Nuclear Technology Vital for Cost-Effective Energy Sources, Achievement of Millennium Development Goals, Delegates Tell General Assembly
Nuclear Technology Vital for Cost-Effective Energy Sources, Achievement of Millennium Development Goals, Delegates Tell General Assembly
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-eighth General Assembly
43rd Meeting (AM)
Nuclear Technology Vital for Cost-Effective Energy Sources, Achievement
of Millennium Development Goals, Delegates Tell General Assembly
Weighing Atomic Energy Agency’s Report,
Speakers Express Concern over Nuclear Terrorism
Nuclear technology was fuelling countries’ efforts towards harnessing clean, cost-effective energy sources to help them in meeting the Millennium Development Goals, delegates in the General Assembly heard during the start of a two-day debate on the latest report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
From cancer diagnosis and treatment to enhancing food security and managing water shortages, modern science and technology was essential for achieving all of the Millennium targets, Yukiya Amano, IAEA Director General, said when introducing the Agency’s 2012 report.
A total of 125 States were benefitting from IAEA programmes and it was clear that nuclear technology was an efficient development tool for countries, said Viet Nam’s representative, when he introduced a draft resolution on the IAEA report that the Assembly would take action on Wednesday.
Delegates overwhelmingly commended the Agency for its work in development as well as in safety, security and verification, with many speakers emphasizing its central role in monitoring and regulating the world’s use of nuclear energy. A representative of the Philippines hailed the Agency’s help in developing technology that would halve the number of hospital procedures by providing timely testing and diagnosis. A parliamentarian from Indonesia said nuclear technology was part of its national development plan. Other speakers, including Egypt’s representative, hailed nuclear energy as an affordable solution to energy shortages.
A number of speakers looked to the future landscape of safety and security along with national contributions in the spirit of regional and global cooperation. The representative of the Russian Federation suggested a global infrastructure to oversee large-scale nuclear energy projects, noting his country’s launch of a fuel cycle service centre. China’s delegate announced the construction of the Nuclear Safety Demonstration Centre in Beijing, which would serve as a training and exchange platform for Asia and the Pacific.
Still, concerns remained over non-compliant States, ensuring the protection of nuclear technology, and the delayed 2012 conference on establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. On the latter issue, a number of States called on the Secretary-General to urge organizers to convene a conference as soon as possible.
Some speakers cautioned that responsible national action and effective international cooperation were needed to strengthen nuclear security to prevent vulnerable nuclear material from falling into the hands of non-State actors. A parliamentarian from India said nuclear terrorism was one of the pressing challenges facing the international community.
At the start of the meeting, delegates adopted unanimously a draft decision on the general debate of the Assembly’s sixty-ninth regular session, by which they decided that the session shall begin on 24 September, and that this arrangement would in no way create a precedent for future Assembly sessions.
Also delivering statements were representatives of the European Union, Brazil, Ukraine, Belarus, Libya, Cuba, Singapore, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Sudan, Switzerland and Malaysia.
The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea delivered a statement in exercise of the right of reply.
The General Assembly will meet again on Wednesday, 6 November at 10 a.m. to consider a draft resolution entitled “sport for peace and development: building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal” and at 3:30 p.m. to continue its debate on IAEA.
The General Assembly met this morning to consider a note by the Secretary-General (document A/68/324) transmitting the Fifty-seventh report of the International Atomic Energy Agency for the calendar year 2012 (GC/(57)/3), and take up a draft resolution on the Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (document A/68/L.10), by which it would take note with appreciation of the IAEA’s report, reaffirm its strong support for the Agency’s indispensable role in encouraging and aiding the development and practical application of atomic energy for peaceful uses in technology transfer to developing countries and in nuclear safety, verification and security, as well as appeal to Member States to continue to support IAEA’s activities.
The Assembly would also consider a draft decision on the General debate of the sixty-ninth regular session of the General Assembly (document A/68/L.9), by which it would decide that session shall begin on Wednesday, 24 September 2014, and that this arrangement would in no way create a precedent for future Assembly session.
Action on Draft Decision
At the outset of the meeting, the Assembly adopted unanimously the draft decision on the general debate of the Assembly’s sixty-ninth regular session (document A/68/L.9).
