Group of 77 and China statement during the IAEA Board of Governors,
7-11 September 2015, delivered by H.E. Ambassador Armin Andereya, Permanent Representative of Chile
Agenda Item 3(a): Measures to strengthen international cooperation in nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety
1. The Group of 77 and China wishes to thank Deputy Director General Denis Flory for his remarks under this agenda item, and commends the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security for the preparation of document GOV/2015/40-GC(59)/6, as well as for the work carried out between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2015, pursuant to the General Conference resolution.
2. The Group wishes to express its appreciation to DDG Flory for his dedication and contributions to the Agency. The Group welcomes and looks forward to working closely with incoming DDG Juan Carlos Lentijo.
3. The Group attaches great importance to the issue of nuclear safety, which represents a key element in any nuclear programme. While recognizing that the primary responsibility for nuclear safety rests with the States, the Group believes that the Agency plays an essential role in this field as provided for in Article III of the Statute. The Group stresses that the Agency must retain a central role in this field, owing to its mandatory functions, its broad membership and its long-standing expertise.
4. 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.
5. The Group highlights the importance of the Agency’s work in maintaining and improving 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.
6. The Group expresses 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.
7. The Group appreciates, in particular, the assistance provided by the Agency to developing countries embarking on nuclear power programmes and, in this regard, the focus on areas such as capacity building, human resource development and the establishment of management systems. The Group encourages the Agency to continue its efforts in assisting interested Member States in the development of capacities and technical skills in nuclear safety as well as in strengthening the regulatory system and infrastructure needed in the development of nuclear energy.
8. The Group takes note with great interest of the Report by the Director General on the Fukushima Daiichi Accident, the International Experts’ Meetings reports as well as the incorporation, where appropriate, of the lessons learned from this accident into the Agency’s programme of work. The Group supports the cross-Departmental activities concerning strengthening nuclear safety, in carrying out projects under the Action Plan beyond 2015, in particular, the lesson learned from the Fukushima Daiichi Accident report.
9. The Group reiterates its views favourably of the encouragement given by the Agency to the activities of regional forums and related networks. In this regard, the Group welcomes the Global Nuclear Safety and Security Network (GNSSN) Communication Strategy, which was established in last July 2014, and all the workshops implemented within the GNSSN framework during the reporting period. The Group continues to encourage the Agency to further pursue activities aimed at strengthening regional safety forums and related networks, as mandated by the General Conference.
10. The Group appreciates the Agency for the activities carried out in the field of radiation safety and environmental protection under the reporting period, including, inter alia, through the development of relevant safety guides and the organisation of regional workshops. The Group appreciates greatly the Agency’s continued activities aimed at strengthening radiation protection in medicine. On this note, the Group expresses its satisfaction with the organisation of the International Conference on Occupational Radiation Protection last December in Vienna.
11. The Group of 77 and China attaches high importance to transport safety, and appreciates the involvement of the Secretariat in international efforts to discuss issues related to radioactive material transport and harmonization of transport guidelines. The Group is encouraged with the continued collaboration with United Nations modal bodies in the Agency’s efforts to harmonise international transport regulations.
12. The Group recognises the continued efforts by the International Decommissioning Network (IDN) in providing a platform and mechanisms for the exchange of experiences, promotion of good practices and training in decommissioning. The Group takes note of the completion of the training material on decommissioning which will be used for the Basic Professional Training Course on Nuclear Safety (BPTC).
13. The efforts of the Agency in the area of education and training, and knowledge management in nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety are of foremost importance to the Group of 77 and China. The Group reiterates its support for the Agency’s efforts to develop tools to capture and preserve the Agency’s knowledge and organisational memory in nuclear safety and security by preserving, capturing and enhancing the transfer of the knowledge.
14. The Group acknowledges the launch of two additional initiatives, namely the Emergency Preparedness Network (EPnet) and capacity building centres. This would indeed contribute to knowledge sharing not only on a regional level, but also on a global level.
