|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-seventh General Assembly
30th Meeting (AM)
General Assembly Adopts Consensus Text Reaffirming Strong Support
for Indispensable Role of International Atomic Energy Agency
As Delegates Weigh Agency’s Report, Some Say Nuclear Energy Crucial to Boosting
Development, Others Cite Safety Concerns Following 2011 Fukushima Daiichi Incident
Nuclear technology would continue to play an integral role in securing energy and promoting socioeconomic development, delegates said today as the General Assembly discussed the 2011 report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and adopted a resolution reaffirming “strong support” for its indispensable role.
Annu Tandon, Member of Parliament of India, was among those who stressed the importance of retaining the option of nuclear power despite the 2011 incident in Japan where the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was severely damaged during an earthquake and tsunami. “Nuclear energy played a crucial role in the sustainable economic growth” in India, she said, adding that her country was also developing nuclear technologies in such fields as crop improvement, radio-diagnosis and therapy for diseases, and provision of clean drinking water. There were currently 20 reactors operating in the country with an installed capacity of 4,780 megawatts and 7 under construction with a total capacity of 5,300 megawatts.
China was also among Member States expanding its nuclear power programme. Its representative said his country always adhered to the principle of “safety first”, having established a comprehensive legal and standards system, and a supervision framework on nuclear safety. The Government had also stepped up efforts in personnel training and technology research and development, keeping “a good track record” in nuclear safety.
Yet, with the number of nuclear reactors projected to rise over the next 20 years, Singapore’s delegate was among those who cautioned against complacency with regards to safety, describing the Fukushima incident “a wake-up call”. “It was a painful reminder that safety can never be taken for granted”, she said, calling for the full and effective implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety adopted in the aftermath of the accident.
She went on to point out that while the primary responsibility for nuclear safety rested with individual States, the far-reaching and potentially devastating transboundary impact of a nuclear accident meant that ensuring and strengthening nuclear safety standards were of concern to the international community as a whole, and in particular the IAEA. Singapore also encouraged the Agency to step up its capacity-building cooperation with regional organizations to promote and uphold standards of safety and security. In that regard, she said, good progress had been made on “ASEANTOM”, an initiative by Thailand, to establish a network of nuclear regulatory bodies among South-East Asian countries.
At the outset of today’s session, Member States were informed that due to the ongoing effects of Hurricane Sandy, which slammed the East coast of the United States last week, IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amamo was unable to travel to New York to deliver his annual statement on the Agency’s work. In his statement, circulated in the Assembly Hall but not read, Mr. Amano said: “Already, it is fair to say that nuclear power is safer than it was before the Fukushima Daiichi accident” thanks to the progress made on the implementation of the Action Plan.
As an example of post-disaster safety improvement, the European Union reviewed its responses to the Fukushima accident, including calls for comprehensive risk and safety assessments, or “stress tests”, to be conducted at European nuclear power plants, the bloc’s delegate said. The 17 national reports covered all nuclear power plants in the bloc and other participating countries, and had been assessed by over 80 reviewers from Europe and from several third party countries. The peer review report was transmitted to the June 2012 European Council meeting with an action plan agreed upon in July in order to follow the implementation of the recommendations of the report.
The European Commission would now examine possible evolutions of European legislation, notably the Nuclear Safety Directive, and submit them to Member States. In that vein, he added, the Convention on Nuclear Safety, the Conventions on Notification and Assistance, and the Joint Convention were instruments of major importance. The European Union called on all Member States which had not yet done so to become contracting parties to the relevant safety conventions without delay, and to implement the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety.
Japans’ delegate said that one and a half years after the earthquake that had severely damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, his country was continuing clean-up efforts, including decontamination of stricken areas. He expressed his gratitude for the support and assistance of the international community. He then noted Japan’s contributions to the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, including sharing lessons learned through two reports made to the Agency and the organization of the Fukushima Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety in Fukushima Prefecture, co-sponsored by the Agency, to be held in December. It was important for the international community to implement the Action Plan.
He said that Japan aimed to have a society that was not dependent on nuclear power by the 2030s and hoped to provide a model that would demonstrate a good balance between the shift toward green energy and economic growth. Japan would overcome the challenges posed by the accident, “benefitting widely from [the] wisdom of the world”, and, with the cooperation of the IAEA and other countries, would be able to secure the confidence of the international community that Japan represented no concern for nuclear non-proliferation.
On nuclear supply, the delegate of the Russian Federation said his Government had proposed the development of a global network for atomic energy and the creation of international centres to provide services throughout the fuel cycle, open to any State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. To that end, the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Armenia had established a centre for uranium enrichment in his country, which was open to all States in compliance with the non-proliferation regime. The Russian Federation also had a reserve of low-enriched uranium available to Member States, under IAEA’s management.
The delegate of Malaysia stressed the importance of the IAEA Programme for Technical Cooperation in promoting the peaceful use of nuclear technology. The extension of that Programme should be based upon the needs and requests of Member States, he emphasized, adding that the Programme should also take into account the “evolving requirements” of States, as well as the issue of funding. He recalled that, during the Preparatory Commission meeting for the most recent Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, some States parties had called for the Programme for Technical Cooperation to be supported by the regular budget instead of relying on the Technical Cooperation Fund. Malaysia joined that call and looked forward to further discussions on the matter under the working group for financing the Agency’s activities.
In other business, the Assembly adopted, without a vote, a draft resolution on the report of the Agency. By the text, the Assembly reaffirmed its strong support for the indispensable role of the Agency in encouraging and assisting the development and practical application of atomic energy for peaceful uses, in technology transfer to developing countries, and in nuclear safety, verification and security.