Introduction of IAEA Report and Draft Resolution
YUKIYA AMANO, IAEA Director General, introduced the Agency’s 2012 report (document A/68/324) and said that modern science and technology was essential for achieving all of the Millennium Development Goals. With this in mind, the Agency gave high priority to assisting developing countries in using nuclear technology in the areas of health, food and agriculture and water management, making a unique and lasting contribution to achieving those Goals. Health and nutrition made up the largest proportion of Agency spending on technical cooperation. Providing an overview of projects, he highlighted efforts in treating and diagnosing cancer, sterilizing tsetse flies to combat parasitic disease and tackling water shortages and the acidification of oceans.
Turning to nuclear safety and security, he said the Agency was assisting Japan in dealing with the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi accident. Steady progress was also being made on implementing IAEA’s Action Plan on Nuclear Safety. At the Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the Twenty-first Century held in the Russian Federation in June, one of the key messages was that for many countries, nuclear power would play an important role in achieving energy security and sustainable development goals. IAEA had a unique role in assisting Governments, operators and regulators in understanding their international obligations and national responsibilities concerning nuclear power, as well as in adopting international standards and best practices.
He encouraged countries to address an important area of unfinished business in nuclear security: the ratification of the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, which would expand coverage of the instrument to include the protection of material in domestic use, storage and transport, and the protection of nuclear facilities against sabotage.
Turning to verification activities, he said IAEA’s safeguards agreements were now in force in 181 States, but 12 non-nuclear-weapon States had yet to meet their obligation under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and he urged them to conclude agreements as soon as possible.
Providing an overview of the situations in Iran, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Syria, he presented the Agency’s conclusions. The Agency was unable to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran was used in peaceful activities. Iran had presented a new proposal on practical measures and dialogue to find a solution to outstanding issues; a meeting on that would take place next week in Tehran.
He remained concerned about the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, saying it was “deeply regrettable” that the country had announced a third nuclear test and its intention to restart activities at Yongbyon. The Agency had been unable to implement any verification measures since April 2009. He called upon the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to fully comply with its obligations under relevant Security Council resolutions. The Agency had not received any information from Syria about the Dair Alzour site and called on that country to cooperate fully with the Agency in connection with unresolved issues.
He said 8 December marked 60 years since then United States President Dwight Eisenhower gave his historic “Atoms for Peace” speech to the Assembly, calling for the establishment of an international atomic energy agency to put nuclear material to use to “serve the peaceful pursuits of mankind”. Since its inception in 1957, the Agency had worked hard to bring those benefits to all parts of the globe and to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. “The world has changed enormously in that time,” he said. “But the ‘Atoms for Peace’ mission has lost none of its relevance. The Agency has successfully adapted to changing times and the evolving needs of Member States.”
He looked forward, through his second term as Director General, to ensure that the Agency was an effective, well-managed technical organization that delivered results that made a real difference for Member States.
LE HOAI TRUNG ( Viet Nam) then introduced the draft resolution on the IAEA report (document A/68/L.10) saying that the Agency’s activities showed its important role in providing technical assistance to States. A total of 125 States benefited from IAEA programmes and it was clear that nuclear technology was an efficient tool to help countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals. “We are confident that the IAEA will continue to play a leading role in shaping a safer nuclear future in the world,” he said.
Highlighting aspects of the draft resolution, he said it contained technical updates from last year’s text. This year’s text took note of the Agency’s 2012 report and reaffirmed the strong support of the Assembly for the indispensable role of the Agency in encouraging and assisting the practical application of atomic energy for peaceful uses, verification and security.
SHATRUGHAN SINHA, Member of Parliament of India, noted with satisfaction the world nuclear community’s noteworthy progress in strengthening nuclear safety in 2012. India was committed to implement the highest standards for the safety of its nuclear power plants and their associated fuel cycle facilities. India’s nuclear power programme was oriented toward maximising the energy potential of available uranium resources and utilizing the country’s large thorium reserve. The latter was widely viewed as the “fuel of the future”. India had been associated with International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles —a programme that helped Member States develop and deploy sustainable nuclear energy systems — since the programme’s inception and had contributed to its progress. India was also extensively engaged in developing nuclear technologies in diverse fields, including isotope applications for improved crop varieties, crop protection and post-harvest technologies, radio-isotope applications for diagnostic and therapeutic uses in health care, and technologies for safe drinking water, among others. He commended IAEA’s contributions to nuclear applications in food and agriculture, human health and nutrition, water resources management, and protection of the environment and industry.
