Group of 77 and China statement during the IAEA Board of Governors,
9-13 September 2013, delivered by H.E. Ambassador Mahmoud Elamin, PR of the
Agenda Item 3(a): Measures to strengthen international cooperation in nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety
1. The Group 77 and China wishes to thank DDG Flory for his presentation on this agenda item, and is appreciative of the Secretariat's preparation of document GOV/2013/31-GC(57)/8, as well as for the extensive work carried out between July 2012 and June 2013, pursuant to the General Conference resolution.
2. 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.
3. At the same time, the Group would like to reiterate its principled position that nuclear safety and nuclear security considerations should not be used to hamper the utilization of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
4. The Group highlights the importance of the Agency's work to maintain and improve nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety worldwide. In this context, the Group notes the Agency's continuous efforts aimed at supporting Member States in the sharing of knowledge, expertise, technology and information on all aspects of nuclear safety, inter alia, regulatory supervision, best practices in nuclear safety and aging management for research reactors.
5. The Group express 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, including those 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 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. In this regard, the Group expresses concern about the reports of recent radioactive water leakage from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and calls upon the Agency to provide more information to Member States.
7. The Group takes note of the Report of the Chair of the Commission of the Safety Standards which stated that the review of the Agency's safety standards in the light of Fukushima accident revealed that no significant areas of weakness in the Agency's Safety Requirements had been identified, and proposed some revisions to strengthen the safety requirements and to facilitate their implementation. The Group looks forward to the final report expected in 2014.
8. The Group also notes with satisfaction the Agency's collaboration with international organizations such as UNSCEAR, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and OECD/NEA on issues related to assessments of exposures to the public and radiological impacts on the environment.
9. 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.
10. The Group welcomes assistance provided 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
11. The Group supports the Agency's efforts to develop 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.
12. On radiation safety, the Group commends the Secretariat for its various initiatives aimed at assisting Member States in addressing the problem of accidental radiation exposure and encourages more efforts in this regard, particularly in developing countries upon request.
13. On transport safety, the Group takes note of the Technical Meeting held in March 2012 which further addressed the findings of 2011 International Conference on the Safe and Secure Transport of Radioactive Material.
14. The Group appreciates the involvement of the Secretariat in international efforts to discuss issues related to radioactive material transport and harmonization of transport guidelines.
15. The Group takes note of the International Project on Human Intrusion in the Context of Disposal of Radioactive Waste aimed at discussing issues relevant to human intrusion scenarios for the safety of radioactive waste.
16. On the safe decommissioning of nuclear facilities, the Group appreciates the Agency's continued efforts to assist Member States in the safe decommissioning of nuclear facilities. In this regard, the Group takes note of the international workshops and Expert's Meeting organized by the Agency and acknowledges their value for decommissioning projects.
17. 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 as online training courses to reduce costs and broaden the participation of Member States, and efforts 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.
18. With these comments, Mr. Chairman, the Group takes note of document GOV/2013/31-GC(57)/8.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Agenda item 3(b): Implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety
1. The Group of 77 and China would like to thank the Director General and the Secretariat for the continued update on the progress made in the implementation of the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety. The Group also thanks DDG Flory for introducing the item as well as for organizing a briefing on 27 August 2013.
2. The Group is committed to support all the Agency activities that strengthen global nuclear safety. The Group reemphasizes that the purpose of enhancing nuclear safety should be to positively contribute to the development and utilization of nuclear technology for peaceful uses and that the Agency should orient its programmes in this regard.
3. The Group underscores the importance of the revision of the Agency's broad range of assistance and support services to Member States to take into account the lessons 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, the Group concurs with the assessment that continued efforts need to be made to ensure more effective communication in the event of a radiological or nuclear emergency.
5. The Group urges 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 budget and their impact on other future activities of the Agency.
6. The Group notes with appreciation the Agency's activities in connection with the implementation of the Plan since the last Report. The Group further notes that the Secretariat continues to facilitate learning the lessons from the Fukushima Daiichi accident and sharing them with Member States in all relevant areas covered by the Action Plan.