15. With these remarks, the Group of 77 and China takes note of document GOV/2015/40-GC(59)/6.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
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 Secretariat for the fourth and final annual progress report on the progress made by it in the implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety contained in GOV/INF/2015/13-GC(59)/INF/5, as well as for the document containing supplementary information. The Group also thanks Deputy-Director General Denis Flory for his introductory remarks under this agenda item, as well as the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security for the briefing provided to Member States on August 31st.
2. The report under consideration by the Board of Governors in the current session focuses on the key areas of progress in the implementation of the Action Plan since the submission of the previous annual report to the Board of Governors and General Conference in September 2014. In this regard, the Group of 77 and China would like to make the following comments.
3. The Group reiterates its appreciation for the continuing efforts undertaken by the Agency to promote nuclear safety worldwide, and welcomes the diverse activities of the Agency in this area during the reporting period. While recognizing that the primary responsibility for nuclear safety rests with the States, the Group believes that the Agency plays an important role in this field as provided for in Article III of the Statute. The Group remains of the view that nuclear safety considerations should contribute to the utilization of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes and that enhancement of nuclear safety should positively contribute to the development and utilization of nuclear technology for peaceful uses, and that the Agency should orient its programmes in this regard.
4. The Group notes with appreciation the Agency’s activities in connection with the implementation of the Plan since the last Report.
5. The Group further notes that, as reflected in the report under consideration, the Secretariat continued to share and disseminate the lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident by analysing the relevant technical aspects. 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 the accident.
6. The Group welcomes the finalization of the Report on the Fukushima Daiichi Accident, which was taken note of by the Board of Governors in June 2015. The Group further looks forward to its release at the 59th regular session of the General Conference.
7. The Group notes the progress made in the assessment of the safety vulnerabilities of Nuclear Power Plants, the strengthening of the Agency’s peer review services, the support for Member States’ emergency preparedness and response arrangements at the interregional, regional and national levels, including improving public information and enhancing transparency and communication during emergency situations, the developing of Member States’ capabilities to embark on a nuclear power programme, and the protection of people and the environment from ionizing radiation.
8. With respect to emergency preparedness and response, the Group notes that during the reporting period the Secretariat organized and conducted a series of training events and workshops on various EPR topics including the assignment of roles and responsibilities and the development of a technical basis for establishing EPR arrangements. The Group also notes the completion of the design and testing of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Information Management System (EPRIMS), which allows Member States to complete an EPR self-assessment questionnaire online. Further, the Group looks forward to the Secretariat’s continued work on the organization of an international conference on Global Emergency Preparedness and Response, to be held in Vienna in October 2015.
9. In the section of the report on the Agency’s safety standards, the Group notes that the Secretariat completed the systematic review of the relevant Safety Requirements to take account of the lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident, and as a follow up to the Vienna Declaration on Nuclear Safety. The proposed draft amendments to six Safety Requirements were approved by the Board of Governors in March 2015 to be established as Agency safety standards. The Group further notes the establishment of the new Emergency Preparedness and Response Standards Committee (EPReSC) under the Commission on Safety Standards (CSS) in June 2015.
10. With respect to the section of the report on the activities carried out by the Secretariat regarding Member States embarking or planning to embark on a nuclear power programme and capacity building, the Group welcomes the continued support provided to these member States by the Secretariat, encourages the latter to continue to pursue these efforts, and—as stated by the Group in its statement under the preceding sub-item of the agenda—concurs with the Secretariat on the importance of the knowledge safety networks under the Global Nuclear Safety and Security Network (GNSSN). The Group also welcomes the publication of a report by the Secretariat entitled Capacity Building for Nuclear Safety, which highlights the lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident that are relevant to the strengthening of capacity building in member States.
11. Lastly, the Group notes the conclusion contained in the report under consideration, that the Action Plan has been successfully implemented, and since its adoption in 2011, many activities have been undertaken by the Secretariat, Member States and other relevant organizations to introduce concrete measures to strengthen nuclear safety worldwide. The Group hopes that with the integration of the outcomes and activities resulting from the Action Plan and the report on the Fukushima Daiichi accident into the regular programme of work of the Agency, dedicated projects under the Action Plan that are to continue beyond 2015 will continue to be implemented by the respective Departments/Divisions.
