Statement of the Group of 77 and China during the IAEA Board
of Governors delivered by delivered by H.E. Ambassador Antonio García,
Permanent Representative of Peru, Vienna, 10-14 September 2012
Agenda Item 3: Programme Performance Report for 2010-2011
1. On behalf of the Group of 77 and China, I would like to thank the Director General Mr. Yukiya Amano for his introductory statement and the Secretariat for preparing the documents of this session of the Board, and for issuing the Programme Performance Report contained in document GOV/2012/40, on which I will comment now.
2. The Group notes with appreciation that the Secretariat achieved positive outcomes in all Major Programmes in the past biennium and looks forward to seeing how lessons learned are being applied for further improvement of the programmes.
3. On Major Programme 1, the Group emphasizes the importance of the Agency as the only international organization which has the technical competence to assist Member States interested in introducing nuclear power. In this regard, the Group notes with concern that staffing continues to be a problem for this vital area of Agency's activities. The Group reiterates that the Agency must be provided with adequate resources to assist Member States in planning for and using nuclear science and technology for peaceful purposes, especially in power generation.
4. An important achievement under Major Programme 2 during 2010-11 was the declaration of the global eradication of rinderpest through Agency's collaboration with FAO. The Group notes with appreciation that Agency's cooperation with FAO has improved at all stages of programme planning and implementation and urges the Secretariat to continue developing approaches to strengthen this partnership as well as review how its activities and services can better respond to Member States' needs and demands in food and agriculture. The Group also notes Agency's activities in promoting nuclear techniques in the development of strategies to combat malnutrition and infectious diseases.
5. On Major Programme 3, the Group notes with concern Agency's assessment that even though international Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) framework is suitable for large scale emergencies, the area of sharing information between the 'accident state' and the international community remained weak. There is clearly a need for improving the international EPR framework. The Group would like to encourage the Agency in coordination with Member States and the relevant international organizations to take steps for further strengthening this area.
6. On Major Programme 5, the Group takes note of the initiatives being undertaken by the Department of Management to improve efficiency in the delivery of programmes. The Group stresses the importance of enhanced transparency and communication with Member States in the implementation of policy, management and administrative reforms. This is particularly relevant to issues relating to financial and human resource management, including the hiring of consultants, utilization of cost-free experts, and the implementation of General Conference resolutions on personnel.
7. Regarding the Technical Cooperation Fund (TCF), the Group notes with concern that a downward trend was witnessed in rate of attainment against the TCF target. The rate of attainment decreased from 94% in 2009 to below 90% in 2011 and that only 95 countries contributed to the TCF in 2011 compared to 114 in 2009. The Group urges all Member States to contribute their share of TCF in a timely manner so that technical cooperation delivery is not affected as it continues to be fully dependent on voluntary contributions and has not actually grown in proportion to the increased membership of the Agency. In this regard, the Group attaches great importance to the decision adopted by the Board on the Agency's Budget for 2011 calling for meaningful negotiations on the nature of TC funding and its relationship with the regular budget, including the creation of a single working group to deal with the issues in 2013.
8. The Group welcomes all measures aimed at continuously enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the TC Programme, particularly in view of its limited resources and growing number of requests for technical assistance from Member States. The Group, however, stresses that all measures taken and policies adopted in this regard should enhance the ownership of TC projects by developing countries and must be prepared in close consultation with Member States.
9. With these comments, the Group takes note of the Programme Performance Report for 2010-2011 as contained in GOV/2012/40.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
Agenda Item 4(a): Measures to strengthen international cooperation in nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77and China on agenda item 4(a): Measures to strengthen international cooperation in nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety.
2. The Group 77 and China wishes to thank DDG Mr. Denis Flory for his presentation on this agenda item, and is appreciative of the Secretariat's preparation of document GOV/2012/28-GC(56)/6, as well as for the extensive work carried out between July 2011 and June 2012, pursuant to the pertinent General Conference resolutions.