Nuclear terrorism was one of the pressing challenges facing the international community, he said. Responsible national action and effective international cooperation were needed to strengthen nuclear security to prevent vulnerable nuclear material from falling into the hands of non-State actors. India had consistently supported the Agency’s important role in facilitating efforts toward those ends.. At the Nuclear Security Summit held in Seoul in April 2012, India reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the Agency’s activities in the area of nuclear security and announced a $1 million contribution to its Nuclear Security Fund. Universal adherence to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials and early entry into force of its 2005 amendment would go a long way in strengthening global efforts in nuclear security. India was party to that Convention and had ratified its amendment. He encouraged the Agency to continue its efforts to promote early entry into force of the amendment.
HUSNAN BEY FANANIE, Member of Parliament of Indonesia, said that nuclear technology was a valuable tool in addressing many aspects of his country’s national development programmes, particularly in the areas of health, food and agriculture, water resources management, environmental protection and industry. For example, in order to ensure food security and improve people’s livelihood, Indonesia had been applying radiation-induced mutation and other nuclear and isotopic techniques to increase crop quality and productivity. Indonesia was resolved to harness nuclear energy as part of the national energy mix policy to secure the energy supply. It intended to introduce nuclear power plants for that purpose. The IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme was indispensible as the Agency’s main vehicle for promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear technology, particularly in developing countries. He appreciated IAEA’s activities to verify that States were fully complying with their non-proliferation obligations, and to confirm that nuclear material was being used for peaceful purpose. While the primary responsibilities for nuclear safety and security rested with each State, IAEA had an important role. Global cooperation and coordination were also crucial.
THOMAS MAYR-HARTING, Head of the European Union delegation, said universalizing the Non-Proliferation Treaty was of utmost importance. He called on States that had not yet done so to join the Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon States. The European Union was committed to establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East and was disappointed in the postponement of the 2012 conference on that issue. He called on all States in the region to urgently and proactively engage with the meeting’s facilitator and conveners to schedule the event soon. He was also concerned about the non-proliferation challenges posed by Iran, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Syria, and stressed that the Security Council had a mandate to take appropriate action in the event of non-compliance with NPT obligations.
For its part, the European Union encouraged IAEA member States to implement the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety and actively supported Council resolutions 1540 (2004) on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and 1887 (2009) on preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction. The European Union had, among other things, dedicated €260 million to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear risk mitigation and €30 million in voluntary contributions for nuclear security activities in 100 countries. “Effective physical protection is of the utmost importance to prevent nuclear material from falling into the hands of terrorists and to protect nuclear facilities against unauthorized use and malicious acts,” he said, urging all States that had not yet done so to become party to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its 2005 amendment. In support of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the European Union had allocated €560 million between 2007 and 2013 to promote nuclear safety, radiation protection and the application of safeguards.
VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said his country hoped the Agency would step up efforts to strengthen the global non-proliferation regime. Since the June conference in his country, he was satisfied that participants had concluded that nuclear energy was a safe option to help countries achieve international development goals. He supported the adoption of the Additional Protocol on safeguards and, called for a global infrastructure to oversee the large-scale development of nuclear energy. The Russian Federation had come up with a proposal for the fuel cycle services and launched a service centre. Safety surpassed all concerns, he said, and the international legal framework should be enhanced. His country had suggested improvements in the Agency’s safeguards. The Russian Federation was a co-sponsor of the draft resolution on the IAEA report and supported the Agency’s activities.
GUILHERME DE AGUIAR PATRIOTA ( Brazil) said his country had supported the Agency’s efforts to promote more efficient and effective safeguards, in strict accordance with the relevant agreements entered into by Member States with the Agency. Brazil expected the Director General’s supplementary report to be circulated as soon as possible in time for Member States to review it properly and for the Board’s consideration and action at its next June session. Regarding the first report on the “State-level Concept”, Brazil was concerned with the possible use of sensitive information, including information coming from open sources and third parties, for the purposes of safeguard implementation. It believed the handling of information deserved a broader debate and the Agency needed to revise existing rules and procedures to ensure the protection of information. Brazil also was dissatisfied with the persistent imbalances and double standards within the nuclear non-proliferation regime. As a key implementing tool of the regime, IAEA had to be in line with other international initiatives to promote equitable and full implementation of the mutually reinforcing goals of nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear disarmament.