12. 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/2015/13-GC(59)/INF/5, and in the document with supplementary information to the progress report.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Agenda item 4: Nuclear Security Report 2015
1. The Group of 77 and China wishes to thank the Secretariat for preparing the Nuclear Security Report 2015, as contained in document GOV/2015/42-GC(59)/12. It also thanks Deputy Director-General Denis Flory for his introductory comments under this agenda item, as well as the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security for the technical briefing provided to delegations on 31 August.
2. The Group of 77 and China would like to make the following comments on the document under consideration:
3. The Group reiterates its view that the responsibility for nuclear security rests entirely with each State and the Secretariat should continue to reflect this important principle in future Nuclear Security Reports, as was done in last year’s report.
4. The Group remains of the opinion that the measures to strengthen nuclear security should neither hamper international cooperation in the field of peaceful nuclear activities nor undermine the established priorities of the IAEA technical cooperation programme.
5. 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, with due account of the need to have an adequate balance between activities in the promotional and non-promotional areas.
6. The Group appreciates the Agency’s continued efforts to assist Member States, upon their request, to build and develop their nuclear security capacity by establishing and providing for the application of nuclear security guidance; facilitating adherence to, and implementation of the relevant international legal instruments; and helping States in the establishment of effective, sustainable and comprehensive national nuclear security infrastructures.
7. The Group takes note of the fact that, during the reporting period, there was an increase in adherence to the international legal instruments relevant to nuclear security, in particular to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and the 2005 Amendment; and the International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
8. The Group notes with interest that, among the main nuclear security programmatic goals and priorities for 2015-2016, is the preparation and organization of the International Conference on Nuclear Security: Commitments and Actions, to be held in December 2016. The Group recalls the successful outcome of the 2013 International Conference and is of the view that the organization of another high-level meeting next year affirms the central role of the Agency in strengthening the nuclear security framework globally and in leading the coordination of international activities in the field of nuclear security, while avoiding duplication and overlap. The Group also wants to emphasize that multilateralism in promoting nuclear security should be advanced.
9. The Group welcomes the increase in the number of States that participate in the Agency's Incident and Trafficking Database (ITDB) Programme, and notes that, during the reporting period, outreach efforts to promote the programme included regional and national workshops and consultancy meetings. The Group also notes that the Agency participated in meetings organized by international organizations, the outcome of which included, inter alia, the development of plans for improvements to the ITDB user experience. The Group is pleased to note that, following the request of the ITDB Points of Contact Meeting in July 2012 to resume the production of biennial analysis reports, a 2013-2014 analysis report was prepared during the reporting period. While noting with satisfaction the preparation of this document, the Group calls on the Secretariat to maintain its regularity in the production of its biennial reports.
10. The Group appreciates the continued efforts of the Agency to develop and implement Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plans (INSSPs) to assist Member States, upon request, in applying a structured and holistic approach to nuclear security capacity building and enabling increased coordination to ensure appropriate allocation of resources and reduce duplication of efforts.
11. The Group welcomes the continued development of the Nuclear Security Information Portal (NUSEC), including the major server upgrade performed in March 2015 to achieve better system stability and performance. The Group notes that the NUSEC approval process has been simplified to allow the Secretariat to be responsible for approving new accounts, which has proven to increase efficiency. The group also notes that there was further development of the Nuclear Security Information Management System (NUSIMS).
12. The Group wishes to reiterate its appreciation for the work of the Nuclear Security Guidance Committee, which completed its first three-year term during the reporting period. The Group expresses its satisfaction at the efforts of the Secretariat to foster the participation of all Member States in the process of development and review of the Agency’s Nuclear Security Series publications. The Group reiterates its call on the Secretariat to further facilitate a broader participation of representatives from developing countries in its meetings, with a view to ensuring greater transparency and consensus in the development of such publications.
13. The Group commends the Secretariat for its work on the Implementing Guides, as reported in the document under review.
