General Assembly Adopts Resolutions Supporting Atomic Energy Agency’s Work on Nuclear Safety, Urging Member States to Observe Olympic Truce
General Assembly Adopts Resolutions Supporting Atomic Energy Agency’s Work on Nuclear Safety, Urging Member States to Observe Olympic Truce
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-eighth General Assembly
44th & 45th Meetings (AM & PM)
General Assembly Adopts Resolutions Supporting Atomic Energy Agency’s Work
on Nuclear Safety, Urging Member States to Observe Olympic Truce
The General Assembly today unanimously adopted two draft resolutions: one on the 2012 report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and another regarding sports and peace and development.
By the terms of the first text, the Assembly reaffirmed its strong support for IAEA’s indispensable role in encouraging and aiding the development and practical application of atomic energy for peaceful uses, including in transferring technology to developing countries and in nuclear safety, verification and security. The Assembly also appealed to Member States to continue to support the Agency’s activities.
Before action on that text, some speakers said that protecting and ensuring safe and secure practices at nuclear facilities must be a priority as more countries than ever before were using the technology to solve energy shortages. South Africa’s representative applauded the Agency’s move, in response to the Fukushima nuclear accident, to adopt the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, a blueprint for strengthening nuclear safety worldwide.
Tantamount to safety was the implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism to prevent nuclear weapons or sensitive nuclear materials from falling into the wrong hands, Norway’s representative said, also calling on all States to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The Agency, however, needed sufficient resources to keep its safeguards capabilities strong and independent, and it must evolve to meet new challenges and technologies, he said, hailing its contribution in setting up a fuel bank in Kazakhstan.
By the draft text on sports and peace and development, the Assembly urged Member States to observe the Olympic Truce within the framework of the United Nations Charter, during the period from the seventh day before the start of the Olympic Winter Games until the seventh day following the end of the Paralympic Winter Games, to be held in Sochi, Russian Federation in February and March 2014, respectively. The Assembly also called upon all Member States to cooperate with the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee in their efforts to use sport as a tool to promote peace, dialogue and reconciliation in areas of conflict during and beyond the period of the Games.
Before adoption of that text, Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, said thousands of years ago in ancient Greece, the Olympic Truce ensured a halt to hostilities between Greece’s three city-states before, during and after the Games. Sport was the only area of human existence whose rules were recognized worldwide and were based on a common global ethic of fair play, tolerance and friendship. To spread those values, sport must enjoy a responsible autonomy respected by politics. As that was not understood in all Member States, he asked delegates to take the message back to their countries.
In introducing that draft resolution, Dmitry Chernyshenko, President of the Organizing Committee for the upcoming Games in Sochi, hoped the events would foster sustainable positive changes. Alluding to future possibilities, he said that on Thursday, the Olympic torch would be launched into outer space on board the International Space Station and for the first time carried in a spacewalk, which illustrated that there were truly no limits for human potential.
Parliamentarians from India and Indonesia also delivered statements today.
Also speaking were representatives of Monaco, Tunisia, Cuba, Greece, Kuwait, Singapore, United States, Zambia, Malaysia, Israel, Japan, Ethiopia, Lithuania (on behalf of the European Union), Italy, Belarus, Ukraine, Australia, Sudan, Georgia, Brazil, Iran, Australia, Kazakhstan, Jamaica, Syria and Japan.
Exercising the right of reply, representatives of the Russian Federation and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea also spoke.
The General Assembly will meet again at 10 a.m., on Thursday, 7 November to consider the Secretary-General’s notification under Article 12, paragraph 2, of the Charter of the United Nations and to hold a joint debate on the question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and related matters.
The General Assembly met this morning to consider the topic “sport for peace and development: building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal” and had before it a draft resolution (document A/68/L.8) of the same name. In the afternoon, the Assembly would continue its debate on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and take action on a draft resolution on the Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (document A/68/324).
Sport for Peace and Development
DMITRY CHERNYSHENKO ( Russian Federation), President of the Organizing Committee for the XXII Olympic Winter Games and the XI Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi in 2014, introduced a draft resolution on Sport for peace and development (document A/68/L.8). The draft text had been inspired by ancient Greek traditions and, among other things, called upon States to cooperate with the Olympic committees to use sports as a tool for reconciliation.