7. 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/2013/8-GC(57)/INF/5.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Agenda item 4: (a) Nuclear Security Report 2013
1. The Group of 77 and China thanks the Secretariat for preparing the Nuclear Security Report 2013, as contained in document GOV/2013/36-GC(57)/16.
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 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 to nuclear security, and helping States establish comprehensive nuclear security infrastructure.
4. The Group takes note of the increase in adherence by States to international legal binding and non-binding 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, the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, and the International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. The Group also takes note of the activities aimed at facilitating adherence to the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM).
5. The Group welcomes the increase in the number of States that participate in the Agency's Incident and Trafficking Database Programme (ITDB). The Group reiterates its call on the Secretariat to improve and to rationalize the system of reporting of incidents to the ITDB, and in this regard 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.
6. 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.
7. The Group welcomes the upgrading of the Nuclear Security Information Portal (NUSEC) to make it more user-friendly and 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.
8. The Group appreciates the work of the Nuclear Security Guidance Committee 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.
9. On the IAEA Nuclear Security series, the Group commends the Secretariat for its publications, including the publication of Implementing Guides on various subjects.
10. 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.
11. The Group notes with appreciation that during the reporting period, the Agency provided nuclear security training to more than 2175 participants in the areas of computer security, prevention, detection and response.
12. The Group notes the activities related to the implementation of International Network for Nuclear Security Training and Support Centers (NSSCs) which are aimed at enhancing nuclear security capacity building capabilities and commends the Agency for its continued assistance to States that wish to establish the NSSCs.
13. The Group appreciates the conduct of Nuclear Security Evaluation Missions in Member States, upon their request, in assessing the effectiveness of national nuclear security systems and measures.
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 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.
16. Finally, with regard to the goals and priorities for 2013/2014, while appreciating the Agency's nuclear security services, the Group reiterates its position that these activities should be funded from the Nuclear Security Fund.
17. With these remarks, the Group takes note of document GOV/2013/36-GC(57)/16.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Agenda item 4: (b) Nuclear Security Plan for 2014-2017
1. 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.
2. The Group notes that the Plan reflects that the responsibility for nuclear security rests entirely with each State and that the Agency's assistance shall be provided upon request.
3. The Group reiterates its views that the measures to strengthen nuclear security should not hamper international cooperation in the field of peaceful nuclear activities. Bearing in mind that, in the discharge of its functions in the field of nuclear security, the Secretariat should keep in mind the adequate balance between activities in the promotional and other areas.
4. The Group concurs with the notion that the role of the Agency in enhancing nuclear security and the scope of its activities must be determined by the Member States, as reflected in the Board decisions and General Conference resolutions. The Group stresses that this role must be based on the premise mentioned above.
5. 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.
6. The Group takes note of the observation that the Agency has noted a growing recognition of the need for comprehensive security systems and, in this regard, recognizes the importance of capacity building in Member States, upon request.
7. The Group specifically notes that during 2010-2013 nuclear security received sustained political attention and Agency's central role in strengthening the nuclear security framework globally was acknowledged. In this regard, the Group recognizes the need to ensure coordination to avoid duplication and overlap with Agency's activities.
8. The Group wishes to reiterate that conditions placed by donors on the use of their voluntary contributions to the NSF, have an impact on programme delivery. The Group encourages the Agency to continue to work closely with donors to ensure maximum flexibility in the use of funds, thus minimizing the need to resort to the regular budget.
With these remarks, the Group takes note of documents GOV GOV/2013/42-GC(57)/19.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Agenda Item 5: Strengthening the Agency's activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications
1. The Group of 77 and China would like to express its appreciation to the Director General and the Secretariat for preparing the report on Agency activities in the area of nuclear science, technology and applications as contained in GOV/2013/32-GC(57)/9
2. On Annex 1, the Group urges the Agency to continue building capacities for developing countries, particularly to those that still have no access to radiation medicine techniques and radiotherapy. The Group highly commends the continued efforts to strengthen the Agency's collaboration with leading cancer organizations through the WHO/IAEA Joint Programme on Cancer Control under the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT). In this regard, the Group notes with appreciation the activities undertaken within the framework of the Agency's integrated review missions of PACT (imPACT) in 2012. High number of requests for imPACT reviews reflects the importance Member States attach to this programme. The Group hopes that more Member States would benefit from this programme in future.
