's safety standards to ensure a high level of safety during the phases of any nuclear power programme. However, the Group stresses that infrastructure issues cannot be dealt with in isolation from each other and that safety remains an integral part of the broader efforts to develop infrastructure. Furthermore, the Group, while recognizing the importance of such documents in providing useful guidance, would like to reiterate that they should not be used as part of the Agency's safety standards or be considered the only reference for Member States embarking on a nuclear power programme and that these documents are not binding and should not be used to restrict technical cooperation activities or interfere in the technical work of the Secretariat.

The Group takes note of the Integrated Regulatory Review Services (IRSS) which provide Member States upon their request with advice and assistance in strengthening the effectiveness of their regulatory bodies, and notes the work being developed within the Secretariat in assisting Members States through developing new tailored versions of its safety review services, and a holistic peer review Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review service.

The Group also takes note of the efforts made by the Secretariat to develop a new methodology for self-assessment and tools to orient regulatory bodies to perform their own review.

Madam Chair,

The Group maintains that the development of human resources is a key element for the sustainability of any nuclear project and programme and notes with satisfaction that efforts are being made in order to address the issue of capacity building, education and training through specific training programmes while adopting a regional approach aiming at fostering sharing of information and experience.

The Group commends the continued efforts by the Agency in particular through the Technical Cooperation Programme towards capacity building in Member States through postgraduate educational course in radiation protection and the safety of radiation sources in several Member States.

The Group also notes with satisfaction the organisation of several regional training events related to radiation, transport and waste safety within the framework of regional projects, national projects and regional cooperative agreements.

Madam Chair,

With regard the nuclear and radiological incident and emergency preparedness and response, the Group strongly concurs with the view expressed in the report on the need to establishing clear communication procedures in response to any type of radiation emergency. The Group wishes to underscore that such communication procedures should also apply in response to any type of incident including maritime incidents. In this context, the Group notes with appreciation that the Agency is developing an emergency and preparedness and response manual on communicating with the public during a nuclear or radiological emergency for a better international communication and response. The Group commends the efforts made by the Agency in this field through offering Emergency Preparedness Review missions aiming at assessing and evaluating national preparedness and response programmes.

The Group notes that that ConvEx3 emergency exercise in Mexico in July 2008 has found the need to strengthen the emergency preparedness and response capabilities of the Agency. The Secretariat, as appropriate, should take measures to address this.

As regards nuclear installation safety, the Group commends the Agency's initiative in addressing issues of safety due to extreme natural events. In this context, the Group welcomes the launching of the two programmes in association with several Member States to address the safety issues arising from Tsunami and seismic events.

The Group notes that in response to the observation of the INSAG publication "Improving the International System for Operating Experience Feedback", the Secretariat is planning further enhancement to the international operating experience system including Incident Review System (IRS).

The Group notes that the Secretariat has undertaken various activities, in response to the recommendations of an international meeting on the application of the Code of Conduct on the Safety of Research Reactors held in October 2008, to improve networking between regulatory bodies and operating organizations, develop technical and safety infrastructures needed for research reactors new builds and to address common issues identified from Member State self assessment.

The Group notes that the three safety guides Safety for Uranium Fabrication Facilities, MOX Fuel Fabrication Facilities and Conversion and Enrichment Facilities for the Safety of Fuel Cycle Facilities are under advanced stage of preparation and will be published in 2009. The Group welcomes the launching of the international fuel incident reporting system "Fuel Incident Notification and Analysis System (FINAS)" since October 2008 and hopes that experienced feedback obtained through the system will further improve safety in the fuel cycle facilities.

Madam Chair,

Regarding occupational radiation safety, the Group welcomes the conclusions of the 12th International Conference of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA 12) held in Argentina in October 2008, that more than 80% of the actions of the Action Plan for Occupational Radiation Protection had been attained and urges the Agency to continue its effort to complete the remaining actions and to assess the need for identifying and developing new ones. The Group, in this connection, urges the Agency to continue its effort to promote Member State's occupational radiation safety through networking, information and sharing experiences in this area. The Group notes the Agency's Information System on Occupational Exposure in Medical, Industrial and Research Areas (ISEMIR), which could be a useful tool for identifying trends and needs in this field, thus assisting Member States in harmonizing national occupational radiation safety measures with the relevant safety standards of the Agency, without hampering national priorities and programmes in this area.