14. Regarding the activities reported under the section of the report on nuclear security services, the Group welcomes the Agency’s continued support to the development of nuclear security education, primarily through the International Nuclear Security Education Network (INSEN), the membership of which grew from 100 (from 41 Member States) to 134 (from 49 Member States). The Group notes with appreciation that, during the reporting period, the Agency provided nuclear security training to over 3200 individuals, covering a wide variety of topics, such as physical protection of nuclear material and facilities and security in the transport of nuclear and other radioactive material. The Group encourages the Secretariat to enhance its activities oriented at capacity-building in Member States, particularly in developing countries, thus helping maintain adequate human resources with the necessary training and competence.
15. The Group notes that, in order to coordinate current and future efforts in States or regions to establish and maintain Nuclear Security Training and Support Centres (NSSCs), the Agency continues to organize and facilitate meetings for the International Network for NSSCs. The Group also notes that the NSSC Network and INSEN members further explored collaboration possibilities between their education and training activities. In this regard, the Group notes that the Joint Mapping Project of the NSSC Network and INSEN was developed and launched on the NUSEC Portal.
16. The Group notes with appreciation the nuclear security evaluation missions and advisory services conducted in Member States upon their request.
17. The Group takes note of the Agency’s activities, undertaken at the request of Member States, in the area of risk reduction and security improvement. The Group calls on the Secretariat to enhance its efforts aimed at strengthening the capabilities of personnel in Member States, while also facilitating the enhancement of national physical protection systems in interested Member States, with a view to developing sustainable nuclear security regimes.
18. With these remarks, the Group takes note of the Nuclear Security Report 2015, as contained in document GOV/2015/42-GC(59)/12.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Agenda Item 5: Strengthening the Agency's activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications
1. The Group of 77 and China thanks the Secretariat for the report on Agency activities in the area of nuclear science, technology and applications as contained in GOV/2015/39-GC(59)/5, in response to General Conference resolutions GC(57)/RES/12 and GC(58)RES/13.
2. The work done by the Agency in nuclear power and nuclear applications highlights the need to increase the transfer of nuclear technology and the sharing of nuclear knowledge to developing countries so as to enhance the capabilities of the latter and thus contribute to maximizing the benefit of peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The Group urges the Agency to continue to provide training and education, to support national laboratories and to further enhance the coordinated research activities. The Group also welcomes the contributions made by Member States to various Agency projects, and encourages all Member States in a position to do so to continue providing such support through the Agency.
3. On Annex 1, the Support to the African Union’s Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Eradication Campaign (AU-PATTEC), the Group appreciates the Agency’s continuous efforts to support the AU-PATTEC Plan of Action through TC projects providing training, expert services and equipment to countries in the African region affected by this problem. The Group encourages the continuation of these activities to successfully eradicate tsetse and Trypanosomosis from the African continent. The Group takes note of the conclusion in paragraph 19 of Annex 1 of the report, stating the challenges faced, including the lack of infrastructure and the need to establish appropriate management structures to deal effectively with complex and logistically demanding projects as well as the need to develop the SIT for different species and to adapt each project to unique ecological and socio-economic conditions and requirements including the lack of active tsetse mass-rearing centres, and strongly encourages the Agency to continue to pursue its efforts, bearing in mind that sterile insect techniques need to be complemented with long-term strategies aimed at developing the tools, in particular the human resources required, for the implementation of a fully operational programme in Member States, and that further efforts need to be pursued for the direct control of these diseases. The Group further encourages Member States to contribute additional funds in order to ensure the sustainability of the program.