The Olympic Games in Sochi would hopefully bring about sustainable positive changes, he said, noting that in recent years, the city had become a forum for strengthening peace, including playing host to a 2012 forum on sports for peace, with delegates from 90 countries participating. Tomorrow, the Olympic torch would be launched into outer space on board the International Space Station and for the first time carried in a spacewalk. The torch in space illustrated that there were no limits for human potential, he said, asking that all delegates supported the draft resolution.
RAJKUMARI RATNA SINGH, Member of Parliament of India, said that sports and physical activities had been an integral part of her country’s civilization, through the practice of yoga and its highly evolved system of physical, mental and spiritual regimen. In addition, India had a range of highly developed indigenous games and martial arts. Sport was also the most effective tool to help achieve development objectives in the areas of health, education, and child development. She appreciated the work of the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace, and the Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, for bringing the worlds of sport and development closer together. Efforts should continue to focus on sport for development, and to make it firmly rooted in the United Nations System. She also welcomed the work of the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympics Committee in promoting and strengthening a culture of peace, based on the spirit of the Olympic Truce.
CHANDRA TIRTA WIJAYA, Member of Parliament of Indonesia, said the adoption of the resolution demonstrated the recognition by Member States on the unique potential of sport to promote peace and development, as well as the valuable contribution of sport in creating an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding among people and nations. With its power to attract, inspire and mobilize people, sports could be an effective tool to convey crucial messages on matters related to education, health, gender equality, peacebuilding and conflict prevention, post-disaster relief, economic development, as well as issues related to the environment, to name a few. In the final push to achieve the Millennium Development Goals before the 2015 deadline, sport could play an important role to generate broad, inclusive and committed action, and to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people. As highlighted by the resolution, he underscored the importance of partnerships among related stakeholders to promote and strengthen a culture of peace based on the spirit of sport and the Olympic Truce.
ISABELLE F. PICCO ( Monaco) said 25 years ago, the General Assembly adopted for the first time a resolution on respect for the Olympic Truce. Since then, partnerships had been strengthened, with the General Assembly, in 2009, giving the International Olympic Committee observer status at the United Nations. Promoting peace, tolerance and mutual respect were values supported by the Olympic Truce.
MOHAMMED K. KHIARI ( Tunisia) said sport showed how peace could be strengthened, including through social and economic integration at all levels and the development of friendship through tolerance. Sport not only brought people together, it increased solidarity between them, as well. He supported the draft text, which represented those ideals. He was also pleased that this year the General Assembly had designated 6 April as the International Day for Sport for Development and Peace.
RODOLFO REYES RODRÍGUEZ (Cuba), highlighting the important aspect of sport in development, said it also strengthened friendship between people and cooperation between nations. Physical education was an integral part of Cuba’s educational system. As a result of his country’s promotion of sport, Cuban players had excelled in regional and international competitions. Cuba had ranked, in medals, sixteenth at the 2012 London Olympic Games and fifteenth at the Paralympics Games. His country had also transferred new training methods to many developing countries and had contributed to the fight against doping. Congratulating the cities of Sochi and Rio de Janeiro on hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics and 2016 Summer Olympics respectively, he said the choices of the International Olympic Committee reflected the recognition of the two cities’ efforts and success in development. Expressing regret that a large amount of money was wasted on armament, he said much more could be done to promote sport and all that was needed was political will.
MICHEL SPINELLIS ( Greece) said that, dating back to the eighth century, B.C., the ancient Olympic Games were meant to be a force for peace and solidarity among ancient Greek city-states. The concept of the Olympic Truce had been carried out for a period of 1200 years. Greeks had seen in the Games a chance to replace conflict with friendly competition. That was of great importance to Pierre de Coubertin, who had revived the Olympic Games as a firm believer of their potential to advance international understanding and promote world peace. That initiative had paved the way to the embodiment of the ideal of Olympic Truce to the modern Olympic Games.
In today’s world, he said, emphasis on the Olympic Truce had become a major feature of modern Olympic ideology. Most importantly, the inclusion of that concept to the United Nations framework, for the first time with resolution 48/11 in 1993, granted a distinct role to the ideal. In a world of differences, inequalities and conflicts, even an agreement for a temporary truce was an achievement of the international community. Therefore, Member States should continue to herald the Olympic Truce and spare no effort to ensure its actual implementation.