Regarding the increasing medical radiation exposures, the group remains concerned with the difficulties that developing countries encounter in managing and controlling medical exposures due to poor equipment and insufficiencies in dosimetry and radiation protection guidelines, as well as the lack of training. The Group welcomes the International Workshop on justification of medical exposure in diagnostic imaging, scheduled for September 2009, and hopes that this forum will be useful in exploring measures to improve safety in the medical radiation exposure of patients. The Group also welcomes capacity building and training offered to health professionals in Latin America on the avoidance of exposure in radiotherapy through risk analysis and probabilistic safety assessment and urges the Agency to continue expanding such a programme to other regions.

As to the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources and its supplementary Guidance, the Group notes initiatives undertaken by the Secretariat in promoting its implementation in Member States. However, the Group reaffirms that these codes of conduct and safety and security standards are recommendations and guidelines and should not be binding on Member States.

In this context, the Group notes the outcome of a technical meeting convened on the management of radioactive sources, especially orphan sources detected at borders or during transport and that no common view emerged on actions required in the event that an orphan source is detected and urges the Agency to continue its effort to encourage further dialogue on such an important subject.

Regarding the denials of shipments of radioactive material, the Group remains concerned that the shipping restrictions continue to affect the delivery of radioactive materials, which adversely impact on project implementation in Member States. The Group notes with interest the integrated action plans of the International Steering Committee on Denials of Shipment of Radioactive Material and regional networks and looks forward to its implementation in addressing this problem. The Group is pleased to note improvements achieved from the Agency's database on denials, which resulted in specific cases of denials being resolved.

Turning to the safety of radioactive waste management and disposal, the Group notes the Agency's continuous support of the Contracting Parties to the Joint Convention on Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management especially the 3rd Review meeting held in May 2009 and welcomes the use of a secure website to facilitate the peer review process amongst Contracting Parties.

The Group takes note of the concept of a mobile hot cell developed by the Agency to ensure the safety of disused high activity radioactive sources developed by the Agency which aims to assist countries, especially those that do not have adequate infrastructure to process high radioactive sources after termination of their application. The Group looks forward to the practical application of this concept building on the first successful operation in Sudan.

The Group looks forward to the Agency's International Conference on Management of Spent Fuel from Nuclear Power Plants in 2010, to address inter alia issues related to high level waste, including storage arrangements for the spent fuel.

Finally, the report makes reference, in its introductory paragraph, to the open ended working group to discuss the future of the Agency. The Group would like to recall the principles guiding the establishment of that process, which state that it is an informal one with open-ended participation and that it is separate from the regular day-to-day work of the Board, not linked to or affecting it. Therefore, the Group believes the comments made in paragraph one relating to this process do not belong to a formal document of the Board and requests the Secretariat to revise it accordingly.

With these comments, Madam Chair, the Group takes note of document GOV/2009/48-GC (53)/2.

Agenda item 4

(a) Nuclear Security Report

The Group appreciates the efforts of the Secretariat in preparing the Nuclear Security Report 2009 contained in document GOV/2009/53, and the Nuclear Security Plan for 2010-2013 contained in document GOV/2009/54 and wishes to thank DDG Tomihiro Taniguchi and Ms. Anita Nilsson for the briefing arranged on the contents of these documents on 27 August 2009.

The Group notes with satisfaction that the report recognizes that the responsibility for nuclear security rests entirely with each State, and that the Agency provides assistance upon request.

The Group welcomes the Agency's efforts in elaborating nuclear security guidance, in consultation with Member States, to be published in the IAEA Nuclear Security Series of publications. The Group notes with interest that the aim of this guidance is to help States to implement their national nuclear security systems.

The Group underscores that developing and sustaining effective global nuclear security will require a variety of steps to be taken in a number of areas.

The Group notes with satisfaction that in the framework of the Nuclear Security Plan 2006-2009, the Agency continued to provide nuclear security assistance to States while taking into account the other activities undertaken by the Agency's programmes and of the synergies between all these activities, as well as State Systems for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Material.