WANG MIN ( China) said the Fukushima accident sounded alarm bells for nuclear safety and he urged Japan to spare no effort in providing information to the international community. Since his country was a major energy consumer, the Government supported developing nuclear power with a “safety first” principle. As a result, China had improved relevant laws and regulations, stepped up infrastructure development and established a system for nuclear safety. In addition, the Nuclear Safety Demonstration Centre in Beijing was being built, serving as a training and exchange platform for Asia and the Pacific. He expressed hope that IAEA would focus its future work on promoting the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, providing support and assistance to developing countries through technical cooperation, making safeguards more effective and playing a constructive role in addressing regional issues and contributing to the settlement of relevant issues through dialogue.
SERGIY KYSLYTSYA ( Ukraine) said the elimination of the consequences of the Chernobyl accident was a priority for the Ukraine Government, which reiterated its gratitude to the international community for its support in dealing with the catastrophe. The construction of a new safe confinement structure over the destroyed Unit 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was to be completed in 2015. Ukraine believed the Agency’s system of safeguards was a fundamental component of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and that the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol made up the current best verification standard. The Protocol had been in force in Ukraine since 2006. Last year Ukraine successfully started implementing the IAEA integrated safeguards. In addition, Ukraine had always strongly supported the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme, which was an important statutory function of the Agency and the cornerstone of international cooperation for peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Fair access to Technical Cooperation funds and the predictable funding of these programmes was important. To maximize the socio-economic impact of these projects, it was crucial for IAEA to expand its partnerships with other international organizations.
EVGENY LAZAREV ( Belarus) said his country attached great importance to the peaceful use of nuclear technology. Yesterday, the President had signed a decree authorizing the construction of Belarus' first nuclear power plant. Belarus was committed to undertaking its nuclear development in strict compliance with the Agency’s standards. As an active participant of the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme, his country stressed the importance of ensuring the Programme had sufficient funding. Belarus had also cooperated with IAEA missions aimed at assisting its nuclear development and strengthening its nuclear safety, and had been implementing the recommendations of Agency experts. Furthermore, his country had been cooperating with the Agency to address the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear accident, including by implementing the United Nations Chernobyl Action Plan. Stressing the importance of nuclear safety, he called on the Agency to continue to play a central role in promoting international cooperation in that regard.
IBRAHIM O. A. DABBASHI( Libya) said promoting partnerships between the Agency and Member States, especially in technical cooperation and capacity building, would reflect positively on areas such as health services. His country had benefitted from the Agency’s assistance in health and water management and was committed to focusing on quality as a priority for all projects. He commended the Agency’s measures to foster international cooperation on safety. Libya had set up an office for nuclear supervision and a committee on emergency preparedness. Libya was also drafting a law on safety and was examining issues for water management and desalinization. NPT States parties had an inalienable right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. IAEA played a central role in monitoring and verification and in providing technical assistance to developing countries. The international community must urge Israel to accede to the NPT. More nuclear-weapon-free zones were needed. He called on the Secretary-General and other parties organizing such a zone in the Middle East to shoulder their responsibility and bolster efforts to hold the conference as soon as possible.
YADIRA LEDESMA HERNÁNDEZ( Cuba) said nuclear applications in health and water resource management were important. The Agency’s Director General had visited Cuba last month, where he had witnessed progress in nuclear technology, including medical diagnosis, research and development activities. Technical cooperation with the Agency promoted nuclear technology in developing countries. Cuba had participated in technical cooperation and meetings with other countries. The United States blockade affected the Agency’s activities in her country. By prohibiting the sale of relevant technology to Cuba, it hampered efforts to treat and diagnose cancer. States had an important responsibility concerning nuclear safety. Activities in the field of safeguards were the responsibility of IAEA, not the Council and its relevant resolutions. The right of all States to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes must be respected. She supported the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. Israel must join the NPT without conditions. It was disturbing that the conference to establish such a zone in the region was postponed, she said, calling for it to take place before year’s end.