3. The Group attaches great importance to the issue of nuclear safety, which represents a key element of 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 this field, owing to its mandatory functions, broader membership and long-standing expertise.
4. At the same time, the Group remains of the view that nuclear safety and nuclear security considerations should not be used to hamper the utilization of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
5. The Group reiterates its appreciation for the Agency's continuing efforts to promote nuclear safety worldwide and reiterates its support for the Agency's activities aimed at supporting nuclear safety infrastructure development in Member States introducing nuclear power or expanding their existing programs, upon their request. The Group appreciates in particular the assistance provided by the Agency to developing countries embarking on nuclear power programmes and encourages the Agency to continue its efforts in assisting in the development of the nuclear safety infrastructure needed.
6. The Group also notes the Agency's continuous efforts in supporting the sharing of knowledge, expertise and information on all aspects of nuclear safety, inter alia, regulatory supervision, best practices in nuclear safety and aging management for research reactors.
7. The Fukushima accident brought nuclear safety to the forefront of global attention and underlined the important contribution the IAEA can make in this field. The accident has highlighted the need to continue reviewing and to further strengthen the international nuclear safety framework. There is no room for complacency when it comes to protecting people and the environment from the possibly serious consequences of nuclear or radiological emergencies.
8. The Group expresses its appreciation to the Agency for the various activities organized by it, to keep Member States informed of developments relating to the Fukushima accident. The Group welcomes the internal Safety Standards Review Task Force established to review the Agency's safety standards in the light of the Fukushima accident, with priority given to the review of the Safety Requirements applicable to nuclear power plants and to the storage of spent fuel.
9. The Group also notes with satisfaction the Agency's close collaboration with international organizations such as UNSCEAR, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on issues related to assessments of exposures to the public and radiological impacts on the environment, remediation, and preparedness and response to nuclear and radiological emergencies affecting human health, food, agriculture, fisheries and forestry.
10. With regard to nuclear installation safety, the Group welcomes the numerous training courses provided by the Agency on the establishment of safety infrastructures, introduction to safety fundamentals, leadership and management for introducing and expanding nuclear power programmes, capacity building and infrastructure development for nuclear power programmes, as well as on the development of regulations, licensing, site evaluation, and safety assessment.
11. The Group welcomes assistance to developing countries embarking on nuclear power programs and encourages the Agency to continue its efforts in developing capacities and technical skills in the nuclear field as well as in strengthening their regulatory systems and infrastructures needed to develop nuclear power as part of their national energy mix.
12. The Group takes note with appreciation of the Technical Meeting on Establishing, Developing and Implementing Capacity Building in Member States, held last April, aimed at improving competencies and capabilities necessary for achieving safe, secure and sustainable nuclear power programmes. Of particular importance is the self-assessment methodology for capacity building, both at governmental and organizational level, which was reviewed and endorsed at the Technical Meeting.
13. The Group supports the Agency's efforts to develop a self-assessment methodology and associated software tools, as well as the enhancement of its mechanisms and tools to capture and preserve the Agency's knowledge and organizational memory in nuclear safety and security by preserving, capturing and enhancing the transfer of knowledge.
14. The Group also notes with appreciation the convening of international experts' meetings last March and June on the topics related to, respectively, reactor and spent fuel safety in the light of the Fukushima accident, and to the enhancement of transparency and communication effectiveness in the event of a nuclear or radiological emergency.
15. On radiation safety, the Group commends the Secretariat for its various initiatives intended in addressing the problem of occupational radiation exposure of workers in medical and industrial facilities, and encourages more efforts in this regard, particularly in developing countries upon request.
16. The Group commends the Secretariat for the training packages provided in connection with the International Action Plan for the Radiation Protection of Patients, for radiation protection in pediatric radiology as well as for digital radiology.