The Group takes note of the continuing reports about incidents of illegal possession, movement and attempted sales of nuclear and other radioactive material. The group recalls that the criteria established for reporting incidents to ITDB is very wide and thus the numbers alone do not reflect the significance of these incidents, In this context, the Group requests the Secretariat to provide a qualitative analysis of the actual significance of these incidents and an assessment of their associated risks and actual relevance to possible acts of nuclear terrorism.

The Group appreciates the efforts of the Agency in responding to the expressed needs of countries by establishing a process of developing Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plans (INSSPs), to consolidate the nuclear security needs of individual States into integrated plans for nuclear security improvements and assistance which enable the Agency, the State concerned and potential donors, to coordinate activities, optimize the use of resources and avoid duplication.

The Group underscores that effective nuclear security requires both human resources and technical systems, which makes it necessary for the Agency to provide assistance to States upon request for improving technical systems at facilities or locations where nuclear and other radioactive material is used, stored or transported, establishing effective border controls or implementing nuclear security at major public events.

In the area of emergency preparedness and response, the Group notes that ConvEx3 emergency exercise in Mexico in July 2008 has found the need to strengthen the emergency preparedness and response capabilities of the Agency.

The Group wishes to highlight that the above mentioned activities in the context of the Nuclear Security Plan 2006-2009 were implemented mostly through extra-budgetary voluntary contributions from Member States and others to the NSF. The Group wishes to highlight that reliance on NSF has proved successful.

(b) Nuclear Security Plan 2010-2013:

Turning to the Nuclear Security Plan 2010-2013, The Group has always supported the Agency's nuclear security activities, the overall goal of which is to assist Member States in improving their nuclear security.

The Group notes that the Plan reflects that that the responsibility for nuclear security rests entirely with each State and that the Agency's assistance shall be provided upon request. The Group further notes with satisfaction the assertion contained in the document that adherence to the Agency guidelines and recommendations related to enhancing security is voluntary and shall respect the primacy of the State in security issues.

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 the Member States and as reflected in the Board decisions and General Conference resolutions, and stresses that this role must be based on the premises mentioned above.

The Group recognizes that Safeguards agreements between the Agency and States, inter alia, through an effective state systems of accounting for and control of nuclear material make central contributions to preventing illicit trafficking of nuclear material.

The Group appreciates the efforts of the Agency in the area of risk reduction, and that the Agency provides, upon request, assistance to strengthen physical protection of facilities, to obtain effective accounting and registry of nuclear material through the development of State systems of accounting for and control of nuclear material (SSAC); establish analogous mechanisms for the accounting and registry of other radioactive material; establish effective border controls; and bring vulnerable radioactive material into safe and secure storage or disposal conditions when such material is out of governmental control.

The Group welcomes that in implementing the Plan, full account will be taken of activities undertaken in the Agency's nuclear safety and safeguards programmes and the relevant synergies between safety, security and safeguards. The Group also welcomes that when safety and safeguards activities also serve nuclear security purposes, additional funding will be provided from the NSF to accelerate their implementation and that activities will respect existing competencies throughout the Agency with a view to avoiding duplication and promoting sustainability.

The Group wishes to reiterate its views regarding the conditions placed by donors on the use of their voluntary contributions to the NSF, which have an impact on programme delivery. The Group encourages the Agency to continue to work with donors to resolve this issue to ensure maximum flexibility in the use of funds, thus minimizing the need to resort to the regular budget.

The Group of 77 and China notes that the activities included in the Nuclear Security Plan for 2010-2013 will continue to be funded largely from extrabudgetary contributions made, on a voluntary basis, to the Nuclear Security Fund. The Group wishes to reiterate that nuclear security is not a core statutory function of the Agency and that the sole responsibility of implementing nuclear security measures rests in the hands of the Member States. Therefore, the Group believes that it is fully justifiable for the activities undertaken in the area of nuclear security to continue to be financed through voluntary and extrabudgetary resources.

The G-77 and China notes that the cost of implementing the new Plan is estimated to be 23.071 million, which represents a remarkable increase in the resources when compared to the current Plan. The Group of 77 and China stresses the importance of having an adequate balance between promotional activities including the Technical Cooperation Programme, and other activities of the Agency in terms of the resources they receive. In this context, the Group encourages Member States to contribute to the Technical Cooperation Fund (TCF), which is of fundamental importance for developing Member States, in order to provide it with sufficient, assured and predictable resources.