MOOTAZ AHMADEIN KHALIL ( Egypt) said priority should be given to the Agency’s technical cooperation activities to enable developing countries to benefit from the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Regarding safety, the primary responsibility rested with the State in question. Initiatives aimed at enhancing security and safety should not be used as a pretext for restricting the right of countries to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The rights of using nuclear energy were anchored in the NPT, which lacked universality in the Middle East. All States in the Middle East expected Israel to apply comprehensive safeguards. After the postponement of the conference on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region, Egypt announced during the current Assembly session an initiative to facilitate creation of such a zone, which would enhance the Agency’s verification activities. As coordinator of the New Agenda Coalition, Egypt had tabled the annual resolution titled “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world” (document A/C.1/68/L.18), which was adopted last week by the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security). Egypt renewed its determination to intensify cooperation with IAEA, with the aim of strengthening its national capacity in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear technology.
LIM PEI SHAN ( Singapore) said her country was committed to non-proliferation and urged the international community not to forget that disarmament was one of its three pillars. The goal of global nuclear disarmament would remain elusive if States with nuclear weapons did not take concrete steps to implement Article VI of the NPT. Progress in nuclear disarmament was crucial as the 2015 NPT Review Conference approached. Singapore strongly supported the creation of nuclear-weapon-free zones as a way to build confidence and sought to preserve Southeast Asia as a region free of nuclear weapons. It called on States with nuclear weapons to accede to the Protocol of the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone Treaty as early as possible, without reservations. Singapore encouraged the Agency’s cooperation with regional organizations to promote its standards on nuclear safety and security and welcomed developments concerning the creation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Network of Nuclear Regulatory Bodies or Relevant Authorities. This initiative by Thailand aimed to enhance regulatory cooperation within the ASEAN community. With Brunei Darussalam’s recent entry into the IAEA in September 2013, all 10 ASEAN nations were now Agency members. She hoped this would forge stronger cooperation between the two groups.
MASOOD KHAN ( Pakistan) shared the Agency’s assessment that nuclear energy would continue to be one of the preferred sources of viable, safe and sustainable alternative energy in the future, despite the justifiable public anxiety arising in the wake of the Fukushima accident. In the past five decades, Pakistan had sought to harness nuclear technology for national development priorities in a variety of ways and in collaboration with the Agency. Three nuclear power plants were already online, with two more under construction. All nuclear power plants were built in line with IAEA safeguards. His country had also been an active participant of the Nuclear Security Summit process and called for broadening the base of that process to make it more inclusive and representative. It had established extensive measures to ensure the safety and security of nuclear materials and installations. His country actively worked with the international community on nuclear security, and had fully complied with its obligations pursuant to the safeguards agreements with the Agency. He believed in an equitable, non-discriminatory and criteria-based approach to advance the universally shared goal of non-proliferation and promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear energy. He expressed hope that considerations of safety and security would facilitate, not hinder, the pursuit of peaceful uses of nuclear energy for promoting the development agenda, improving human lives and mitigating the adverse impact of climate change.
SUL KYUNG-HOON ( Republic of Korea) said the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant remained a source of serious concern, especially to adjacent countries, because of the spillage of contaminated water into the sea and the effect it could have on the marine environment. He urged the Agency to further strengthen its cooperation with Japan, with a view to providing necessary assistance. The Nuclear Security Summit continued to consolidate strong political will at the highest level to advance nuclear security across the globe, and the Agency had an essential role in translating that political momentum into concrete actions. Turning to safeguard-related issues, he said it was deeply regrettable that several cases of non-compliance were still on the Agency’s agenda after many years of concerted efforts to resolve them, in particular, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran and Syria. Of particular concern to his delegation were the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s ongoing nuclear activities. He strongly urged that country to fully comply with its obligations under all relevant Council resolutions, the Charter and the Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks. The Agency’s monitoring and verification role had been and would be an essential part of the denuclearization process in that country. The Republic of Korea looked forward to closer cooperation with the Agency and the international community in that regard.