Speaking in explanation of position before the action, the representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea described the report of the IAEA as “far from being correct and true” and failing to cover the fundamental issues on the Korean Peninsula. He said the Agency had “no power” to intervene in the nuclear issue in his country because the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was neither a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons nor a member State of the IAEA.
Also speaking in the debate were the representatives of Australia, Belarus, Cuba, Switzerland, Ukraine, Philippines, Senegal, Kazakhstan, Egypt, South Africa, Iran, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Republic of Korea and Libya.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Japan spoke in exercise of the right of reply.
The General Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. Tuesday, 6 November, to conclude its discussion on the report of the International Court of Justice and the report of the International Criminal Court.
The General Assembly had before it the Secretary-General’s note transmitting the report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (document A/67/152); and a relevant draft resolution (document A/67/L.3).
By the resolution, the Assembly would reaffirm its strong support for the indispensable role of the Agency in encouraging and assisting the development and practical application of atomic energy for peaceful uses, in technology transfer to developing countries, and in nuclear safety, verification and security.
The Agency’s report reviews the developments in 2011 related to nuclear technology, its applications, safety and security issues as well as verification processes.
It notes that at the end of 2011, 435 nuclear reactors were in operation with a total capacity of 369 gigawatts electric, 2 per cent less than at the beginning of the year. The decrease was due to the permanent retirement of 13 reactors, with the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant triggering the retirement of 4 reactors in Japan and 8 in Germany. The other one was an old reactor in the United Kingdom. Seven new reactors were connected to the grid, compared with five in 2010, two in 2009 and none in 2008.
The report also notes that after the Fukushima accident, the Agency expanded the scope of its guidance and assistance for long-term operation, initiating an annual “Industry Cooperation Forum”, which recommended: increased cooperation with utilities; greater interaction between operating organizations in countries with experience in the nuclear area and those in countries introducing nuclear power; and more effective communication and wider dissemination of best operational practices.
The report further states that nuclear power continues to be an important option for countries, with interest in nuclear power remaining high. Most countries continued their programmes to introduce nuclear power even after the Fukushima Daiichi accident. In the Agency’s projections, 7 to 20 new countries are expected to bring their first reactors online by 2030. The Agency’s energy assessment tools are now used in over 125 Member States. In 2011, the Agency trained over 600 energy analysts and planners from 67 countries in the use of these tools.
On the application of nuclear and isotopic technologies, the Director-General reports that the Agency continued to assist Member States in the areas of food and agriculture, human health, water resources, the environment and industry as related to socioeconomic development and the Millennium Development Goals. The Agency, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health, and other partners, has supported Member States for more than 25 years in their efforts to control and eradicate the Rinderpest cattle plague, a highly contagious viral disease of cattle, buffalo, yak and several wildlife species that has caused immense livestock losses over many decades. In early 2011, the FAO and the World Organisation for Animal Health officially declared the disease eradicated from the world.
On security and safety, the Agency reports that it convened a five-day Ministerial Conference in Vienna from 20 to 24 June 2011 in order to learn lessons from the Fukushima Daiichi accident and strengthen nuclear safety worldwide. Despite that accident, the level of nuclear safety among the 435 operating reactors remained high in 2011. By the end of that year, 80 per cent of the 435 facilities were more than 20 years old. The Agency conducted peer review missions under its Safe Long-Term Operation service in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Republic of Korea, Netherlands, Pakistan, South Africa and Ukraine. At the request of the Malaysian Government, the Agency organized an expert mission to review the radiation safety aspects of a rare earth processing facility. The Agency’s nuclear safety and security services, such as operational safety reviews, design reviews and regulatory reviews, continued to be in high demand.
The Agency’s verification programme remains at the core of multilateral efforts to curb the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the report notes. Through the application of safeguards, the Agency aims to assure the international community that nuclear material and facilities are used only for peaceful purposes. As such, the Agency has an essential verification role under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, as well as other treaties, such as those establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones.
During 2011, the Director-General submitted four reports to the Board of Governors on the implementation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of United Nations Security Council resolutions in Iran. The report says that the Agency was unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran and, therefore, was unable to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran was in peaceful activities. The Director-General decided that the time was right to provide the Board of Governors with the Secretariat’s detailed analysis of the information available to the Agency which had given rise to concerns about possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme.
This analysis was published in an annex to the Director-General’s November 2011 report to the Board. The Secretariat’s analysis indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device. It also indicates that prior to the end of 2003, these activities took place under a structured programme and that some activities may still be ongoing. On 18 November 2011, the Board of Governors adopted by a vote resolution GOV/2011/69, in which, inter alia, it expressed deep and increasing concern about the unresolved issues regarding the Iranian nuclear programme, including those which need to be clarified to exclude the existence of military dimensions, and stressed that it is essential for Iran and the Agency to intensify their dialogue aiming at the urgent resolution of all outstanding substantive issues.
The report also states that since December 2002, the Agency has not implemented safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and, therefore, did not draw any safeguards conclusion for that country.
Introduction of Draft
Introducing the draft resolution on the report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)(document A/67/L.3), CATERINA VENTURA (Canada) said that the text, considered annually by the Assembly, derived from a requirement pursuant to the IAEA Statute and the 1957 Agreement governing the relationship between the Agency and the United Nations. The resolution was the means by which the Assembly took note of the statement of the Agency’s Director-General, the resolutions and decisions adopted by the General Conference, and recognized the work of the Agency.
The draft had been discussed in Vienna among IAEA Member States and also during informal consultations in New York, she said. It was a simple factual update of last year’s text that merely changed the relevant dates and listed the relevant resolutions and decisions adopted by the General Conference at its fifty-sixth plenary meeting, she noted, calling for consensus among Member States.