The Group notes that the Agency assisted in the repatriation of high enriched uranium (HEU) research reactor fuel, at the request of interested States. However, the Group finds it necessary for such activities, which do not result in actual risk-reduction and only caters to perceived risk reduction of some Member States, since the material is moved from the control of one State to another, to rely fully on funding from the Nuclear Security Fund and not from the Technical Cooperation Fund or the Regular Budget of the Agency.

In this context, the Group notes that risk reduction activities are expected to consume the largest portion of the resources required for implementing the Nuclear Security Plan 2010-2013, and requests further clarifications regarding the breakdown of the related activities.

Furthermore, the Group wishes to express the following concerns regarding the contents and assumptions of the Plan:
a. The Group requests the Secretariat to provide an elaborated explanation including empirical evidence regarding the assumption that that the risk that nuclear or other radioactive material could be used in malicious acts remains high.
b. The Group underscores the importance of identifying the legal basis upon which the Agency will cooperate and coordinate with other international initiatives in the area of nuclear security. The Group is of the view that the Agency's resources should not be consumed by catering to initiatives that have been established by only a few countries or non-governmental organizations. Priority must be given to those areas that are supported by all Member States.
c. The Group of 77 and China notes the references to the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources and to the Guidance on the Import and Export of Radioactive Sources contained in the document. The Group reiterates its opinion that this Code of Conduct should not hamper the wide use of radioactive sources, especially in developing countries, and should not be used to deny the peaceful uses of atomic energy or the export of these sources for use in developing Member States. Furthermore, the Group reiterates that Codes of Conduct and Guidance documents are not legally binding, as reflected, inter-alia, in the Resolution GC (48)/RES/10. In this regard, the document should contain an explicit reference to reflect the non-legally binding nature of this Code.
d. The Group believes that the "other open data sources" referred to in the Plan should be clearly defined

With these remarks, the Group takes note of documents GOV/2009/53 and GOV/2009/54.

Agenda item 5: Strengthening the Agency's activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications

. Madam Chair,

The Group of 77 and Chinawishes to thank the Director General for his report GOV/2009/49-GC (53)/3 on Strengthening the Agency's Activities related to Nuclear Science, Technology and Applications. The Group further thanks DDGs Burkart and Sokolov for presenting this agenda item.

The Group continues to regard with high priority the development of nuclear technology and recognizes the role of its peaceful applications in the socio-economic uplift of the developing countries. The Group therefore encourages the Agency to continue to intensify its efforts in supporting them.
The Group appreciates the Agency's continuing partnership with AU-PATTEC and its contributions to the implementation of the Plan of Action through regional and national technical cooperation projects in Member States in Africa. The Group welcomes the steps taken towards formalizing the collaborative framework in support of the Pan-African Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Eradication Campaign to strengthen the partnership between the Agency and AU commission. The Group thanks the Agency for developing several manuals and guidelines which have been particularly useful to the List-1 countries and for the technical support that has been rendered, as needed, to ongoing tsetse projects in a number of Member States, including its support in integrating the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) in the Southern Rift Valley Tsetse Eradication Project (STEP).

The Group welcomes the Agency's support in building Member States' capacity to establish entomological baseline data, tsetse ecology and biology and the relevant laboratory techniques, and appreciates the CRPs carried out under the aegis of the Agency, with the collaboration of the FAO/IAEA Agriculture and Biotechnology Laboratory and international counterparts such as WHO and FAO, and through several Member States' contributions. The Group further welcomes the various training courses and consultants meetings held for implementation of these projects in 2008 and 2009.

The Group further notes with satisfaction the conclusions drawn by the Agriculture and Biotechnology Laboratory about the X-ray irradiators that they can serve as an alternative to isotopic irradiators. However, the Group is concerned that increasing difficulties and restrictions are still being experienced with the purchase and international transport of isotopic irradiators.

The Group takes note of the various observations made by an external review organized by Agency's Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) for readiness to take Southern Tsetse Eradication Project (STEP) to operational phase 4. The Group requests all concern to address the areas identified during the review for initiating phase 4.
Isotope Hydrology
As regards isotope hydrology, the Group appreciates the efforts of the Agency to raise awareness of its work and of the role of isotope hydrology in water resources management.