17. On radiation safety, the Group commends the Secretariat for its various initiatives in addressing the problem of occupational radiation exposure of workers in medical and industrial facilities, and encourages more efforts in this regard, particularly in developing countries. In this regards, the Group welcomes the initiatives by the Secretariat in light of the new International Basic Safety Standard (BSS), where key issues were identified in which guidance material giving priority to the development of occupational, medical and public exposure should be prepared by the Agency. The Group looks forward receiving the final edition of the BSS, which is expected to be published in 2013.
18. On transport safety, the Group takes note of the International Conference on the Safe and Secure Transport of Radioactive Material, held in October 2011, and the recommended activities derived from the Technical Meeting that took place last March.
19. The Group appreciates the involvement of the Secretariat in promoting dialogue between coastal and shipping States, aimed at improving mutual understanding, confidence building and enhanced communication with regard to the safe maritime transport of radioactive material.
20. The Group takes note of the suggestion made by the Steering Committee on Education and Training in Radiation Protection and Waste Safety on the implementation of the Strategic Approach to Education and Training in Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety 2011-2020, in areas such as the establishment of national strategies to build competence in radiation protection, training methodologies for different professional categories, and networking mechanisms between the Agency and training centres in Member States.
21. The Group looks forward to the guidance document to be published by the Secretariat shortly to support Member States in building competence in radiation protection and the safe
use of radiation sources through a national strategy for education and training in radiation, transport and waste safety.
22. On the safe decommissioning of nuclear facilities, the Group welcomes the Agency's continued efforts to assist Member States in establishing regulatory and technical frameworks and human capacities for the safe decommissioning of nuclear facilities. In this regard, the Group takes note with interest several international workshops organized with assistance of the International Decommissioning Network (IDN), under the Agency's technical cooperation programme. The Group acknowledges the value of the Research Reactor Decommissioning Demonstration Project (R2D2P) in providing hands-on experience and expresses its appreciation for the publication of several technical reports under the IAEA Safety Standards and Nuclear Energy Series.
23. With regard to education and training, the Group maintains that the development of human resources is a key element for the sustainability of any nuclear programme. In this regard, the Group notes with satisfaction the Secretariat's efforts in addressing this issue, in particular, effort to utilize new technologies, such online training course to reduce costs and broaden the participation of Member States, and effort to strengthen the training modules and materials related to safety infrastructure. The Group also appreciates the "train the trainers" program, which is an important tool to achieve self-sufficiency in education and training activities in Member States and constitutes a vehicle to a real transfer of technology.
25. With these comments, Mr. Chairman, the Group takes note of document GOV/2012/28-GC(56)/6.
Now, I will elaborate on:
Agenda item 4: (b) Implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety
1. The Group notes with satisfaction the progress made in the implementation of the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety endorsed at the 55th session of the General Conference.
2. The Group is committed to strengthen global nuclear safety in light of the lessons from Fukushima. The Group reiterates that enhanced nuclear safety should positively contribute to the development and utilization of nuclear technology for peaceful uses, and not to impede it.
3. In this regard, the Group of 77 and China underscores the importance of the Agency's broad range of assistance and support services to Member States to be reviewed to take into account the lessons learned from Fukushima.
4. While the Group notes the progress made by the Agency in coordination with Member States among others, to improve the Agency's peer review services, public information and enhance transparency and communication during emergency situations, continued efforts needed to be made to ensure more effective communication in the event of a radiological or nuclear emergency.
5. The Group reiterates its call on the Secretariat to provide information in future reports on the implementation of the Action Plan on Nuclear safety on cost implications of the activities under the Plan, especially with regard to the proposed biennial budget and on other future activities of the Agency.
6. The Group takes note of the outcome of the Second Extraordinary Meeting of the Contacting Parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety.
7. The Group looks forward to the Fukushima Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety, which will be organized next December by the Government of Japan, in co-sponsorship with the Agency, as an opportunity to review and draw further lessons from the accident and to discuss progress on international efforts to strengthen nuclear safety worldwide.