3. The Group is concerned about the lack of necessary funding for (PACT) and calls upon the Secretariat to work closely with Member States and relevant entities to increase financial contributions to implement PACT's strategy.
4. The Group reiterates its request to the Secretariat to report on the status of the ongoing development of an Agency-wide strategy for cancer-related activities. The Group further stresses that any changes in any of the elements of PACT, including its regulatory framework and program scope, should only be made in close consultation with Member States.
5. On Annex 2, "Support to the African Union's Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Eradication Campaign (AU-PATTEC)", the Group appreciates the Agency's continuous efforts to support the AU-PATTEC Plan of Action through TC projects providing training, expert services and equipment to countries in the African region affected by this problem. The Group encourages the continuation of these activities to successfully eradicate tsetse and Trypanosomosis from the African continent. The Group further encourages Member States to contribute additional funds in order to ensure the sustainability of the program.
6. On Annex 3, "Use of Isotope Hydrology for Water Resources Management", the Group welcomes the various activities carried out by the Agency in promoting the use of isotopes for water resources management and related areas, including the awareness raising activities, as well as activities aimed at expanding the access to isotope techniques.
7. The Group also appreciates the technical cooperation projects implemented in various regions, in particular those contributing to train human resources in isotope techniques in the planning, development and sustained management of water resources.
8. On Annex 4, "Modernization of the Agency's Nuclear Applications Laboratories in Seibersdorf", the Group notes with satisfaction that steady progress has been made in preparing for the modernization of the NA laboratories in Seibersdorf. The Group welcomes the allocation of funds in 2014-2015 Programme and Budget in this regard. The Group attaches utmost importance to this project and urges Member States to contribute actively for its timely completion.
9. Regarding Annex 5, "Nuclear Energy Activities", the Group reaffirms the interest of those Member States that are considering the introduction of nuclear power in their energy mix. The Group notes the projected rate of growth in nuclear power capacity by 2030 as an indication of continuing interest of Member States in nuclear energy, as a proven, clean, safe and competitive technology. The Group believes that nuclear energy will make an increasing contribution to the sustainable development of human kind throughout the 21st century and beyond. The Group encourages the Agency to play a central role towards realization of this goal particularly in the developing countries.
10. The Group notes the Agency's activities in the field of nuclear power, reactor technology, fuel cycle, decommissioning and remediation. The Group notes with interest the training of experts in this regard.
11. With regard to Annex 6, "Producing Potable Water Economically using Small and Medium-sized Nuclear reactors", the Group appreciates the continuation of the work of the Technical Working Group on Nuclear Desalination. The Group looks forward to the publication of results of the Coordinated Research Project on New Technologies for Water Desalination using Nuclear Energy that was completed in 2011.
12. The Group takes note with satisfaction that various projects on desalination through nuclear techniques are currently being implemented in Member States. The Group encourages the Agency to keep on supporting Member States on their national efforts.
13. On Annex 7, "Agency's Activities in the Development of Innovative Nuclear Technology", the Group notes that membership to Agency's International Project on Innovative Nuclear reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO) rose to 39, as of May 2013.
14. The Group notes with appreciation the various activities carried out during 2012 for the implementation of the INPRO Action Plan for 2012-2013, comprising activities and collaborative projects in four substantive areas. The Group further notes with appreciation that good progress has been maintained in all these areas in the past year.
15. The Group notes that the INPRO work programme reflects the interests and priorities of its members which are in line with the Agency's regular programme and that the results obtained under INPRO are in turn available to all IAEA Member States. However, the Group notes with concern that 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's regular budget should be enhanced.
16. The Group notes with appreciation the Agency's role in monitoring and participating in worldwide activities on advanced and innovative technology development, fostering collaboration among Member States on selected innovative nuclear technologies and related R&D through several Technical Meetings and through Coordinated Research Projects.
17. On Annex 8, "Small and Medium-sized Reactors (SMRs) - Development and Deployment", the Group supports the various activities undertaken by the Agency to assist Member States in developing safe, secure, economically viable and proliferation resistant SMRs. In this regard, the Group takes note with appreciation of the completion of a four-year coordinated research project on Development of Methodologies for the Assessment of Passive Safety System Performance in Advance Reactors.