THOMAS MAYR-HARTING, head of the European Union delegation, said that the bloc remained committed to effective multilateral action against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and emphasized the importance of universalizing the Non-Proliferation Treaty. It called on States that had not done so to join the Treaty as non-nuclear weapon States. The 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons had reaffirmed the role of the IAEA in verifying and assuring compliance by States with their safeguard obligations, he said. In that vein, the European Union remained deeply concerned by the protracted and serious challenges to the non-proliferation regime posed by Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Syria.
Once again, he recalled, the Board had felt it necessary to adopt a resolution on Iran, urging that country to comply fully and without delay with all its obligations under relevant Security Council resolutions and to meet the requirements of the Board of Governors. The European Union had fully supported the adoption of that resolution, he said. In addition, he reiterated that the Security Council, as the final arbiter of international peace and security, had the mandate to take appropriate action in the event of non-compliance with Treaty obligations, including safeguard agreements.
On nuclear safety, he reviewed recent European Union responses to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, including calls by the European Council in March 2011 for comprehensive risk and safety assessments (“stress tests”) to be conducted at European nuclear power plants. The 17 national reports covered all nuclear power plants in the European Union and other participating countries, and had been assessed by over 80 reviewers from Europe and from several third party countries. The peer review report was transmitted to the June 2012 European Council meeting and in July, an action plan was agreed upon in order to follow the implementation of the recommendations of the report.
The European Commission would now examine possible evolutions of European legislation, notably the Nuclear Safety Directive, and submit them to Member States. In that vein, he added, the Convention on Nuclear Safety, the Conventions on Notification and Assistance, and the Joint Convention were instruments of major importance. The European Union called on all Member States which had not yet done so to become contracting parties to the relevant safety conventions without delay, and to implement the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety.
“We face a new era of threats from non-State actors, particularly terrorists, who seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction” and related technology and materials, he said, calling that threat “one of the potentially most destructive risks to global security”. In light of such ongoing threats, the European Union was actively supporting Security Council resolution 1540 (2004) and 1887 (2009) as well as a number of other initiatives, such as the “Group of Eight” (G8) Global Partnership, the Proliferation Security Initiative, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism and others.
The European Union looked forward to the conference to be hosted by the Agency in July 2013 entitled, “International Conference on Nuclear Security: Enhancing Global Efforts”, which was open to all States. In the area of non-proliferation, he also noted that the European Union, together with individual Member States, was among the main contributors to the Nuclear Security Fund, having provided around 30 million euros to date. Under the European Union Instrument for Stability, nearly 260 million euros had been dedicated for the 2007-2013 period to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear risk mitigation worldwide.
LAURIE FERGUSON, Member of Parliament of Australia, said that her delegation took very seriously the responsibility entailed by its membership on the Agency’s Board of Governors. In the post-Fukushima accident era, Director-General Amano’s ongoing actions and initiatives had improved international nuclear safety, particularly through the implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety. “The Action Plan is a strong and practical demonstration of the priority the international community attaches to achieving the highest possible standards in nuclear safety,” she said in that regard. Australia encouraged States to be proactive in undertaking the actions outlined in the Plan, and any additional actions relevant to their own circumstances.
However, while important, safety measures were not the only elements required to properly protect people and the environment. The Agency’s nuclear security programme and its role in international nuclear security initiatives and activities were equally important. The IAEA safeguards system was one of the central pillars of the nuclear non-proliferation regime, and, in order to be completely effective, the system must have universal coverage. Australia continued to call on those States that had not signed and ratified the Treaty to do so as soon as possible, and to place their nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards. In addition, she called on those States Parties to the Treaty which had yet to fulfil their relevant obligations to conclude Comprehensive Safeguard Agreements and Additional Protocols without delay.
Indeed, she continued, IAEA safeguard obligations “are not voluntary”, and States must comply with them. It was a matter of deep concern that certain States continued to be in breach of those obligations. Australia called on those countries to engage with the Agency to resolve all issues, demonstrate conclusively the peaceful intent of their nuclear activities, and comply fully with all of their international obligations, including addressing the concerns of the international community. Australia was also committed to working closely with the Agency and its regional neighbours in the Asia-Pacific on peaceful application of nuclear energy. Australia shared its skilled scientific research base, equipment and personnel with its neighbours and other Member States, and provided strong support to the Agency’s Programme for Technical Cooperation. The Agency, for its part, played a vital role in enhancing States’ capacities to prevent, diagnose and treat health problems through the use of nuclear techniques. “We should never lose sight of such humanitarian benefits, to which the IAEA is uniquely able to provide worldwide support.” Australia had recently announced an expansion of its nuclear medicine production capability which, in coming years, would be able to supply a large part of global need for medical radioisotopes.
ANNU TANDON, Member of Parliament of India, noting the continued importance of retaining the option of nuclear power despite the Fukushima accident, welcomed the IAEA assessment that showed a high level of safety in nuclear plants around the world, but stressed that there was no room for complacency. She called on all stakeholders to work collectively to further enhance nuclear safety, and she encouraged the IAEA to assist the free flow of the latest information, technology and equipment required for that purpose. She stated that nuclear energy played a crucial role in the sustainable economic growth of her country, which was also developing nuclear technologies in fields as diverse as crop improvement, radio-diagnosis and therapy for diseases and provision of clean drinking water. There were currently 20 reactors operating in the country with an installed capacity of 4,780 megawatts and 7 under construction with a total capacity of 5,300 megawatts.
Maximizing the energy potential of available uranium resources and best utilizing a large thorium reserve was a major consideration for her country, she said, maintaining that expansion of nuclear power around the world was not sustainable without the adoption of the closed fuel cycle approach, as well as the thorium fuel cycle. Noting an IAEA technical meeting on the promise of thorium held in 2011 in India, she encouraged the agency to further engage with that fuel. Describing India’s engagement with the International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO) and the IAEA, she said that the IAEA should work through INPRO in assisting the development of innovative technology for safe nuclear power. She stressed her country’s continued support for the IAEA, particularly its activities to stimulate innovation through the technical working groups on reactor technologies and non-electric applications, as well as through the coordination of research projects.