MUSTAFA ELHOSSEIN ELSHAREEF( Sudan) said the Agency had a growing role in the field of cooperation. His country appreciated the use of nuclear technology for food security, managing insects and water management. Improving cooperation with the Agency, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) was increasingly important. Those and related activities would help many countries’ efforts towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. There was a need for States to refrain from interfering with the Agency. He called for dialogue and negotiation to resolve outstanding issues with some States. All regions should be able to declare nuclear-weapon-free zones, and he was gravely concerned that the Middle East was not close to achieving that goal because of Israel’s opposition and its refusal to subject its facilities to the IAEA. He hoped the Agency would continue to support States pursuing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes to, among other things, solve countries’ energy shortages.
EDUARDO JOSE DE VEGA (Philippines) said his country welcomed the recent adoption by consensus of the draft resolution on the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (document A/C.1/68/L.39/Rev.1) and called on the Secretary-General and the international community to exert utmost efforts to convene as soon as possible a conference to establish such a zone in the Middle East. Regarding safety, his country was discussing an emergency preparedness and response plan and had hosted regional meetings and workshops. Nuclear security was critically important; it enabled rather than constrained the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Commending the Agency for its cooperation efforts, he said IAEA continued to play an important role in helping countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Recognizing the role of science and technology in meeting the Goals in the Philippines, he said his country, with IAEA assistance, had established a Technetium-99 generator facility for testing, which would lead to a 50 per cent reduction in hospital procedures. The Agency was confronted with many challenges and issues complicated by political realities. “We cannot allow our gains to be eroded by those challenges,” he said.
THOMAS GURBER ( Switzerland) said three main challenges faced IAEA. The first was the Agency’s need to reinforce its coordinating role among various international fora dealing with nuclear security. A second important challenge was the IAEA Secretariat’s report on the so-called “State-level Concept”. Switzerland favored any effort to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the safeguards and supported the conceptual work of the Secretariat by organizing various seminars. The successful resolution of negotiations on the Iranian nuclear issue would help enhance the Agency’s role in the global fight against nuclear proliferation. Switzerland, which had hosted the last two meetings between Iran and the E3/EU+3, would support any diplomatic approach to this issue.
HUSSEIN HANIFF (Malaysia) said the sovereign right to use nuclear energy went along with the obligation to ensure its use in a safe, secure and peaceful manner. Malaysia was improving its regulatory framework and revising relevant legislation in order to enact a comprehensive nuclear law. This law would incorporate provisions for nuclear safety, security and safeguards and allow the ratification of relevant international nuclear instruments, including on nuclear liability. Malaysia recognized the importance of regional cooperation in nuclear regulatory control and was working with its ASEAN neighbours to establish the ASEAN Network of Nuclear Regulatory Bodies or Relevant Authorities. It hoped these efforts would preserve Southeast Asia as a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone. Malaysia had always called for nuclear safety to be addressed in a multilateral environment and according to internationally approved standards in which IAEA played a central role. Malaysia had established a national nuclear security regime and strengthened its nuclear security infrastructure, particularly its detection capabilities in major ports of entry and along international borders. It also had developed standard operating procedures and a coordination system for various Ministries and enforcement agencies. It was ready to share its experience in setting up a national nuclear security regime with other States.
Right of Reply
The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in exercising the right of reply, said his delegation would like to clarify its position regarding three issues raised by the representative of the Republic of Korea. First, the successful carrying out of the third nuclear test by his country was in response to the infringement upon the sovereignty and dignity of the country and its people. His country had successfully launched satellites two times last year. Such launches were conducted in the most transparent manner, and followed international procedures. Despite those transparent and legitimate activities of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the United States had questioned the country’s peaceful launch and brought the matter to the Council. Last year alone, over 50 satellites had been launched by a number of countries, including the Republic of Korea and Japan, but none of them had been questioned and the Council had remained silent. That was a typical double standard. Therefore, in response to that “violent, rampant violation” of its sovereignty, dignity and national pride of its people, his country had no other option but to conduct the third nuclear test.
Second, regarding the Republic of Korea’s reference to the Council resolution, he said it was the result of political manipulation by one of its permanent members and his delegation totally rejected it. Third, the Republic of Korea had referred to the abandonment of his country’s nuclear weapons on a unilateral basis under the terms of the Six-Party talks. He said that representative should carefully study the 19 September Joint Statement under that framework, which clearly stipulated the commitments of the key players, including the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the United States. His country had committed to not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons, but the United States had not honoured any single commitment under that Joint Statement. The reality in the Korean peninsula was created by the United States. That country should take the lead and his country would then follow.
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