18. The Group also takes note that worldwide 131 SMR units are in operation in 26 Member States. Furthermore, research is being carried out on 45 advanced SMR concepts for electricity generation and other applications in 12 Member States. The Group encourages the Secretariat to do its utmost to support Member States in the conduct of these innovative projects.
19. Finally, on Annex 9, "Approaches to Supporting Nuclear Power Infrastructure Development", the Group appreciates the Agency's activities related to the introduction of nuclear power covering a wide range of technical topics, including workforce planning, human resource development and fostering competent regulatory systems in developing countries.
20. The Group notes the work of the Technical Working Group on Nuclear Power Infrastructure as a body to provide advice and guidance to Member States considering or introducing nuclear power.
21. The Group also values the Secretariat's efforts in developing guidance and other documents, creating forums to share lessons learned and best practices, and providing technical assistance in the form of capacity building and review services. Finally, the Group urges the Secretariat to continue to pursue integrated approaches to sustainable nuclear power development, particularly in developing countries.
With these comments, the Group takes note of document GOV/2013/32-GC (57)/9.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
Agenda Item (7): Other matters arising from the fifty-fifth (2011) and fifty-sixth (2012) regular sessions of the General Conference:
(b) Personnel matters:(i) Staffing of the Agency's Secretariat and ii) Women in the Secretariat
1. The Group 77 and China would like to thank the Director General for his reports contained in GOV/2013/34-GC(57)/14 and GOV/2013/35-GC(57)/15, on Staffing of the Agency's Secretariat and Women in the Secretariat, respectively.
2. The Group notes the Secretariat's continuing efforts to improve, pursuant to General Conference resolutions, its recruitment practices with regard to staff members from developing countries, particularly of women, and from other G-77 Member States which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the Secretariat.
3. The Group notes that during the period 01 June 2011 to 01 June 2013, 23.6% of all 233 appointments came from developing Member States, which represents a decrease with respect to the previous biennium. Therefore, the Group remains concerned that this percentage is still inadequate, and encourages the Secretariat to exert more effort to increase the number of staff from developing countries.
4. The Group notes the Secretariat's projection indicating that, as a result of staff retirements and the application of the rotation policy, 660 of the 1025 regular Professional staff positions in the Agency's Secretariat will become vacant during the period up to 2020. 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.
5. The Group further notes with concern the low percentage of consultants from developing countries holding Special Service Agreements. Moreover, the Group requests the Agency to rationalize the policy of hiring consultants, exercise transparency in their hiring and, when necessary to hire them, apply the policy of equitable geographical distribution, and to continue to identify the nationalities of consultants holding Special Service Agreements in future reports.
6. Finally, on the recruitment of women, the Group notes with appreciation the increase from 23.2 % in 2011 to 31.8% in 2013 of external appointments in the overall number of women recruited. The Group also takes note of the Secretariat's work with Member States to encourage applications by well qualified female candidates to Professional posts. The Group, however, wishes to emphasize that implementation of the General Conference resolution on Women in the Secretariat should not prejudice the implementation of the General Conference resolution on Staffing of the Agency's Secretariat.
7. With these comments, the Group notes the documents GOV/2013/34-GC(57)/14 and GOV/2013/35-GC(57)/15.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
Agenda item 8: Any other business
1. The Group appreciates the Secretariat's efforts in preparing the reports and for the briefings it arranges for the Member States.
2. These briefings are important as they provide the Member States with an opportunity to have a detailed overview of the subject and an occasion to seek clarification so that they could provide their capitals with a better understanding of the issues. It will be useful for such reports to be issued and briefings to be conducted early before any Board meeting.
3. Hence, the Group would sincerely appreciate it if future briefings could be held as early as possible, preferably soon after the report has been issued.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Board of Governors Meeting on 23 September 2013
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 Mr. John Barrett and his bureau for their excellent work over the last year. 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 Vietnam 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 Mr. Xolisa Mfundiso Mabhongo from South Africa and his competent bureau for their sincere impartial attempts to make the Conference a success, as well as Mr. Richard Stratford from the United States of America, who chaired the Committee of the Whole in a very able manner.