EVGENY LAZAREV (Belarus), reaffirming support for the IAEA, said that a quarter century after the accident at the Chernobyl atomic power station, the world had again been forced to assess problems of nuclear safety, following the accident at the plant in Fukushima, Japan. Belarus was an active participant in the review of safety measures undertaken by the Agency with Member States and would do its part to implement the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety adopted at the Agency’s fifty-fifth session in September 2011. Further, Belarus undertook its own nuclear development in strict compliance with Agency standards. Belarus had also undergone an integrated nuclear infrastructure review mission to strengthen physical nuclear safety in cooperation with the Agency.
Belarus supported the IAEA’s coordination of global efforts to strengthen nuclear security and prevent nuclear terrorism, as only a concerted effort by the international community would provide tangible results. It was also important to participate in international legal instruments, including the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. He noted that Belarus was an active participant in the Agency’s Programme for Technical Cooperation. Among its national priorities, in that regard, were development of nuclear power infrastructure, restoration of areas affected by the Chernobyl disaster and health issues. That Programme should be provided suitable resources. Belarus complied with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and its safeguards. He noted further that Belarus was a co-sponsor of the resolution before the Assembly.
WANG MIN ( China) said that in the course of nuclear development, China always adhered to the principle of “safety first”, having established a comprehensive legal and standards system and a supervision framework on nuclear safety. The Government was committed to continuing to improve them. China had also strengthened management of nuclear safety and emergency response, stepped up efforts in personnel training and technology research and development, and kept a good track record in nuclear safety. To further enhance nuclear safety, it had supported and taken an active part in relevant international and regional exchanges and cooperation, and worked vigorously to introduce and apply advanced nuclear power technologies.
China attached great importance to nuclear security capacity building, and supported and actively participated in relevant international cooperation, he said. In March 2012, President Hu Jintao attended the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit, where he had provided details about China’s policy and measures on nuclear security issues in a comprehensive manner. China had played a constructive role in ensuring the success of the Summit. At present, the construction of the Centre of Excellence on Nuclear Security in China in cooperation with relevant countries was going on in an orderly fashion. China would endeavour to build the Centre into a regional centre of excellence, and cooperate and interconnect with other centres to raise nuclear security levels in the region.
OSCAR LEÓN GONZÁLEZ ( Cuba) stressed the important role the IAEA had played in such areas as food security, health, and management of water resources in order to improve the lives on the planet. His delegation also attached great importance to nuclear technological cooperation activities. In 2001, Cuba fulfilled 100 per cent of its financial commitment, and with a project implementation rate of 92 per cent, Cuba continued to increase its contribution in that area through various actions, such as dispatching 44 experts in many missions and holding training programmes and workshops.
He said that the United States was violating the IAEA Statute by imposing economic blockage on Cuba. The sanctions made purchase of some nuclear-related equipment difficult and also made it difficult for Cuban personnel to participate in nuclear technology training courses held in the United States. “This unjust and criminal act must end,” he said. Cuba appreciated the IAEA’s work in the area of nuclear safety, but the primary responsibility to secure nuclear safety rested with States. In that regard, Cuba acted responsibly through such measures as hosting training activities. His delegation was of the view that denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula should be achieved only through diplomacy and peaceful means. Cuba also expressed support for the creation of a nuclear-weapons-free-zone in the Middle East, he said, calling on Israel to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons without delay. Acknowledging efforts made by the Agency and the United Nations in disarmament, he declared that it is a goal that “cannot be postponed”.
KAZUO KODAMA ( Japan) said that one and a half years after the earthquake affecting the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Japan was continuing clean-up efforts, including decontamination of stricken areas. He expressed his gratitude for the support and assistance of the international community. He then noted Japan’s contributions to the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, including sharing lessons learned through two reports made to the Agency, and the organization of the Fukushima Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety in Fukushima Prefecture, co-sponsored by the Agency, to be held in December. It was important for the international community to implement the Action Plan.
Domestically, Japan had created a new, independent regulatory body, he said, that would separate the authorities for regulation and promotion and be responsible for all important regulatory functions. He welcomed the intention of the IAEA’s Director-General to prepare a comprehensive report on the accident and said that Japan would cooperate actively. Further, to strengthen global nuclear security, Japan would continue providing assistance to developing countries and supported the Agency’s efforts to promote the entry-into-force of the amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.
He then stressed the importance of supporting IAEA activities beyond nuclear safety and security, by, among other things, implementing the action plan agreed to at the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference and welcomed efforts by the United States and the Russian Federation towards control and disposal of certain weapons-grade plutonium and operation of IAEA verification. He expected similar efforts from other nuclear weapon States. Further, Japan urged action on the Additional Protocol to IAEA safeguards.
On regional matters, he criticized the uranium enrichment programme of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as a threat to peace and security regionally and globally and said it constituted a clear violation of Security Council resolutions and the Joint Statement of the six-party talks. Iran, too, must take substantive measures to “dissolve the concerns” of the international community and build confidence in its intentions. Japan would continue to act in concert with the international community for peaceful and diplomatic settlement of that issue.
Recalling again last year’s accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, in closing, he said that Japan aimed to have a society that was not dependent on nuclear power by the 2030’s and hoped to provide a model that would demonstrate a good balance between the shift toward green energy and economic growth. Japan would overcome the challenges posed by the accident, “benefitting widely from [the] wisdom of the world” and, with the cooperation of the IAEA and other countries, would be able to secure the confidence of the international community that Japan represented no concern for nuclear non-proliferation.