The Group commends Agency for the introduction of new cost effective instrument which uses laser spectroscopy techniques for isotope analysis and performs equivalent analyses compared to the existing mass spectrometer with very low operation and maintenance costs. The Group encourages the Secretariat to give wider publicity to this instrument and make them available to other developing countries, if they so desire.

The Group also notes the publication of atlases of isotope hydrology which provide easy access to historical data and can be used for water resources management.

The Group notes with appreciation the Agency's contribution towards planning, development and sustained management of water resources through capacity building and human resource development in the area of isotope hydrology. The Group also notes that many of these programmes are being implemented in partnership with various other organizations like Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and UNDP. The Group encourages the Agency to continue to develop new partnership and increase collaboration with other UN organizations.
Nuclear Energy
With regard to Nuclear Power Applications, the Group notes the continued interest of Member States in considering the introduction of nuclear power in their energy mix. The Group concurs with the conclusion drawn during International Ministerial Conference on nuclear Energy in the 21st Century held in Beijing that nuclear energy, as a proven, clean, safe, competitive technology, will make an increasing contribution to the sustainable development of human kind throughout the 21st century and beyond. The Group encourages the Agency to play a central role towards realization of this goal especially in the developing countries.

The Group commends the work of the Secretariat in improving the performance of operating nuclear power plants through peer reviews, training, coordinated research projects, and publication of technical guidance and reference documents. The Group also supports the activities of Agency in the interested member states in the areas of uranium exploration, mining and production, technology for long term storage of spent fuel, waste management and for the decommissioning of nuclear facilities.

The Group reiterates its concern regarding problems on the continuity of radioisotope supplies (molybdenum-99 in particular) for vital medical and industrial applications due to unavailability of the few large ageing reactors used for isotope production. The Group welcomes the publication of document on optimization of research reactor availability and Reliability: Recommended Practices which would help in improving the performance of these reactors. The Group appreciates the timely introduction of CRP on molybdenum 99 production from low enriched Uranium and awaits its result. The Group encourages the Secretariat to assist Member States especially in the developing countries in production of the important radioisotopes like molybdenum-99 to assure continuity of their supply.
In the context of the production of Potable Water using Nuclear Reactors, the Group appreciates the efforts of the International Nuclear Desalination Advisory Group (INDAG) which has now been renamed as Technical Working Group-nuclear Desalination (TWG-ND) in reviewing the activities and progress made at the national, international and regional levels. The Group supports all Agency activities in the area of non-electric applications of nuclear energy viz. nuclear desalination and nuclear hydrogen production.

The Group welcomes the release of first version of a 'nuclear desalination toolkit' and new version of Desalination Economic Evaluation Programme, DEEP 3.2. The Group also notes the publication of a new NE Series document on the environmental impacts of nuclear desalination covering both adverse impacts, such as brine pollution, and beneficial impacts, such as the preservation of existing natural water resources. The report provides preliminary guidelines for assessing environmental and socio-economic impacts as part of an integrated feasibility study of nuclear desalination. These outcomes would provide Members States interested in nuclear desalination with valuable information and guidance on how to launch desalination programs.

The Group notes the implementation of the activities and recommendations relating to nuclear desalination through ongoing national and bilateral projects worldwide and requests the Agency to continue informing Members States on the progress achieved in finding out potentially viable techniques.
With regard to the development of innovative nuclear technology, the Group reiterates its support for the Agency's activities envisaged under its INPRO programme and welcomes the continuous growth in its membership, including from developing countries.

The Group welcomes the publication of nine volume user manual for the INPRO methodology, Guidance for the Application of an Assessment Methodology for Innovative Nuclear Energy Systems (IAEA-TECDOC-1575). The Group notes that the INPRO methodology is available to be used for nuclear energy system assessments (NESAs) in support of long term planning and decision making on nuclear power programs at a national, regional or global level. It is suitable both for countries with established nuclear programs wishing to assess existing or future nuclear energy systems, and for countries wishing to embark on new nuclear programs. The Group also notes with appreciation that the Agency offers a 'NESA support package' including training, support missions to Member States, and help with implementation, analysis and the evaluation of results and that several member states including from developing countries have expressed interest to use this.