8. With these remarks, the Group takes note of the Director General's report on the "Progress in the Implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety" as contained in document GOV/INF/2012/11-GC (56)/INF/5.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Agenda item 5: (a) Nuclear Security Report 2012
1. The Group of 77 and China thanks the Secretariat for preparing the Nuclear Security Report 2012, as contained in document GOV/2012/41-GC(56)/15, and for the briefing on the report.
2. At the outset, the Group concurs with the view that the responsibility for nuclear security rests entirely with the State.
3. The Group appreciates the Agency's continued efforts to assist to Member States, upon request, inter alia, through the Nuclear Security Fund, in their national efforts to establish effective and sustainable nuclear security systems, by providing nuclear security guidance, facilitating adherence to and implementation of the international legal instruments relevant for nuclear security, and helping States establish comprehensive nuclear security infrastructure.
4. The Group takes note of the increase in adherence by States to binding and non-binding international legal instruments on nuclear security, in particular the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources, the supplementary Guidance on the Import and Export of Radioactive Sources, and the International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. The Group also takes note of the planned activities aimed at facilitating adherence to the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM).
5. The Group takes note of the preparations for the organization of the International Conference on Nuclear Security: Enhancing Global Efforts which will take place in July 2013. The Group believes that the Conference can serve as a forum for disseminating information about the Agency's activities and mandate under international instruments in the nuclear security field, and finding means to enhance coordination and avoid duplication and overlap among various initiatives led by different organizations dealing with nuclear security.
6. The Group welcomes the increase in the number of States that participate in the Agency's Illicit Trafficking Database Programme. The Group reiterates its call on the Secretariat to improve and to rationalize the system of reporting of incidents to the ITDB, so that they appropriately reflect actual cases of illicit trafficking and present accurate reports on the nature of the reported incidents. The Group further calls on the Secretariat to consider the recommendations of the Meeting of ITDB Points of Contact held in July 2012 that were aimed at streamlining reporting procedures.
7. The Group appreciates the continued efforts of the Agency in responding to the expressed needs of Member States in developing, upon request, Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plans (INSSPs) to assist them in implementing their respective national nuclear security plans in a manner that would optimize resources and avoid duplication of activities, and notes that to date, more than 60 INSSPs have been developed or are in various stages of finalization.
8. The Group welcomes the developments made on the Nuclear Security Information Portal (NUSEC) to enhance Member States' access to nuclear security information, and looks forward to receiving updates on the development of the Nuclear Security Information Management System (NUSIMS) that is intended to provide Member States with a secure self-assessment mechanism to help identify their needs under their national nuclear security regimes.
9. The Group welcomes the establishment of the Nuclear Security Guidance Committee, and the convening of its first meeting in June 2012, as a way to enhance the participation of all Member States in the development and review of the Agency's Nuclear Security Series publications. The Group reiterates its call on the Secretariat to facilitate the participation of representatives from developing countries in its meetings to ensure greater transparency and consensus in the development of such publications.
10. On the IAEA Nuclear Security series, the Group commends the Secretariat for the issuance of two publications, and looks forward to the publication of Implementing Guides on various subjects.
11. On nuclear security services, the Group welcomes the Agency's activities for capacity-building in Member States, particularly in developing countries for maintaining adequate human resources with the necessary training and competence.
12. The Group notes with appreciation that during the reporting period, the Agency provided nuclear security training to more than 1,750 participants in the areas of computer security, prevention, detection and response.
13. The Group welcomes the agreement to establish the International Network for Nuclear Security Training and Support Centers (NSSCs) aimed at enhancing nuclear security capacity building capabilities, and calls on the Agency to assist Member States, particularly developing countries, that are interested to establish NSSCs.
14. On Nuclear Security Education, the Group welcomes the various cooperation activities carried out by the Secretariat to provide guidance to educational institutions on the implementation of nuclear security related courses and programs.
15. The Group appreciates the conduct of Nuclear Security Evaluation Missions of Member States, upon their request, and believes that they serve as useful tools to evaluate the effectiveness of national nuclear security systems and measures. The Group encourages Member States to make full use of the Agency's peer review and advisory services.