FARAH HUSSAIN ( Singapore) said that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident had been a “wake-up call” against complacency with regards to the safe operation of nuclear power plants and the effective regulation of the nuclear industry. “It was a painful reminder that safety can never be taken for granted,” she stressed in that regard. The full and effective implementation of the action plan adopted in the aftermath of the accident required the cooperation and commitment of all Member States, the Secretariat and other relevant stakeholders. In that regard, Singapore looked forward to a meaningful and constructive outcome at the upcoming Fukushima Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety, slated to take place in December.
At the same time, while the primary responsibility for nuclear safety rested with individual States, the far-reaching and potentially devastating transboundary impact of a nuclear accident meant that ensuring and strengthening nuclear safety standards were of concern to the international community as a whole, and in particular the IAEA. Singapore also encouraged the Agency to step up its capacity-building cooperation with regional organizations to promote and uphold standards of safety and security. In that regard, she said, good progress had been made on “ASEANTOM”, an initiative by Thailand, to establish a network of nuclear regulatory bodies among South-East Asian countries.
Nuclear non-proliferation remained a core aspect of the IAEA’s mission, she went on. Singapore firmly believed that all States had the right to develop and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. At the same time, the IAEA had the vital task of ensuring that nuclear material and technology meant for peaceful purposes were not diverted for non-civilian uses that could threaten regional and international peace and security. The Agency’s safeguards and verification regimes remained central to multilateral efforts to curb the proliferation of weapons. It was therefore both in the interest and the responsibility of States to comply with those regimes. In that connection, Singapore strongly urged all States that had not done so to accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Agency’s Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocols. “Those States that have done so should fully implement these agreements,” she added.
PAUL SEGER ( Switzerland) welcomed the fact that the Agency’s General Conference had adopted its traditional resolution on safeguards without any opposition. However, the debate surrounding the adoption of that text had highlighted the concerns of some Member States as to the direction taken by the Secretariat on the conceptual development of the safeguards, namely the “State-level” concept. Switzerland fully supported efforts enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of safeguards. In that regard, the delegation believed that increased transparency from the Secretariat on the progress of its work – as well as from Member States on the real content of their concerns – could contribute to overcoming those difficulties.
Switzerland also welcomed the decision of the second Extraordinary Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety, held last August in Vienna, to set up a working group to address the strengthening of the Convention. The delegation was indeed convinced that a credible global nuclear safety regime required a firm commitment by States to conduct periodical reviews and to deal with safety issues in a fully transparent manner. In addition, Switzerland welcomed the decision taken by the Agency to organize a conference on nuclear security in Vienna in July 2013, which would allow for the continuation of discussions already initiated during the last three nuclear security summits.
ANDRIY TSYMBALIUK ( Ukraine) said the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident in 1986 had triggered not only the revision of international nuclear safety standards, but also the creation of numerous international instruments to ensure both the highest level of nuclear, waste and radiation safety worldwide and the relevant system of emergency preparedness and response. In 2011, those instruments had been put to test in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in Japan.
In response to the 2011 IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, Ukraine, like many other countries, had carried out assessments of safety vulnerabilities of all its nuclear power plants, he said. It had joined the European Union stress test exercise and the follow-up peer review process. The national regulator had started a comprehensive review and revision of the nuclear safety regulations. All necessary measures and improvements identified in Ukraine were either in the final implementation phase or had been already implemented.
The developments in Japan had resulted in widespread deliberations about feasibility of nuclear energy as a source of power generation, he noted, reiterating that each country had the right to define its own energy strategy and energy mix. The Agency had a key role to play in assisting countries to ensure that the development and operation of nuclear power proceeded under the most stringent legal, operational, safety, security and non-proliferation conditions. The Parliament of Ukraine had recently approved construction of two new units at the Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant site. Ukraine would use the IAEA’s peer review instruments to achieve the highest possible safety level in the implementation of that project.
EDUARDO JOSE ATIENZA DE VEGA (Philippines) also welcomed the significant progress achieved in the implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety and lauded the combined efforts of the Secretariat and Member States in pursuing concrete initiatives, including stress tests of nuclear power plants, capacity-building measures and enhancing emergency preparedness response measures. Following the Fukushima Daiichi accident, the Philippines had conducted environmental radioactivity monitoring in nine provinces and shared the data collected with the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation.
It was also continuing those monitoring activities through the regional technical cooperation project on “Assessment of the Environmental Impact of the Fukushima Accident in the Asia Pacific Region”, and he welcomed the regional initiative of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to establish the ASEAN Network of Regulatory Bodies on Atomic Energy, which would serve as a forum for the exchange of information on best practices among the nuclear regulatory bodies of its members. It was also expected to enhance cooperation and develop national capacities in nuclear safety, security and safeguards.
He said that the Philippines believed that the IAEA continued to play an important role in helping countries achieve their Millennium Development Goals through its Programme for Technical Cooperation, and other activities. In particular, it welcomed the focus this year on nuclear applications related to food, which were of special importance to the Philippines with its growing population. In that vein, he reviewed developments in his country’s activities related to health, nuclear medicine and water resources. The Philippines also reaffirmed the importance of strengthening the Agency’s activities in addressing the threats posed by nuclear terrorism and illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive material. He said that in January the country had hosted the Third Review Meeting of the Radiological Security Partnerships, and in February 2012 it would host the International Forum on Effective Border Controls: Global Status, which would develop recommendations to strengthen border controls in combating the illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials.
