In Ensuing Debate, Delegates Discuss Non-Proliferation, Medical Initiatives
The General Assembly today reaffirmed its strong support for the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in fostering 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, as it considered the nuclear monitoring body’s 2013 report.
Unanimously adopting a resolution on that topic, introduced by Slovakia’s representative, the Assembly also appealed to Member States to continue to support the Agency’s activities.
In the discussion preceding the text’s adoption, some 30 speakers delivered remarks on the functioning of the international architecture of treaties and conventions, which govern nuclear issues at the national, regional and international levels.
Yukiya Amano, IAEA’s Director General, who introduced the Agency’s annual report, asked all States to help ensure that the importance of science and technology were explicitly recognized as central parts of the post-2015 development agenda, and listed ways in which nuclear science and technology positively affected the daily lives of millions of people, such as in food irradiation and cancer therapy. Last month, the Agency announced it would provide specialized diagnostic equipment to help the three countries most affected by Ebola — Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea — diagnose the disease within a few hours, rather than days, he said.
Australia’s representative welcomed that IAEA’s Director General had quickly set up a task force to enhance response capacities to outbreaks of zoonotic diseases, including the Ebola virus. He noted that global demand for nuclear medicines was increasing at a time when a number of radioisotope-producing research reactors were either closing or entering extended maintenance.
Ethiopia’s representative praised IAEA’s support in establishing comprehensive cancer control programmes at Black Lion Specialized Hospital, and asked it to set up more radiotherapy and nuclear medicine services in five other university hospitals in the country.
Malaysia would be actively participating in the Agency’s International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles, to ensure that the country’s energy needs would be met in the twenty-first century, its representative said. India, too, appreciated the work of the International Project, according to its representative, as that Project’s methodology for assessing reactors and cycles helped develop acceptance criteria for new designs.
Concerns remained over the delayed 2012 conference on establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. Egypt’s representative for its part, recalled that at the fifty-eighth General Conference of IAEA, the country had submitted a resolution, which would ensure that the remaining State of the region accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapon State, and affirm the urgent need for that State to forthwith agree to the application of comprehensive, full-scope Agency safeguards to its nuclear facilities, among other goals and measures.
Deeply concerned with the protracted and serious challenges in non-proliferation posed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Syria and Iran, the Head of the European Union Delegation noted the important development in the past year in Iran. He also urged all States that had not yet done so to become party to the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its 2005 amendment.
Also speaking were the representatives of Iran, Russian Federation, Pakistan, Kuwait, Singapore, Belarus, China, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Kyrgyzstan, Switzerland, Philippines, Viet Nam, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Cuba, Argentina, Iraq, Ukraine, Indonesia and Lithuania.
The General Assembly will meet again on Thursday, 6 November, at 10 a.m. to elect five members of the International Court of Justice.
The General Assembly met this morning to consider a note by the Secretary-General (document A/69/255) transmitting the fifty-eighth report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for the calendar year 2013 (GC/(58)/3), and take up a draft resolution on the eponymous report (document A/69/L.7). By the terms of that text, the Assembly would take note with appreciation of 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.
YUKIYA AMANO, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said there had been important developments in many areas of IAEA’s activities since he last addressed the Assembly. Asking all States to help ensure that the importance of science and technology were explicitly recognized as a central part of the post-2015 development agenda, he listed ways in which nuclear science and technology positively affected the daily lives of millions of people, such as in food irradiation, cancer therapy, and lately in specialized, quick diagnosis of Ebola.
For example, this year, IAEA had helped Uruguay’s University Hospital acquire a linear accelerator to provide radiotherapy treatment for cancer patients. Last month, the Agency had announced it would provide specialized diagnostic equipment to help the three countries most affected by Ebola — Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea — diagnose the disease within a few hours, rather than days, he said. The IAEA laboratories near Vienna offered training in nuclear applications to scientists, and supported research in human health, food and other areas. Modernization of those laboratories would be completed in 2017, enabling the Agency to meet Member States’ needs for decades to come.
The provision of reliable supplies of energy would be a key challenge for the world in the coming decades, as populations grew and the need to limit greenhouse gases remained, he said. Noting that nuclear power was one of the lowest emitters of carbon dioxide, he added that 437 operational nuclear power reactors in 30 countries were producing about 11 per cent of global electricity. Seventy-two reactors were under construction, mostly in Asia. Nuclear power use was expected to grow until 2030. The management and disposal of radioactive waste was an issue for all countries, not just those which had nuclear power programmes. There were widespread misperceptions about the feasibility of disposing of radioactive waste; well-established technologies existed to address that issue.