WAFIQA AL-MULLA ( Kuwait) said her country supported and promoted the United Nations endeavours in the field of sports and peace. Sport provided a great opportunity for peace and was a driving force at national and international levels, fending off the threat of war and animosity. It was also a powerful tool to foster links between countries. Noting the prominent role of sports in enhancing sustainable development and in enhancing the Millennium Development Goals, she underscored that youth were a cornerstone of development. Further, the role of women in sports should also be considered, she said, noting that Kuwait had removed barriers for women’s participation.
HAROLD LEE TIEN LOONG ( Singapore) said he looked forward to the adoption of the draft resolution, which his country co-sponsored. Noting that sport inculcated values like humility, hard work, discipline, fair play and determination, while bringing people together in the pursuit of excellence, he said his country’s Vision 2030 Masterplan was a national strategy to stimulate through sport positive, deeply embedded values for Singaporeans. As well, sports could help maintain Singapore’s social integrity and economic strength and help its people overcome challenges presented by an ageing population, rising regional and international competition and increased diversity within its multicultural and multiracial society. However, sport was more than winning medals or keeping fit, he pointed out. By its very nature, sport developed the attributes needed to compete in the global environment: a winning spirit a respect for teamwork, a commitment to leadership and a love for country. Those were principles he wished to be firmly rooted, not just in Singapore’s athletes but throughout its society, in the belief that one could “live better through sports”.
ELIZABETH COUSENS (United States) said her delegation was pleased to be a co-sponsor of the resolution. In particular, she drew attention to the section of the text “calling upon host countries to promote social inclusion without discrimination of any kind”. It was the first time that such language had been included in a resolution on that topic. Hence, the resolution emphasized the importance of inclusion and participation of all people in sports regardless of their backgrounds. Quoting the Olympic Charter, she said: “Every individual must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.” Citing several examples of athletes from diverse backgrounds having excelled in the Olympic Games, she underscored that part of the reason sport was so important was that it could promote inclusion and foster tolerance.
CHIBAULA DAVID SILWAMBA ( Zambia) said that in his country, sports had been a means of recreation, the promotion of a healthy life style and a way to transmit life saving messages, especially to the youth. His Government was also encouraging gender mainstreaming in sports, urging more girls and women to get involved in games. As the world grappled with high unemployment, sport development was booming, creating job opportunities, particularly among the youth. Further, the private sector, as part of their corporate social responsibility, was being encouraged to support sports in all parts of the country. Working with partners like the International Olympic Committee and friendly countries like China, the Government had embarked on the construction of a sports infrastructure, including the building of large-capacity football stadia in various parts of the country. He expressed appreciation for such support and called for continued cooperation in that regard.
HUSSEIN HANIFF ( Malaysia) said sport had become the socio-cultural essence of mankind. Since his country’s independence, sport had been a means of contributing to the development of the spirit of nationalism and nation integration. The Ministry of Youth and Sports’ strategic plan for 2010 to 2015 included the development of sports as an industry. “While sports alone cannot prevent conflict or build peace, it can assist in peacebuilding interventions,” he said. “Sport can contribute to an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding among people and nations.”
DAVID ROET ( Israel) said sports could transcend differences and foster friendship and cooperation. Hundreds of non-profit organizations used sports to foster peace. An Israeli organization held activities for thousands of Israeli and Palestinian children, aimed at teaching young people to overcome differences. Sadly, not all sporting events had been driven by those ideals, he said, noting the 1972 Olympic massacre of Israel’s athletes by Palestinian terrorists. Israel also suffered in sports arenas, including a recent event involving Tunisian and Israeli tennis finalists.
KAZUYOSHI UMEMOTO ( Japan) underscored that sport could connect the world, uniting and inspiring people in a way that transcended differences. In that regard, the international community should promote sports and make it available and accessible to all. Stressing that no one should be left out, he said women and the disabled, in particular, should be able to enjoy the same benefits and pleasures of sports as everyone else. Recalling that Tokyo had been selected to host the 2020 Olympic Games, he said his country would further contribute to the Olympic movement through implementing various programmes under its new plan “Sport for Tomorrow”, targeted toward more than 10 million people in more than 100 countries over the next seven years. That initiative would focus on improving sports facilities, the dispatchment of coaches and athletes, cooperation in sports curricula design and the development of international human resources in the sporting arena through invitational programmes. As well, Japan would work closely with concerned organizations to further strengthen international anti-doping activities.