ABDOU SALAM DIALLO ( Senegal) welcomed IAEA efforts in the area of verification of nuclear safety and security, and supported the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and other treaties as well as the creation of nuclear-weapon-free zones. The development of nuclear power could not occur unless safety was ensured to its optimal level, he said. With regard to technical cooperation, he said that peaceful applications of nuclear technology had contributed to socioeconomic development, including the Millennium Development Goals. Technologies, such as knowledge management, had helped Member States to find solutions to socioeconomic challenges, such as determining sources of water pollution more accurately.
He expressed appreciation for the IAEA’s scientific cooperation with Senegal, and he enumerated numerous projects, among them, the provision of a gamma camera for treating diabetes, thyroid disease and cancers. The Agency had also provided support for a project to control tsetse flies on the Atlantic coast north of Dakar, which had made Senegalese research a resource in that field. Reiterating the country’s commitment to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to continuing cooperation with the IAEA, he called for the strengthening of its mandate.
HUSSEIN HANIFF ( Malaysia) said that, like other developing countries, Malaysia supported the peaceful use of nuclear power as a source of energy by Member States. Currently, the country was undertaking an in-depth study on developing a nuclear power programme, including on its legal and regulatory frameworks. The overarching objective of the study was to ensure that the highest standards of nuclear safety and security were observed at all times. In that context, the Fukushima Daiichi incident weighed heavily on Malaysia’s mind, he stressed, adding, “there are certainly valuable lessons to be learned”. Malaysia had consistently held the issue of nuclear security as an inseparable component of nuclear energy. To that end, it had implemented various legal mechanisms and conventions including the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its 2005 Protocol, the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, among others.
Malaysia continued to stress the importance of the IAEA Programme for Technical Cooperation in promoting the peaceful use of nuclear technology. The extension of that Programme should be based upon the needs and requests of Member States, he emphasized, adding that the Programme should also take into account the “evolving requirements” of States, as well as the issue of funding. He recalled that, during the Preparatory Commission meeting for the most recent Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, some States parties had called for the Programme for Technical Cooperation to be supported by the regular budget instead of relying on the Technical Cooperation Fund. Malaysia joined that call and looked forward to further discussions on the matter under the working group for financing the Agency’s activities.
BYRGANYM AITIMOVA ( Kazakhstan) said that her country was a major producer of uranium ore and had fuel fabrication capability to further expand the peaceful uses of nuclear energy within the framework of IAEA safeguards. The Government collaborated with the Russian Federation for making available its uranium for enrichment at the National Centre in Angarsk, Siberia, for use in nuclear power reactors, and also working on the Kurchatov nuclear technology park under the Agency.
She said that Kazakhstan supported the initiative of the Agency to develop a new framework for nuclear energy based on multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle that were non-political and non-discriminatory. Those should be available to all safeguards-complying Member States, so that no country would need to give up its rights under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Her Government had officially confirmed in writing to the Agency to host an IAEA nuclear fuel bank on two of its sites for countries unable to acquire nuclear fuel supply in the market. As soon as the site was determined, steps would be taken to establish the bank.
Kazakhstan last year ratified and acceded to four major conventions of nuclear security, and was reviewing a draft law to accede to the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage. Her Government was decommissioning the BN-350 nuclear reactor, and, with the support of the United States Department of Energy, was converting a second research reactor into one capable of producing radio isotopes from low-enriched uranium.
MOOTAZ AHMADEIN KHALIL ( Egypt) said that, since his country’s transition to a new democratic era resulting from the January 2011 revolution, it would pursue the implementation of a peaceful nuclear programme by establishing its first nuclear power plant for power generation. It looked forward to continued close cooperation with the IAEA in that area, given the growing role of the Agency in support of sustainable development. The Agency’s activities in the field of technical cooperation represented a priority for developing countries, with a view to employing nuclear applications in the fields of health, agriculture, food, water resources, radioactive isotopes, radiation and other technologies contributing to achieving development. Egypt called for an increase in funding for technical cooperation activities, and for balance in funding all the main activities of the Agency. “This would necessitate a substantive increase in the funds available for technical cooperation, to make them comparable to those available for IAEA verification, safety and security activities,” he said.
Any rules or guidelines in the area of nuclear security must be developed and negotiated in multilateral frameworks, he stressed. Measures and initiatives aimed at strengthening nuclear security and safety should not be used as excuses to restrict the inalienable right of developing countries to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, in accordance with the statute of the Agency. Indeed, the role of the Agency in the field of verification and non-proliferation was closely related to its role in promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in support of the development plans of States which fulfilled their obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Agency’s statute.
All countries in the Middle East had joined the comprehensive safeguards system, with the exception of Israel, which remained the only country in the region with “ambiguous activities” that were not subject to international control. Israel continued to ignore international resolutions of the General Assembly and the IAEA General Conference, he said, and urged that country to accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as a non-nuclear weapon State and to subject all its nuclear facilities to comprehensive safeguards. “There is no doubt that situation increases the risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East and prevents the achievement of the goal of a Middle East free of nuclear weapons,” he said in that respect.
VITALY I. CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) giving high marks to the IAEA’s work in strengthening the global non-proliferation regime, singled out the Agency’s “highly efficient” verification mechanism and advocated for universal acceptance of the Additional Protocol to the IAEA safeguards agreement as the standard with regard to nuclear non-proliferation verification. Further, the Russian Federation was an active financial donor to the IAEA, including through voluntary contributions to INPRO and the Fund for Physical Nuclear Security. It also supported technological cooperation.
He enumerated Russia’s priorities for the development of atomic energy as follows: the formulation of a new architecture for nuclear cooperation based on a multilateral approach to the nuclear fuel cycle; guaranteed services with regard to that cycle; and resolving issues of converting spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste. Russia had proposed the development of a global network for atomic energy and the creation of international centres to provide services throughout the fuel cycle, open to any State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. To that end, the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Armenia had established a centre for uranium enrichment in his country and open to all States in compliance with the non-proliferation regime and, under IAEA management, the Russian Federation also had a reserve of low-enriched uranium available to Member States.