16. The Group takes note of the Agency's activities in Risk Reduction and calls on the Secretariat to enhance the capabilities of personnel from Member States in this regard, while also facilitating the enhancement of national physical protection systems of requesting Member States.
17. Finally, with regard to the goals and priorities for 2012/2013, while appreciating the Agency's nuclear security services, the Group reiterates its position that these activities should be funded from the Nuclear Security Fund. In this regard, the development of the Nuclear Security Plan 2014-2017 should be undertaken in close consultation with Member States and take into account the views expressed by the Group.
18. With these remarks, the Group takes note of document GOV/2012/41-GC(56)/15.
Now let me elaborate on:
Agenda item 5: (b) Nuclear Security Fundamentals
1. Turning now to the "Draft Nuclear Security Fundamentals: Objective and Essential Elements of a State's Nuclear Security Regime", as contained in GOV/2012/39, the Group notes that the draft has been reviewed by the Commission on Safety Standards and by a Technical Meeting composed of experts and the Advisory Group on Nuclear Security. The Group also notes that this is the first nuclear security guidance document that has been reviewed by the newly-constituted Nuclear Security Guidance Committee. The Group appreciates the Secretariat efforts for wider membership of the Committee to ensure transparency and ownership.
2. Accordingly, the Group endorses the recommended action in this document.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Agenda Item 6: Strengthening the Agency's activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications
(a) Nuclear power applications, status and prospects of nuclear power
1. The Group of 77 and China would like to express its appreciation to the Director General and the Secretariat for preparing the report pursuant to resolutions GC(54)/RES/10 and GC(55)/RES/12, on Agency activities in the area of nuclear energy; development of innovative nuclear technology; and nuclear knowledge, education and training contained in Annex 4, 5 and 6 of the document GOV/2012/33) as well as for the report on the International Status and Prospects of Nuclear Power (GOV/INF/2012/12).
2. The Group notes with appreciation the important contributions the Secretariat made at the international fora namely the Conference of the Parties (to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) in Durban, South Africa and at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, 'Rio+20', where it presented nuclear energy's possible contributions to mitigate important environmental issues as well as the broader issues associated with it. The Group would like the Agency to continue to participate and provide a balanced picture about nuclear energy at important fora which for many developing countries holds a great potential to address their long term energy needs as well as address environmental concerns.
3. The Group appreciates the activities performed in the areas of plant life management (PLiM) for long term operation, in particular the institution of an annual 'Nuclear Industry cooperation Forum' to share their experience. The Group notes the Agency's contribution in assisting Member States to pool information and coordinate research in various specialized areas which contribute to develop new insights.
4. While appreciating the agency's activities to provide assistance to Member States introducing nuclear power or uranium production including through missions to assess their preparedness, the Group urges the Agency to continue assisting interested Member States to analyze energy options and to prepare for the introduction of nuclear power or uranium production, while maintaining its leading role for promoting the transfer and development of technology and knowledge related to all peaceful nuclear applications, including nuclear power and nuclear fuel cycle.
5. The Group also appreciates the Agency's assistance to Member States to improve research reactor utilization. The Group in particular notes the initiative to ascertain possible implications of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant for utilization and maintenance issues of some research reactors.
6. The Group fully supports all Agency activities concerning Nuclear Knowledge Management inter alia through building capacity and implementing nuclear knowledge management, nuclear knowledge management services, and nuclear knowledge sharing networks. In this context, the Group would like to mention the important role of the annual School of Nuclear Knowledge Management where a good number of young professionals from developing countries get opportunities to learn basic understanding of NKM tools and challenges, as well as opportunities for sharing experiences and good practices with peers and experts. We would appreciate if such programmes are further strengthened and more participants from the developing countries are supported.
7. The Group values the Agency's International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO) which provides a forum in which technology holders and users jointly consider innovative nuclear energy systems. The Group notes with satisfaction the increase of the INPRO's membership to 37 Member States.