NEGASH KEBRET ( Ethiopia) said that his Government had made sport one of its development priorities and was actively working to promote and develop national sports by incorporating them in its overall national development agenda. Sport, as a cross-cutting issue, therefore, strongly needed action-oriented collaboration from all actors, including the United Nations and its agencies, and international sport organizations. However, noting that there had been little or no established meaningful partnerships, he stressed the need for joint work on resource and capacity development programmes with development agencies, the Organization’s organs and sports movements. He called on the international community, sport partners and other stakeholders to develop and establish such partnerships for a meaningful and beneficial cooperation through sport towards a positive contribution to sustainable development and the promotion of lasting peace.
RITA KAZRAGIENÉ (Lithuania), speaking on behalf of the European Union delegation, said the concept of the Olympic Truce provided an opportunity for the cessation of hostility and the resolution of conflict. Sports also contributed to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The international community must fight all forms of discrimination include age, sex, sexual identity, nationality, social or ethnic origin and to promote respect for diversity. She urged all Member States to send a message of unity.
EMILIA GATTO ( Italy) said the strong consensus expected in the Assembly when it voted on the draft resolution demonstrated that the ideal of the Olympic Truce was alive and powerful. “We must now translate this commitment into reality,” she said. While the numerous conflicts worldwide might be daunting, ancient history had proven that strong ideals backed by serious political commitment could overcome that challenge. For Italy’s part, the Intercampus sports programme was providing assistance to needy children and young people in 24 countries. She wished the Russian Federation the best success in hosting the Games in 2014.
EVGENY LAZAREV ( Belarus) said sports had a role in overcoming differences and fostering mutual respect. Unfortunately the last summer Olympic Games showed that not all countries had honoured Olympic principles in their actions. Such actions should be assessed by the International Olympic Committee. Looking towards the next Games, he hoped the Sochi Games would represent sport and the Olympic movement and ideals.
YEVHENII TSYMBALIUK ( Ukraine) said sports transcend boundaries. Using a holistic multisectoral approach for sports could be the most effective way to help to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Sports also constituted a means of rehabilitation for persons with disabilities. Ukraine’s centre on physical education and sport for persons with disabilities encompassed 27 regional centres and reached 51,000 people. His country had declared an intention to organize the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Lviv.
TANISHA HEWANPOLA ( Australia) said sport promoted peace and development. She applauded organizations for their efforts in areas such as AIDS prevention, education and health. Sports had a role in bringing together people of diverse backgrounds and combating all forms of discrimination, including sexual orientation. She noted that ending discrimination of all kinds was part of the draft text.
MUSTAFA E. ELSHAREEF ( Sudan) said sports played a role in peace and understanding. He believed in the value of sports in all societies. Sports also contributed to development at a national level, promoting a culture of peace. He wished the Russian Federation success in the winter Games.
THOMAS BACH, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), quoting Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, said “Olympic principles are United Nations principles”. Thousands of years ago in ancient Greece, the Olympic Truce ensured a halt to hostilities between Greece’s three city-states before, during and after the Games. Thus, a partnership between sport and politics had existed thousands of years ago. Such a partnership needed to be adapted for today’s world.
The IOC, he said, recognized its obligation to youth and society, contributing to improving the quality of life as set out in the Olympic Charter, by placing “sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity”. It was the only area of human existence whose rules were recognized worldwide and were based on a common global ethic of fair play, tolerance and friendship. To spread those values, sport must enjoy a responsible autonomy respected by politics. That was not understood in all Member States, he said, requesting delegates to take the message back to their countries.
Sport, too, had responsibility, he continued, urging that the “Universal Principles of Good Governance of the Olympic Movement” be accepted as a minimum standard and be implemented at all levels of sport. The Games, their athletes, and, in particular, the Olympic Village were a powerful symbol of peaceful interaction, breaking down cultural barriers and setting an example of mutual respect. Organizing committees increasingly were taking up the vision of the Olympic Truce, with programmes offered in schools throughout the United Kingdom for the London 2012 Games. The Sochi 2014 youth initiatives, as well, aimed at promoting peace, harmony and respect.