He said further that one of the key lessons of the Fukushima accident was that the international legal framework, as well as the technological and organizational aspects of nuclear security, needed improvement. Russia had presented an initiative to fill the gaps in international legal documents on the matter, and had also proposed improvements to the IAEA’s safety norms. It was also crucial to protect nuclear installations and nuclear materials from nuclear terrorism. To that end, among other measures, the Russian Federation and the United States had proposed in 2006 a Global Initiative to combat nuclear terrorism, which now included 85 countries and was an effective instrument for cooperation. He called on States that had not yet done so to join the conventions on the fight against nuclear terrorism and on the physical protection of nuclear material.
JOHANN KELLERMAN ( South Africa) said the IAEA’s support in such areas as food, agriculture, human health, water resource management and the environment was essential to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. The South Africa Government welcomed the publication of training packages for medical physicists in the area of diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine. It also welcomed the Virtual University for Cancer Control and Regional Training Network Africa pilot project, which entered its second year in 2011. As a vehicle and a facilitating mechanism to enhance e-learning education and training in the region, South Africa looked forward to participating in that initiative, which would pave the way for subregional cancer control workforce training hubs.
Global security of energy supply had become a key focus area worldwide, mainly because of decreasing natural resources, global warming, climate change, pollution and rapid global growth, he said. South Africa’s nuclear energy policy was driven by the imperative of ensuring the security of its energy supply, reducing its carbon footprint, as well as the beneficiation of its strategic mineral resources for its economic development. The Government had approved the Integrated Resource Plan 2010-2030, incorporating a significant expansion of nuclear power by 2030. In preparation for its nuclear programme, South Africa had adopted the IAEA “milestones” approach, which addressed many critical elements necessary for successful implementation. South Africa was working closely with the Agency and had requested an Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review Mission. In that context, the Minister of Energy had announced South Africa’s intention to invite the IAEA to conduct an external assessment of its readiness, and to indentify any possible risks that might need attention in order to ensure a successful nuclear programme.
MOHAMMAD KHAZAEE ( Iran) said that “nuclear science is indeed among the greatest achievements of humanity and therefore should be used to serve the well-being of all nations”. Iran considered the inalienable right to develop research on, produce and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination – including the right of each State party to develop, for peaceful purposes, a full national nuclear fuel cycle – as the very foundation and one of the most important pillars of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Iran strongly stressed that exercising that inalienable right, which was also inherited in the sovereignty of States parties, could never be suspended or restricted under any circumstances or pretexts whatsoever. He cited, in that respect, articles 3 and 4 of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, under which the required safeguards would be implemented in a manner that avoided “hampering the economic or technological development of the parties or international cooperation in the field of peaceful nuclear activities”.
Iran underlined the prime responsibility of the Agency to assist Member States and the importance of its statutory functions. In that connection, the delegation stressed the need for strict observance by the Agency of the principles of impartiality and professionalism, and along with the Member States of the Non-Aligned Movement, it strongly rejected “any politically motivated attempts by any State to politicize the work of the IAEA”, including its technical cooperation programme. Iran called for putting an end to any interference in the Agency’s activities, especially its verification process, as such acts could jeopardize the authority, efficiency and credibility of the IAEA and endanger the credibility of the Treaty and the inalienable rights of its parties to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination.
In addition, it was a source of grave concern that those who had chosen not to accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty were - rather than being subjected to pressure to do so - encouraged and generously rewarded. An example was the well-documented assistance and cooperation provided by certain Western countries – in particular the United States and the two nuclear weapon States members of the European Union, the United Kingdom and France – to the Israeli regime, which, in addition to having an unsafeguarded nuclear programme, possessed one of the world’s largest stockpiles of nuclear weapons. Such measures ran counter to the letter and spirit of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and accordingly were clear cases of non-compliance with the explicit legal obligations under the Treaty. “With no doubt, these policies would severely undermine the universality, relevance, integrity and credibility of the [Non-Proliferation Treaty],” he said.
FORTUNA DIBACO CIZARE (Ethiopia), supporting the draft resolution before the Assembly, said: “[T]he work of the IAEA in general and its annual activities as described in the report are of paramount importance to ensure the maintenance of international peace and security.” She also acknowledged its role in ensuring that nuclear science and technology would only be used for peaceful purposes, and its technical cooperation, which brought “tangible progress [to] national efforts to reduce poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals”, noting that Ethiopia was a beneficiary of the Programme for Technical Cooperation in a wide range of areas.
Of greatest priority, she continued, was the effort to eradicate tsetse flies from the Southern Rift Valley areas of Ethiopia, which had been of remarkable benefit to agriculture in the region. She urged the Agency to continue to accord high priority to agriculture and livestock development in Africa, as well as to food security and nuclear energy. Another important area of partnership with the Agency for Ethiopia was the application of nuclear technology for human health, which she hoped would be strengthened. As a founding member of the IAEA, she said Ethiopia would continue to support its activities to execute its global mandate.
KHALIL UR RAHMAN HASHMI (Pakistan), recognizing the important role of the IAEA verification regime, said that his country had fully complied with its obligations in conformity with its safeguards agreements with the Agency, and believed that all States needed to be fully compliant with their obligations and international commitments in order to maintain the credibility of the safeguards regime. Maintaining a balance between the regulatory, promotional and safety functions of the Agency was essential, and the Agency had to be seen by all Member States as an impartial, efficient and professional body.
