Statement of the G77 and China during the first meeting
of the Informal Working Group to discuss the future of the IAEA, delivered by
Argentina on 19 Feburary 2009
The Group of 77 and China
supports, as a matter of principle, every action aimed at strengthening the capacity
of the Agency to fulfill its statutory functions. The Group therefore appreciates
the establishment of this open-ended informal mechanism to discuss the future
of the Agency.
The Group believes that discussing the future of the Agency
is an exercise of utmost importance and that all efforts should be made in order
to ensure that such an exercise is successful. To that end, the Group believes
it is essential that the process is conducted with great care, taking into account
the views and expectations of the whole membership of the Agency.
procedural front, the Group appreciates the efforts of Ambassador Kauppi in attempting
to accommodate some of the proposals of the Group related to making this exercise
inclusive, transparent, and better defined. The Group particularly welcomes that
the discussions will sequentially tackle the three pillars of the Agency's work,
and that any possible decisions or recommendations will be made by consensus,
including how to deal with the draft informal report which might be prepared by
the Chair at the end of the discussions.
Given that the ultimate goal
of Technical Cooperation (TC), is the transfer of nuclear technology for peaceful
uses, which cannot be achieved if the Agency fails to ensure that resources for
the TC Programme are sufficient, assured and predictable (SAP), the Group would
have preferred that TC funding be the first topic to be discussed in this exercise.
A successful outcome of the discussions related to enhancing the financing mechanisms
of TC would represent a reassuring sign of goodwill and an indication of the actual
potential for success in the discussions related to the other pillars of the work
of the Agency.
However, the Group will not insist on changing the order
of the topics as proposed by the Chair, based on the understanding that all discussions
related to the first pillar will focus on the promotional role of the Agency through
technical cooperation, and that the financial requirements of enhancing this role
will be central to those discussions.
In this connection, the Group of
77 and China wishes at the outset of this important exercise to reiterate some
of its principled position regarding the Agency's TC activities.
attaches paramount importance to the Technical Cooperation Programme of the Agency
as the main statutory vehicle and an efficient tool for promoting nuclear technology
for sustainable socioeconomic progress in developing countries and in the context
of efforts towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.
Group deems it necessary for the Agency to maintain an adequate balance between
promotional activities, carried out through the Technical Cooperation Programme,
and its other statutory activities. The Group stresses the need to strengthen
TC activities and continuously enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the
TCP in accordance with the requests and needs of Member States. The Group equally
emphasizes that all measures taken and policies adopted in this regard should
preserve and enhance the ownership of TC projects by developing Member States.
The G-77 and China continues to attach high importance to the issue of
funding the TCF and remains convinced that without sufficient, assured and predictable
(SAP) financial resources, the TC programme cannot achieve its objectives as mandated
in Article II of the Statute and as called for in several GC resolutions. In this
regard, the Group in several occasions has requested the Secretariat to work on
constructive proposals that would address the long-term funding issues of the
In fact this exercise may provide an excellent platform
for developing countries to express their concerns regarding some recent developments
and trends such as: a) The manner in which TCF Targets and Indicative Planning
Figures are negotiated, and the inherent obstacles therein. b) The chronic
lack of necessary funding for particular activities, especially those with a humanitarian
and developmental aspect. c) Attempts aimed at discouraging Member States
from exercising their rights to develop national capabilities in certain nuclear
activities based on the alleged sensitivity of these certain activities. d)
The continued imbalance, in both absolute and relative terms, in the resources
made available to the three pillars, especially in the case of TC. e) Attempts
by some Member States who have chosen at the national level not to rely on nuclear
energy to limit and restrict the activities of the Agency in the field of assisting
those Member States who have chosen nuclear power as part of their national energy
mix. f) The politicization of TC activities and interference by some Member
States in the work of the Secretariat as well as in the national priorities of
recipient Member States themselves. g) The growing tendency by the Secretariat
upon the impetus of Some Member States to use the Agency's nonbinding guidelines
as binding requirements dictating the policies or priorities that each and every
Member State has to follow in its nuclear activities, especially those policies
and priorities related to the launching or operating of nuclear power programmes
h) Overstretching the possible benefits of harmonization and standardization
of nuclear policies in the case of countries that are considering launching or
expanding their nuclear power programmes, or developing national capabilities
related to the nuclear fuel cycle. i) The lack of strict equitable application
of the Due Account Mechanism. j) The inequitable distribution of safeguards
related expenditures, and the lack of a shielding mechanism for developing countries.
k) The continued projection of the Agency as a so-called "nuclear watchdog"-
a trend which misrepresents and undermines the primary role of the Agency in promoting
nuclear science and technology. 11- The Group intends to fully utilize the opportunity
that this informal exercise provides to tackle these concerns in depth under the
relevant topics of the discussions, and looks forward to the active engagement
of all Member States to collectively deal with these concerns.