Further, programmes run by Olympic Solidarity, the International Sports Federations and National Olympic Committees emphasized that peace also required sustainable development, solidarity and support for others. “[I]n the relationship between sport and politics, the role of sport was always to build bridges, never walls”, he said, which was why he opposed boycotts of any kind. In addition, sport was an educational tool, fostering cognitive development, social behaviour and integrating communities. Urging that it be included in educational curricula everywhere, he said that its integrative power could also serve in crisis areas.
The peaceful competition at the Olympic Games should inspire all people, he stated. It should show that rivalries and disputes could be resolved peacefully and that people could transcend all boundaries by agreeing on universal rules to govern human competition and resolve conflicts. The Olympic Truce was of particular significance as an example of how, in partnership, politics and sport could complement each other.
Action on Draft Resolution
Speaking in explanation before the vote, KAZA IMNADZE ( Georgia) said while sporting events could build a peaceful and safe world, unfortunately the notion of the Olympic Truce was being distorted. Only 40 kilometres from Sochi, a country hosting the Games continued its occupation of 20 per cent of Georgia’s sovereign territory. However, the Government of Georgia, opting for the de-politicization of the Olympics, had stopped its boycott.
Yet, in January the occupation force began a large-scale installation of barbed wire fences and embankments along the occupation line in the Tskhinvali and Abkhazia regions of Georgia. He also regretted that Moscow chose Ivan Nechaev, who excelled at bombing Georgian villages, to be an Olympic torchbearer. Despite that, he said Georgia would not break the General Assembly’s consensus and would vote in favour of the draft resolution.
The General Assembly then adopted unanimously the draft resolution on sport and peace and development (document A/68/L.8), as orally revised.
Speaking in explanation after the vote, GUILHERMO DE AGUIAR PATRIOTA ( Brazil) said sport was rooted in his country’s society. At the beginning of a sports decade, his country was pleased to be hosting the World Cup and Olympic Games. The preparation process for those sporting events included education on tolerance. Brazil supported the draft text for its principles and had thus voted in favour of it.
Right of Reply
In exercise of the right of reply, VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said that the head of the IOC had, in his statement today, had appealed for all to keep politics from the sports arena. However, the Georgian delegation could not refrain from attacking the Russian Federation and was using unjustified reasons. In spite Georgia’s attempts, all athletes would be received in the Russian Federation with the respect they deserved, he said.
Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency
MOHAMMAD KHAZAEE ( Iran) said nuclear technology was a cost-effective, environmentally friendly source of energy and it was the inalienable right of States to use it for peaceful purposes, according to articles in the NPT. The Agency’s role should be further promoted and be allowed to work impartially and professionally to preserve its efficiency and credibility. Iran’s nuclear activities were and had always been exclusively for peaceful purposes and Iran had continued to fully cooperate with the Agency. As a result, non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran had always been confirmed by all IAEA reports including the latest in August 2013. The joint statement by IAEA and Iran after recent talks in Vienna was a “new chapter” of cooperation with the Agency and his country stood ready to make the upcoming negotiations a success.
CHRIS BLACK, Senator in the Parliament of Australia, said his country attached great importance to the central role played by the Agency in improving the safety and security of nuclear activities, enlarging the humanitarian contribution of nuclear technology and verifying States’ non-proliferation commitments. He urged all States that had not yet done so to bring into force an Additional Protocol as soon as possible as an essential step in ensuring maximum effectiveness of the safeguards system. He also strongly supported efforts, including those made by Contracting Parties, to identify suitable options to enhance the effectiveness of the Convention on Nuclear Safety, which was the main global instrument for promoting the safety of nuclear power reactors.