8. The Group further 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. The INPRO 2017 Development Vision, which guides the formulation and implementation of INPRO's activities through 2017 is aligned with the Agency's Medium Term Strategy for 2012-2017 and specifies inter alia a holistic and global view of nuclear energy systems and relevant innovations. The Group welcomes the creation of a group on INPRO matters in 2012, within the Division of Nuclear Power, however, the Group notes with concern that it continues to rely mainly on extra-budgetary contributions from its members. The Group is of the view that the support to INPRO from the Agency regular budget should be increased.
9. The Group also takes great interest in the work of various technical working groups under the auspices of the Agency in the innovations of nuclear technology and applications and fuels and fuel cycles and dissemination of knowledge in the Member States, inter alia, through Coordinated Research Projects.
10. Turning now to the information document on "International Status and Prospects of Nuclear Power", the Group commends the Secretariat for preparing an updated report on the international status and prospects of nuclear power. The Group finds the report to be comprehensive and analytical, and notes the detailed information provided therein on the current status of nuclear power, prospects for the future application of nuclear energy, challenges for nuclear expansions and key issues for long term deployment.
11. The Group further notes that the key factors for rising interest in nuclear power namely, growing energy demand, volatile fuel prices, environmental concerns and energy security concerns, have not changed despite the Fukushima Daiichi accident. The Group endorses the observation in the report that a better public understanding of radiation and of the radiation exposure continually encountered in everyday life is fundamental to a balanced view of the health impacts of nuclear power. The Group urges the Secretariat to work with Member States in clarifying public concerns about nuclear power, particularly in countries where such concerns remain an obstacle to expanding or initiating nuclear power programs.
12. With these comments, the Group takes note of documents GOV/2012/33-GC(56)/10 and GOV/INF/2012/12-GC(56)/INF/6.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
Agenda item 6: (b) Strengthening the Agency's activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications: Nuclear application for human health, food and agriculture, water resources and the environment
1. On behalf of the Group of 77 and China, I wish to thank the Director General for preparing the two reports "Strengthening the Agency's Activities related to Nuclear Science, Technology and Applications" as contained in document GOV/2012/33-GC(56)/7 and "International Status and Prospects for Nuclear Power 2012" in document GOV/INF/2012/12-GC(56)/INF/6. The Group further appreciates the introduction of the agenda item by the Deputy Director General Mohamad Daud.
2. The Group notes Agency's continued focus in areas of human health, agriculture, water and environment. The Group also calls for the Agency to continue to provide assistance in Member States' infrastructure development efforts through capacity building and transfer of know-how in all relevant areas of nuclear technology that will contribute to sustainable development.
3. The Group appreciates the Agency's continued support for research and development, both in the laboratory and in the field, on the application of the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) for the control of malaria and other disease transmitting mosquitoes. The Group notes with concern that mosquito transmitted dengue has in recent years become a major international public health concern due to the spread of invasive mosquito species. In this regard the Group welcomes the positive results achieved by the Insect Pest Control Laboratory (IPCL) of the Joint Food and Agriculture (FAO)/IAEA Division in Seibersdorf in applying SIT to the dengue, chikungunya and other mosquito pest species. The Group urges the Agency and the FAO to continue this collaboration with the view to eradicating malaria and other disease transmitting mosquitoes.
4. The Group notes with appreciation that the Insect Green House in Seibersdorf is nearing completion and has been equipped with adequate internal climate control equipment for year-round use. The Group also notes with appreciation the training in mosquito rearing and related activities that has taken place at the Insect Pest Control Laboratory for fellows from several developing countries under the TC programme and for the six new TC projects which were initiated in G-77 Members States and one regional project in the Indian Ocean region, focusing on capacity building.
5. Whilst recognizing that the development of the SIT package for mosquitoes is still in its infancy, the Group acknowledges that the SIT represents a novel and potentially powerful weapon in the war against malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. The Group calls on the Secretariat and Member States to develop a long-term strategy with the adequate human and financial resources needed to develop the tools necessary to be able to implement a fully functional operational programme in affected Member States.