Since the Fukushima Daiichi accident, he had seen concrete improvements in safety features at every nuclear power plant he had visited and next year, IAEA would publish a report on that accident, he said. A broader approach to strengthening nuclear safety, beyond simply guarding against severe natural hazards, must be considered. Safety aspects of decommissioning old facilities and extending the operating life of nuclear power plants needed to be looked at. The Agency was well placed to help the world act in unison against the threat of nuclear terrorism. He appealed to all countries that had not yet done so to adhere to the 2005 amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.
The December 2016 high-level IAEA International Conference on Nuclear Security would be an important opportunity to review progress in that area, he said. Twelve non-nuclear-weapon States had yet to meet their obligation under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to conclude a comprehensive safeguards agreement with the Agency. The number of States with additional safeguard protocols in force continued to rise to 124 at present.
The nuclear programme of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea remained a matter of serious concern, he said, calling upon its Government to comply fully with the Agency, and to resolve all outstanding issues, including those that had arisen during the five-year absence of Agency inspectors from the country. The Agency had not received any new information that would affect its assessment of May 2011, that a building destroyed at the Dair Alzour site in Syria was a nuclear reactor, which should have been declared to the Agency.
Iran had implemented most, but not all, of the practical measures agreed under the Framework for Cooperation agreed in November 2013, he said. The Agency continued to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement, but was unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities. The Agency therefore could not conclude that all nuclear material in Iran was in peaceful activities. To resolve outstanding issues, it was important that Iran implement all practical measures agreed upon under the cooperation framework in a timely way, and propose action for the future.
FRANTISEK RUZICKA (Slovakia) said his country had shown continued support for projects promoting the use of nuclear technologies, such as the African Union’s Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication campaign. The modernization of radiation technology techniques in cooperation with IAEA was a priority for Slovakia. Progress continued to be made with the Agency, but with 437 operational nuclear reactors, 70 nuclear reactors under construction, and in the aftermath of the Fukushima-Daiichi accident, the establishment of an effective global nuclear liability regime remained on the table. The Agency must take all necessary measures to prevent further accidents. In fulfilling Slovakia’s responsibility as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Agency, he introduced under item 86 of the Assembly’s agenda the draft resolution titled “Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency” (document A/69/L.7).
THOMAS MAYR-HARTING, Head of the European Union Delegation, called on States to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty as non-proliferating countries. He was deeply concerned with the protracted and serious challenges in non-proliferation posed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Syria, and Iran, though he noted the important development in the past year in Iran. He stressed that the Security Council had the mandate to take appropriate action in the event of Treaty non-compliance. He called for the universalization of the comprehensive safety standards and additional protocols of the current IAEA verification standards. A new directive adopted by the European Union in July would strengthen the safety framework for new nuclear installations.
The Union was actively supporting the Council resolutions 1540 (2004) and 1887 (2009) and other global initiatives, which would contribute to strengthening nuclear security, he said. Over 100 million euros had been allocated to the Union’s regional Centres of Excellence Initiative for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear risk mitigation. The Union had provided 40 million euros to date to the Nuclear Safety Fund, and was among its main contributors. He urged all States that had not yet done so to become party to the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its 2005 amendment. The Union supported the Agency’s technical cooperation programme, and had allocated 225 million euros in support for the 2014-2020 period.
ABHISHEK SINGH (India) said the Agency played an important role in allaying the apprehension of the public and Member States about the safety of nuclear power plants. India was working actively to ensure the safety of its nuclear power plants, including through the use of peer reviews. India appreciated the work of the International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles. The Project’s methodology for assessing reactors and cycles helped develop acceptance criteria for new designs. Regarding radioactive waste, India’s policy of using a “closed nuclear fuel cycle” ensured better use of nuclear fuel resources and minimized the quantity of nuclear waste. Responsible national and international efforts were necessary to prevent nuclear material from falling into the hands of non-State actors. India had consistently supported the Agency’s role in strengthening nuclear security and fostering international cooperation. Universal adherence to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials and early entry-into-force of its 2005 amendment would help strengthen global efforts in nuclear security. India was a party to the Convention, and had ratified the amendment.