ISRAIL TILEGEN ( Kazakhstan) said that compliance with the NPT by State Parties and improvement of global mechanisms for managing the development of nuclear power and the safety of nuclear facilities were of extreme importance. He supported the Agency’s effort to develop a new framework for utilizing nuclear energy, based on multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle on a non-political, non-discriminatory basis. Kazakhstan was finalizing plans with the Agency to host a nuclear fuel bank on its territory. As part of the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone, his country abided strictly by the IAEA Safeguards Agreement, as well as the Additional Protocol to reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism, and smuggling of nuclear weapons and radioactive materials in the region. Kazakhstan had also ratified and acceded to four major conventions on nuclear security. Kazakhstan had a technical cooperation agreement with IAEA from 2010 to 2015 to develop nuclear education, medicine and agriculture, research reactor safety, technology, radioisotope and radiation applications. Despite being a key and responsible member of the Agency, Kazakhstan was being denied participation in the work of its elective bodies due to existing rules of procedure. Fully supportive of the early entry into force of the amendments to article VI of the IAEA Statute Kazakhstan was nevertheless confident that a solution would be found.
COURTENAY RATTRAY ( Jamaica) said his country had a strong interest in IAEA's activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications and continued to benefit significantly from them. Recognizing the value and importance of the cooperation projects being undertaken with IAEA support, Jamaica had taken steps to meet its current obligations in relation to the Technical Cooperation arrangements. In partnership with the Agency and the United States, Jamaica had also embarked on a project aimed at converting the fuel used in its nuclear research reactor from highly enriched uranium to low enriched uranium. In the area of nuclear security, compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty was of paramount importance. He shared the concern regarding the failure of certain nations to comply with the NPT and urged all to ensure that their nuclear programmes were brought under the appropriate safeguards regime. Jamaica had acceded to various international treaties related to nuclear security. Describing the Fukushima Daiichi incident as a wake-up call, he said the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety provided a valuable mechanism for channelling efforts to strengthen global cooperation on nuclear safety. In that connection, he reiterated the Caribbean Community’s opposition to the shipment of nuclear waste through the Caribbean Sea, and expressed concern about the devastating impact that any incident relating to such shipments could have on the region.
KNUT LANGELAND ( Norway) said disarmament and non-proliferation was a cornerstone of Norwegian foreign policy and called on all States to join the Treaty as non-nuclear weapon States. IAEA played a crucial role in sustaining this regime, which was essential for international peace and security. The Agency needed sufficient resources to keep its safeguards capabilities strong and independent and help these safeguards evolve to meet new challenges and technologies. For this reason, Norway had supported the Agency’s effort to develop the “State-level Concept”. Norway supported multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle and appreciated the Agency’s contribution in setting up the LEU Fuel Bank in Kazakhstan. Efficient physical protection was crucial to prevent nuclear material from falling into the hands of terrorists and to protect nuclear facilities against unauthorized uses and malicious acts. Norway urged all States to become party to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its 2005 amendment. At the same time, other multilateral efforts, such as the Nuclear Security Summit process, the implementation of Council resolution 1540 (2004) and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism were essential to prevent nuclear weapons or sensitive nuclear materials from falling into the wrong hands.
NEGASH KEBRET ( Ethiopia) said that IAEA had a key role to play in ensuring appropriate measures to address nuclear accidents were put in place and global nuclear safety culture was promoted in a comprehensive, sustainable manner. As one of the founding members of the Agency, Ethiopia reaffirmed its commitment to the peaceful use of nuclear technologies by respecting global and regional security mechanisms. The Agency's continued technical assistance to his Government to control tsetse flies, and provide cancer treatment, diagnostic nuclear medicine services, Isotope hydrological analysis and non-destructive quality testing, as well as national nuclear science and technology infrastructure had been useful in many ways. Ethiopia appreciated the Agency’s consistent advocacy for the peaceful use of nuclear technology, and stressed the need to provide sufficient and predictable resources to IAEA programmes. More importantly, a balanced distribution of resources for the Agency’s safeguards, nuclear safety and technical cooperation activities should be ensured.
ISABELLE PICCO ( Monaco) reiterated her country’s commitment to peaceful use of nuclear energy. Monaco had been hosting the IAEA Marine Environmental Laboratory for more than 50 years, which was created to help assess marine radioactivity and pollution. Her country was also home to the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre, which was launched by IAEA to address the growing problem of ocean acidification and was supported through the Peaceful Uses Initiative. In addition, Monaco attached great importance to applications of nuclear technologies in the field of health, including cancer control. Through partnerships with the Agency, Monaco was contributing to the prevention, testing and treatment of cancers in low-income countries.