He said Pakistan was a strong advocate of utilizing nuclear technology for peace, progress and prosperity for all. As the sixth most populous nation in the world, socioeconomic development was a priority for his Government and for over 35 years, the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission had been actively engaged in harnessing its nuclear technology for such development priorities. In the past five decades, the country had sought, in collaboration with the IAEA, to enhance the application of nuclear technology for its people in a variety of ways. Even as it utilized nuclear technology for those diverse purposes, the harnessing of nuclear science for power generation remained a priority, he stressed, noting that three nuclear power plants were already online and had been performing “very well”. The oldest of those had been commissioned in 1972.
Stating that Pakistan had always attached great importance of conducting all its nuclear related work through secure and transparent institutional structures, he pointed out that an independent regulator and licensing body, the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority, had been performing professionally and efficiently for 11 years now, while at the international level, his country had long-standing engagement in IAEA forums. However, he observed that it was a matter of growing concern that even the supply of safety-related equipment had fallen victim to what he described as restrictive and discriminatory export control policies of some states. Nuclear security was both a global challenge and a national responsibility to which Pakistan gave the highest priority in order to ensure a robust security mechanism. Also, the country was implementing a Nuclear Safety Action Plan in cooperation with the IAEA – a plan that had been called a model for other States, he explained.
Concluding, he said the IAEA could play a significant role in “enlarging the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world”, and that the international nuclear watchdog was uniquely placed to meet the needs and challenges of the twenty-first century in a balanced manner. Pakistan believed in an equitable, non-discriminatory and criteria-based approach to advance the universally shared goals of non-proliferation and promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear energy and hoped that consideration of safety and security would facilitate, not hinder, the pursuit of peaceful uses of nuclear energy for promoting the development agenda and offsetting environmental degradation.
SHIN DONG IK ( Republic of Korea) said the IAEA had been successful in implementing the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety. With the full cooperation and participation of Member States, the Agency was incorporating the lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of both the regulatory framework and the operating organizations in the member states of the IAEA. In March 2012, the Republic of Korea hosted the second Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, which had resulted in comprehensive agreed measures for action to prevent nuclear and radiological terrorism, including: eliminating and reducing nuclear materials; encouraging wider adherence to international instruments; and combating the illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological materials.
In early September, the Director-General released an updated report on the application of safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. That nation’s nuclear programme was a matter of serious concern and statements by its delegation about uranium enrichment activities and the construction of a light water reactor continued to be “deeply troubling”. He said that his Government was of the view that such activities were a clear breach of Security Council resolutions 1718 (2006) and 1874 (2009), and he urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to comply fully with its obligations under those texts. He also recalled the resolution on implementation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons safeguards agreement between the Agency and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea adopted by consensus at the IAEA General Conference this year. That resolution reaffirmed the consensus of the international community that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea could not have the status of a nuclear weapon State and underlined concern about that country’s August 2012 statement announcing its intent to totally re-examine its nuclear policy.
ADAM A.M. TARBAH ( Libya) supported efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons and to ensure the use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Such efforts highlighted the importance of the IAEA’s technical assistance, particularly for developing countries. He also stressed that all States had equal rights to acquire nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Commending the work of the Agency in the supervision of nuclear security, he called on the IAEA to place more pressure on Israel in that regard. Libya was committed to working with the Agency in a transparent fashion.
Action on Draft
The General Assembly adopted, without a vote, the draft resolution on the report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (document A/67/L.3).
Speaking in explanation of position before the action, the representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea described the report of the IAEA as “far from” being correct and true and failing to cover the fundamental issues on the Korean Peninsula. He said the Agency had “no power” to intervene in the nuclear issue in his country because the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was neither a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons nor a member State of the IAEA. His country had severed all contacts with the Agency in the early 1990s. The Agency followed the lead of a politically motivated country, namely the United States, and thus had lost its impartiality as an international organization.
The Korean Peninsula was on the brink of war because of the United States’ hostile policy against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The Agency produced language that described his nation’s uranium enrichment activities and the construction of a light water reactor as “deeply troubling”, which did not make sense. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea “is a full-fledged, modern nuclear weapon State”, he declared. As far as fundamental essence of the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula was concerned, it was a product of deep-rooted hostile policy of the United States towards his country. It would never be addressed unless the United States fundamentally removed its policy of nuclear threats against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s sovereignty and right to existence, characterized by the designation of his country among the “axis of evil”. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had no choice but to have
nuclear weapons under the hostile policy of the United States aimed at eliminating it. Our nuclear deterrent is to defend ourselves and to safeguard the sovereignty of the country and the right to existence of the entire Korean nation in response to United States hostilities.
Right of Reply
After the adoption of the draft resolution, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s delegate took the floor again, exercising the right of reply.
Responding to the Japanese representative, who described the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as “a threat to Asia”, he totally rejected such a perception. Calling Japan “the source of the threat”, he said Japan had the capability to assemble nuclear weapons and had made a secret agreement in 1960 with the United States to bring in nuclear weapons. Its three non-nuclear principles were false, he said. On remarks made by the delegate of the Republic of Korea, he said his country had the right to claim the status of a nuclear weapon State.
Responding to the remarks made by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s delegate, Japan’s representative said Japan’s adherence to the three non-nuclear principles remained unchanged and its determination to create a nuclear-weapon-free world was unshaken. Japan’s ballistic missile system was purely for defence and did not target any particular country. Japan’s use of nuclear energy had been confirmed by the IAEA as in compliance and peaceful.
Taking the floor again, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s delegate refuted Japan’s statement as a “political cover-up” and that the country’s territorial claims over disputed islands were evidence of its “expansionism and militarism”.
Japan’s delegate said he would not repeat what he had just said but would reserve the right to refute other “groundless allegations” made by the representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at an appropriate occasion.
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