6. The Group appreciates the continued close collaboration of the Secretariat with African Union's Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Eradication Campaign (AU-PATTEC) and other mandated specialized UN organizations, in raising awareness regarding the tsetse fly and trypanosomosis (T&T) problem and the Agency's continued support of the national and subregional AU-PATTEC projects.
7. The Group applauds the significant progress made under the Ethiopian Southern Tsetse Eradication Project (STEP) resulting in the suppression of these populations over 10 000 kmē of the Southern Rift Valley which has already permitted an increase of productive livestock and benefitted thousands of farmers. The Group also acknowledges progress made in the IAEA supported tsetse eradication project in Senegal and looks forward to the completion of the tsetse mass rearing centre in Burkina Faso in the near future.
8. The Group welcomes the designation of the Centre International de Recherche-Developpement sur l'Elevage en zone Sub-humide (CIRDES) in Burkina Faso as an IAEA Collaborating Center in "The Use of SIT for Area-wide Integrated Management of Tsetse Fly Populations" and encourages the Agency to continue its support for the Center. The Group also encourages the Agency to assist Member States in southern Africa on the possibility of using tsetse SIT as part of their national tsetse control efforts and the establishment of a sub-regional tsetse mass-rearing center.
9. Recognizing that tsetse flies and the trypanosomosis (T&T) disease they cause, constitute one of the greatest constraints on the African continent's socio-economic development, the Group urges the Secretariat and other partners to strengthen capacity building and to support the establishment and operation of regional centres for providing large numbers of sterile male tsetse flies and for coordinating SIT operations as an important component of area-wide integrated pest management campaigns against the T&T problem.
10. The Group recognizes the benefits of the strengthened partnership between the Agency and the Food and Agriculture Organization, and strongly supports the work of the FAO/IAEA Joint Division in the use of nuclear techniques in food and agriculture, which has enabled farmers, food manufacturers and government agencies to provide better and safer food, increase crop yields, suppress or eradicate pests, conserve soil and water resources and address environmental problems and so-doing contribute to socio-economic development.
11. The Group commends the Joint Division for its contribution during the past biennium to, most notably, the eradication of rinderpest, the containment of Foot and Mouth Disease in Mongolia in 2011 and the eradication of the Mediterranean fruit fly in Guatemala. The Group also welcomes the Joint Division's continued efforts to build capacity and transfer knowledge, establish the relevant networks and strengthen research and development for nuclear applications for food and agriculture. In this regard the Group acknowledges the importance of the Nuclear Application Laboratory in Seibersdorf and notes with concern that these laboratories need to be modernized and upgraded if the R&D activities of the Agency in the areas of nuclear science, technology and applications are to meet the basic sustainable development needs of Member States. The Group calls on the Agency to address this issue as a matter of urgency.
12. The Group acknowledges the Joint Division's success in securing extra budgetary funding for the Joint Programme in general as well as for specific projects and for infrastructure improvements. The Group welcomes the extra-budgetary contributions by Member States, including those made the African Renaissance and International Cooperation (ARF) Fund and by the IAEA's Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI), are welcomed by the Group. The Group urges Member States to continue to support the work of the Joint Division.
13. With these comments, the Group takes note of document GOV/2012/33-GC(56)/11.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
Vienna, 24 September 2012
Agenda Item 5: Any other matters
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and wish to
thank the outgoing Chairman of the Board, Ambassador Filippo Formica of Italy
and his bureau for their excellent work over the last months. Their efforts were
greatly appreciated among all members.
On behalf of the Group, I would like to extend my congratulations on your election
to you and your country Canada and wish to express my pleasure in seeing you chairing
this meeting and ensure you and your bureau of our full support in the course
of the coming year.
Permit me also to extend my appreciation to the President of the General Conference,
Ambassador Carlos Barros Oreiro from Uruguay and his competent bureau for their
sincere impartial attempts to make the Conference a success.