BASHAR JA'AFARI ( Syria) said that the only nuclear threat in the Middle East was posed by Israel, which possessed nuclear weapons that could be delivered to as far as the border of China. Further, some countries had turned a blind eye to that crystal-clear situation. Those countries had been responsible for supplying Israel with nuclear energy to enable it to possess nuclear weapons and means of delivery. To distract attention from Israel’s continued position on nuclear weapons at the expense of the safety and security of the region was a double standard. Responding to the Agency’s report, which said “it was very likely that a building destroyed at the Dair Alzour site was a nuclear reactor which should have been declared to the Agency by Syria”, he said that his country had acceded to the NPT in 1968 and concluded a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with IAEA in 1992.
In 2003, Syria submitted a draft resolution in the Council on behalf of the Arab Group regarding creation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, which remained “in blue” due to the objection of an influential nuclear-weapon State that had threatened to use veto power, he said. The Council and IAEA had not condemned Israel’s aggression into the Syrian territory, either. The fact that Israel continued to stay outside of the NPT affected the universality and credibility of that instrument. Citing sentences from a book written by the previous IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei, he questioned the international community’s inactivity regarding the Dair Alzour incident. Most of the content in the IAEA report on that incident had relied on information submitted by a country that had adopted a political agenda inimical to Syria.
KAZUYOSHI UMEMOTO ( Japan) said his country’s most urgent task was addressing the contaminated water leakages stemming from the Fukushima accident. The nuclear reactors had been stabilized by the end of 2011. But moving forward, a broader plan was needed. Currently, two IAEA experts were visiting Japan and he welcomed recommendations from the Agency and the international community. Sharing experiences and lessons learned, Japan hosted a conference with IAEA on nuclear safety. To promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, safeguards must be strengthened. He was concerned about the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s activities that violate Council resolutions, including a nuclear test, which was a grave challenge to the non-proliferation regime. He urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to comply fully with its commitments and Council resolutions and abandon all nuclear weapon programmes. Iran’s situation was also a concern, he said, calling upon that country to take substantive action to resolves issues.
DAVID R. WENSLEY (South Africa), noting that the Agency’s intervention in an array of important sectors such as human health, water and agriculture had sought to contribute to food security and poverty reduction, encouraged it to do more. Member States should continue to work together to enhance the Agency’s capacity to provide more technical cooperation. A number of States were engaged in processes to increase the share of nuclear power in their energy mix. The Agency had provided important support in that regard, including working closely with South Africa as the country embarked on the Nuclear Build Programme. The Agency had also proved to be an independent and impartial organisation that fulfilled the task of safeguards implementation. In response to the Fukushima nuclear accident, the Agency had taken decisive steps to strengthen the global nuclear safety framework, with the adoption of the Action Plan for Nuclear Safety being a milestone. While nuclear security remained the responsibility of each Member State, South Africa welcomed the progress made to strengthen nuclear security at the international level through the Agency’s important work. His country remained firmly committed to nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
Providing an explanation of vote before the vote, the representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said his delegation considered the IAEA report full biased and one-sided without any impartiality. Two factors had determined the situation on the Korean peninsula. The report had ignored that the United States was the originator of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, bringing weapons to the area in 1957. The report also ignored that the United States was the perpetrator of nuclear blackmail against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea since the 1950s. Under those policies, the United States was conducting military exercises in the area. The nuclear test was conducted in response to the infringement of its sovereignty and was a peaceful satellite launch. The exercise was a legitimate exercise of its rights under the Charter, and not in violation of a Council resolution. It was the United States that should be brought to the Council and sanctioned because it had launched more satellites than any other countries. None of that was reflected in IAEA’s report. For those reasons, his delegation would disassociate itself from the adoption of the draft resolution.
The Assembly then adopted unanimously the draft resolution on the report of the IAEA (document A/68/L.10), as orally revised.
Right of Reply
Exercising the right of reply, the representative of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said he wanted to clarify the situation regarding the statement by Japan’s delegate. There was no moral justification by Japan to raise issues with other countries when Japan should really question itself. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea totally rejected the Council’s illegal adoption of a related resolution. Japan was under the nuclear umbrella of the United States. In the process of the Six-Party Talks, all parties had made commitments, but Japan had not honoured its commitments.
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