The Group takes note of the activities of the other substantive areas of the INPRO action plan for 2010-2011 viz. establishment of a global vision on sustainable nuclear energy, promotion of innovations in nuclear technology, promotion of innovations in institutional arrangements and the INPRO Dialogue Forum.

The Group also notes with appreciation the Agency's role for fostering collaboration among Member States on selected innovative nuclear technologies and related R&D through several Technical Working Groups (TWGs) and through Coordinated Research Projects.
In the context of Small and Medium Sized Reactors (SMR's), the Group appreciates the work of the Agency in this area. and notes preparation of the reports on "Design Features to Achieve Defense in Depth in Small and Medium Sized Reactors", "Approaches to Assess Competitiveness of SMRs" and preparation of document on Legal and Institutional Issues of Transportable Nuclear Installations and awaits their publication. The Group also notes various coordinated research projects being conducted among interested Member States on selected topics of technology development and assessment.
Supporting Infrastructure Development for Nuclear Power
The Group notes with appreciation the Agency's response to increased interest of Member states in the introduction of nuclear power through integrated approach to facilitate cross departmental coordination notably though the Nuclear Power Support Group (NPSG). The Group, however, would like to mention that such restructuring should in no way undermine the role of TC department in selection, approval and implementation of the project.

The Group notes the publication of the document "Evaluation of the Status of National Nuclear Infrastructure Development" which is closely related to the document earlier published "Milestones in the Development of a National Infrastructure for Nuclear Power". While recognizing the importance of these documents in providing useful guidance, the Group, however, would like to reiterate that they should not be considered the only reference for Member States embarking on a nuclear power programme and that these documents are not binding and should not be used to restrict technical cooperation activities or interfere in the technical work of the Secretariat.
The Group remains seriously concerned about the growing threat posed by cancer worldwide to socio-economic development and the suffering of cancer patients and their families, particularly in developing countries. The Group further notes with concern that the number of global cancer deaths is likely to increase by 45% from 2007 to 2030, while new cases in the same period are expected to jump from 11.3 million to 15.5 million, based on estimates made by the World Health Organization.

The Group commends the sustained work of the Agency in carrying out the Program of Action for Cancer Therapy and its efforts at developing an Agency-wide strategy for its implementation. The Group reiterates that PACT is a concrete embodiment of the peaceful use of nuclear technology for civilian and humanitarian purposes. The Group will again table a resolution on PACT at the 53rd Regular Session of the General Conference, and will continue to do so in order to ensure that concrete and sustained action is pursued by the international community to adequately address this problem.

The Group appreciates the contributions and pledges made by Member States and other entities to PACT, and calls on more Member States to provide similar funding support. The Group also welcomes the provision under Major Programme 2 of the Agency's Programme and Budget for 2010-2011 to cover a portion of PACT's required funding for management and program support. However, the Group notes that PACT continues to rely largely on extra-budgetary sources and donations to finance its projects. The Group notes that public-private partnerships will continue to be key to enable PACT to implement its programmes, and urges Member States to seriously consider allocating greater sufficient and assured funding for PACT a management and activities, which serves as the "human face" of the Agency that can make a significant impact in addressing the global cancer crisis. The Group stresses that while PACT's resource mobilization efforts have been commendable, there should be sufficient, assured and predictable funding for its implementation, being a statutory activity of the Agency.

The Group welcomes the entry into force of the WHO-IAEA Joint Programme on Cancer Control on 12 March 2009. The Group looks forward to maximizing the benefits that may be derived from the Joint Programme, particularly in terms of accelerated programmatic delivery to Member States and enhanced resource mobilization potential, with the end of creating a more coordinated approach to addressing the cancer crisis in developing countries. The Group also looks forward to efforts being made through the Joint Programme towards enhancing the six already existing PACT Model Demonstration Sites (PMDS) in Albania, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, the United Republic of Tanzania, Vietnam and Yemen, and the development of additional PMDS.

The Group notes with concern the decreasing number of qualified medical professionals in developing countries, as sustaining adequate cancer care capacity requires a sufficient number of these trained professionals, along with facilities and equipment. In this regard, the Group commends the continued efforts of the PACT Programme Office (PPO) in facilitating training for health professionals working in cancer control in low and middle income countries. The Group believes that human resource development is key to achieving sustainable and effective national cancer control programs. The Group also welcomes the launching in 2008 of a Regional Cancer Training Network concept supported by a Virtual University for Cancer Control that aim to train health professionals in all areas of cancer care, and looks forward to the project's implementation.