4. On Annex 2, Strengthening the support to Member States in Food and Agriculture Use of Isotope Hydrology for Water Resources Management, the Group notes the Agency’s activities in its final stages of the pilot project under the IAEA Water Availability Enhancement (IWAVE) project as funded through the Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI) in assisting Member States to increase their availability and sustainability of freshwater using scientifically based, comprehensive assessments of their national water resources, in particular, in strengthening the capacity of 102 water professionals for isotope data collection and interpretation, as well as the design of water resources monitoring networks. The Group also welcomes the Agency’s continued efforts in initiating a regional technical cooperation project formulated in Latin America for 2015-2016 based on the outcome of the IWAVE project and looks forward to its successful completion. With regards to the Agency’s role in the expansion of access of Member States to isotope techniques and capacity building, the Group notes with appreciation that at present over 55 Member States have the relevant equipment and human capacity to analyse stable isotopes and values the development of the Agency’s initiative to remotely assist counterparts in overcoming operational difficulties as well as the continued training in this regard. In addition, the Group appreciates the support services of the IAEA’s Isotope Laboratory assisting Member States in analysing the noble gas isotopes for groundwater age dating and for the estimation of recharge and discharge of groundwater. The Group also welcomes the improved understanding of the Water Cycle and Climate Change through the application of isotopes techniques as an outcome of the Agency’s implementation of the various CRP with the Member States which included the generation of data sets into the Agency’s Global Network of Isotopes in Rivers (GNIR) and the first dataset of isotopes in ice cores which will be used for understanding climate changes in the past one hundred years.
5. On Annex 3, the Renovation of the Nuclear Applications Laboratories (ReNuAL) Project, the Group is pleased to note that progress that has been made and welcomes future updates. The Group notes with appreciation the efforts that were made to establish a Biosafety Level 3 laboratory capability for the IAEA and thanks the Austrian Government for making the facility in Mödling available for use by the IAEA. With regard to Resource Mobilization, the Group appreciates the innovative effort made by the Agency, thus far, in seeking to raise funds for this project. The Group reiterates the great importance it attaches to the role of the Agency’s Nuclear Application (NA) laboratories in Seibersdorf in developing and transferring nuclear related and complementary technologies that contribute significantly to food security and safety, medical dosimetry, water management and environmental protection, and thanks Member States for their contribution and calls on others who have not yet done so to support the renovation of these Laboratories.
6. On Annex 4, 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 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 highly values the Agency’s central role in this regard, which is of particular importance in developing countries and notes with satisfaction the continued assistance provided by the Agency to Member States in training and capacity building. The Group also welcomes the participation of the IAEA in the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP20) in Lima, Peru, in December 2014, and its report entitled “Climate Change and Nuclear Power 2014”, which summarizes the role of nuclear power in mitigating global climate change and how nuclear power contributes to other development and environmental challenges. The Group further welcomes the International Experts’ Meeting (IEM) on Strengthening Research and Development Effectiveness in the Light of the Accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in February 2015 to seek new areas and directions of research and development work in safety, technology and engineering as well as the International Conference on the Management of Spent Fuel from Nuclear Power Reactors: An Integrated Approach to the Back End of the Fuel Cycle in June in Vienna, Austria. With regard to knowledge and information sharing, the Group takes note of the increased collection and users of the International Nuclear Information System (INIS) and welcomes the formal completion of Connecting the Network of Networks for Enhanced Communication and Training (CONNECT) project which established the development of almost 30 e-learning modules covering radioactive waste disposal and safety case development and looks forward to the implementation portion of the project in December 2015.
7. On Annex 5, on the Agency Activities in the Development of Innovative Nuclear Technology, the Group is pleased to note the work carried out by the Agency’s International Project on Innovative Nuclear reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO), and recalls the recommendation made by the General Conference at its fifty-eighth session, that the Secretariat establish, through the consolidation of available resources and assistance from interested Member States, regular training courses and workshops on innovative nuclear technologies to exchange knowledge and experience in the area of innovative, globally sustainable nuclear energy systems. The Group notes that the INPRO work programme reflects the interests and priorities of its members which are in line with the Agency’s regular programme and that the results obtained under INPRO are in turn available to all IAEA Member States. However, the Group notes with concern that INPRO continues to rely mainly on extra-budgetary contributions from its members. The Group reiterates its view that the support to INPRO from the Agency’s regular budget should be enhanced.
8. The Group notes with appreciation the Agency’s role in monitoring and participating in worldwide activities on advanced and innovative technology development, fostering collaboration among Member States on selected innovative nuclear technologies and related research and development through several Technical Meetings and through Coordinated Research Projects.