The Group notes the continued progress made in the establishment of partnerships with Member States, other international organizations and private entities, and welcomes the development of Model PACT Practical Arrangements to formalize these collaborations. The Group urges the PPO to utilize such partnerships in its efforts at the development and use of cost-effective and reliable systems for radiation treatment of cancer patients, as well as addressing human resource development requirements.

The Group notes with satisfaction that coordinated efforts were made in carrying out integrated missions of PACT (imPACT) in the six PMDS and other countries. As more than 60 Member States have requested imPACT missions, the Group looks forward to the conduct of similar missions to assist more countries in the development of integrated Cancer Control Programmes and increasing public awareness.

The Group also welcomes the collaboration between PACT, the TC Department and the Division of Human Health in developing two TC regional projects in Africa and Asia Pacific in the 2009-2011 cycle, and the regional planning and coordination workshops that were held in this regard in Cairo and Vienna in 2009. The Group believes that regional efforts can assist Member States in developing comprehensive national cancer control programs suited to their requirements through knowledge sharing, and looks forward to similar projects being developed in other regions. .

Finally, the Group urges the Director General Secretariat to continue to advocate, build support, and allocate and mobilize resources for the implementation of PACT as one of the priorities of the Agency.

With these remarks, the Group takes note of documents GOV/2008/46-GC (53)/3.

Thank you Madam Chair.

Agenda Item (7): Other matters arising from the fifty-first (2007) and fifty-second (2008) regular sessions of the General Conference: (b) Personnel matters:

(i) Staffing of the Agency's Secretariat
(ii) Women in the Secretariat

Madam Chair,

The Group would like to thank the Director General for his reports contained in GOV/2009/50-GC(53)/14 and GOV/2009/51-GC(53)/15 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, 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.

The Group notes that during the period 01 June 2007 to 01 June 2009, 28.7% of all 129 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, 44.2% or 413 of the regular posts will become vacant between now and 2016. 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, and continued coordination by the Secretariat with, Points of Contact for the Recruitment of Women, and looks forward to their positive results. 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.

With these comments, the Group notes the documents GOV/2009/50-GC(53)/14 and GOV/2009/51-GC(53)/15.

Thank you Madam Chair.

Agenda Item 8. Tribute to the Director General

Madam Chair,

The Group of 77 and China wishes to take this opportunity to reiterate its highest appreciation for the outstanding efforts of Director General Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei throughout the last 12 years, during which the work of the Agency has indeed witnessed significant and tangible developments and improvements in all areas of its work.

The Group has the honor to recall that Dr. ElBaradei was the Candidate of the G77 and China for the position of DG.

The Agency has undoubtedly managed to responsibly face a number of unprecedented challenges under the able leadership of Dr. ElBaradei, and to do so in a professional and unbiased manner despite the severe pressures and the complex nature of the issues at hand.

The Group shares the view of Dr. ElBaradei that the challenge of poverty does not represent a lesser threat to humanity than the challenge of proliferation. The Group stresses that this should remain a guiding principle for the Agency in the future.

The Group wishes to underscore that a major part of Dr. ElBaradei's legacy is the able manner in which the Agency sought to respond to the ever-growing needs and demands of developing countries, to proactively contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, and to participate in global efforts at many fronts, despite the limited resources available to it in the area of Technical Cooperation.

The Group reiterates its gratitude for the distinguished efforts of Dr. ElBaradei and wishes him all the best in his future endeavors and supports the draft resolution contained in document GOV/2009/62.

Thank you Madam Chair,

Agenda Item 9: Any Other Business (Fuel Assurances)

Madam Chair,

The Group recalls the joint statement of the G77 and NAM on the issue of Assurance of Supply during the discussions at the June meeting of the Board, and reiterates that the issues and concerns raised during that meeting continues to remain fully relevant.

The Group thus far does not see any development that could indicate a possibility of achieving any convergence of views on the various aspects of this complex and sensitive matter having political, legal, technical and economic implications.

Thank you Madam Chair.

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