9. On Annex 6, Development and Deployment of Small and Medium Sized Reactors, Including Small Modular Reactors, 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 particular, the Group appreciates the incorporation of lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident into the R & D activities related to SMRs aimed at enhancing application of the defense in depth concept in the design and looks forward to the publication of the Agency’s Technical Document in this regard. In addition, the Group notes with interest the progress made to develop the Agency’s technology roadmap for SMR deployment which, among others, addresses the challenges for using this technology. The Group reiterates its call in encouraging the Secretariat to do its utmost to support Member States in the conduct of innovative projects involving non-electric applications of nuclear power.
10. Finally, on Annex 7, Approaches to Supporting Nuclear Power Infrastructure Development, the Group welcomes the various activities carried out by the Agency in this area which support the successful introduction of nuclear power and its safe, secure and efficient use. The Group thanks the Member States for the increased extrabudgetary contributions to the Agency in support of nuclear power infrastructure which, since 2011, have exceeded US $8 million allowing the Agency to carry its activities in this regard including funding technical cooperation footnote-a projects. The Group looks forward to the completion of the development work on methodology and guidance for Intergrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) Phase 3 missions, expected to be ready in early 2016 which will review the readiness of the infrastructure to support the operation of nuclear power facilities. In addition, the Group notes with appreciation the Agency’s assistance in supporting human resource development in this area using the Nuclear Power Human Resources (NPHR) modelling software and the development of e-learning modules based on existing Agency publications on nuclear power infrastructure.
11. With these comments, the Group takes note of document GOV/2014 5/39-GC(59)/5.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Agenda Item 8 (b): Other matters arising from the fifty-seventh (2013) and fifty-eighth (2014) 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/2015/46-GC(59)/16 and GOV/2015/47-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 2013 to 01 June 2015, 23.4% of all 218 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, the Secretariat can anticipate 506 vacancy notices over the next 7 years. In this regard, the Group urges the Secretariat to take advantage of this opportunity and work with Member States in order to fully implement General Conference resolutions on recruitment and staffing. In addition to proactive measures mentioned in the Director General’s report, the Group requests the Director General to ensure transparency in the Secretariat’s selection process.
5. The Group 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 selection and, when necessary to hire them, apply the policy of equitable geographical distribution, and to continue to identify the nationalities of consultants holding Special Service Agreements in future reports.
6. Finally, on the recruitment of women, the Group notes the slight increase from 26 % in 2013 to 27.8 % in 2015 in the percentage of professional women in the Agency’s Regular Staff. 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/2015/46-GC(59)/16 and GOV/2015/47-GC(59)/17.
Thank you Madam Chair.
Statement by the Group of 77 and China during the IAEA Board of Governors on 21 September 2015 delivered by Mr. Hellmut Lagos, Deputy Permanent Representative of Chile
Agenda item 5: Any other business
1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and would like to extend my congratulations on your election to you, Ambassador Laércio Antonio VINHAS and your country Brazil 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. You are a very distinguished member of the Group of 77 – and of GRULAC, and we all look forward to your able leadership. We are convinced that the Board will remain in good and steady hands as we move forward with the work of the Agency. I am sure that your sense of humor will facilitate to make our sessions more pleasant and to maintain a positive atmosphere in this Board.
2. Our congratulations go also to your Vice-Chairs the Ambassadors Bahtijors HASANS from Latvia, and Friedrich DÄUBLE from Germany.
3. At the same time, I wish to reiterate our gratitude to the outgoing Chairperson, Ms. Marta ZIAKOVA, Governor from Slovakia, for successfully chairing the Board of Governors between the 58th and 59th sessions of the General Conference. The Group of 77 and China commends Madam ZIAKOVA and her team for their dedication and hard work over the past year. We wish her all the very best in his future endeavors.
4. The Group would also like to take this opportunity to express its appreciation to the President of the General Conference, H.E. Ambassador Filippo Formica, for his excellent work and for his able stewardship of the 59th session of the General Conference and would like to commend H.E. Ambassador Mohamed BENHOCINE, Permanent Representative of Algeria, a distinguished member of our Group, for his outstanding Chairmanship of the Committee of the Whole.