GHOLAMHOSSEIN DEHGHANI (Iran) said that the design and implementation of required safeguards had to comply with the rights of the parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and avoid hampering their economic or technological development. While fully committed to its legal obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the relevant comprehensive safeguards agreement, Iran was determined to exercise its full nuclear rights, including enrichment, for peaceful purposes. Iran had not recognized the “so-called possible military dimensions”, and indeed the Framework for Cooperation agreed between Iran and IAEA had no reference to such irrelevant notions. Access to areas related to Iran’s national security, like defence capabilities, were not subject to any kind of negotiation at any level. Over the past 15 months, Iran had engaged in good-faith and serious negotiations with the P5+1 (United States, United Kingdom, France, China, Russian Federation and Germany) to help build confidence regarding Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme. The difference over Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme could only be resolved through negotiations, and those who thought otherwise were either making a serious mistake, or had a “vested interest in furthering the schemes of the warmongers”. A comprehensive agreement would be beneficial to all sides.
ALEXANDER PANKIN (Russian Federation) said that his Government supported the strengthening of the Agency and cooperation with it. Concerning nuclear proliferation, it was important that the Agency continue its verification work, and that all countries were in compliance. The most important element in ensuring the legitimacy of the comprehensive safeguard agreements was non-proliferation as a whole. The Russian Federation attached great importance to the formation of a new framework for nuclear cooperation. It had put forth an initiative to promote a global nuclear energy infrastructure and create international hubs to provide nuclear fuel cycle services to ensure unhindered access for all countries that were complying with the Non-Proliferation Treaty. He supported the work of the Agency and its growing role in establishing cooperation between States and in physical security. It was unacceptable for the disarmament issue to be mixed up with the issue of physical security. The Russian Federation had signed and ratified the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, and urged other States to do the same as soon as possible. He supported the resolution in the report of the Agency, and was one of its co-sponsors.
KHALIL HASHMI (Pakistan) said his country was facing a severe energy deficit, and according to its Nuclear Energy Vision-2050 programme, expected to have nuclear power generating capacity of 40,000 MWe by 2050. The Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Agency had based its regulations on Agency safety standards, and offered itself for independent peer reviews. Since the Fukushima accident, Pakistan had conducted successful stress tests of its plants. Pakistan had also worked closely with the Agency to strengthen nuclear security, and it had an unblemished record in running a safe nuclear programme over the past 40 years. Its security regime covered physical protection, material control and accounting, border controls, and radiological emergencies. It had deployed radiation detection mechanisms at several exit and entry points to prevent illicit trafficking of radioactive and nuclear materials, and was voluntarily contributing to the Agency’s information resources. Pakistan had fully complied with its obligations under the safeguard agreements of the Agency’s verification regime. He reiterated his call for the inclusion of Pakistan in the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
FARAH AL-GHARABALLY (Kuwait) said Kuwait had sought to cooperate closely with the Agency over many years. Since acceding to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Kuwait had sought to establish laboratories to measure the isotopes in its soil and ensure the safe use of radiological substances. Kuwait attached great importance to the establishment of the international database of nuclear fuel. She confirmed the need to tighten control on the movement of those substances, and followed with great interest the Agency’s plans to support nuclear security. Concerning the role of the Agency in preventing military uses of the technology, Israel had refused to commit its nuclear installations to the safeguards of the Agency, deeply disrupting the strengthening of the nuclear non-proliferation regime. She asked that Israel submit all of its nuclear installations to the Agency’s safeguard guidelines, and urged Iran to cooperate with the Agency and to dispel doubts about the nature of its nuclear programme.
LIM MING JING (Singapore) said her Government had formally deposited its acceptance of the amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, and strongly encouraged other Member States to accede to both instruments. She strongly encouraged Member States to become parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety, and strongly supported Switzerland’s proposal to amend article 18 of the Convention. She was concerned that several countries still remained outside of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and called upon those States to accede to it as soon as possible. She strongly encouraged Iran to implement all agreed measures for the third phase of the Framework for Cooperation, and to respond to the Agency’s request for new practical measures. She strongly urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to return to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and fully comply with all relevant Council resolutions, and cooperate fully with the Agency. She supported the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones, and called on all nuclear-weapon States to accede to the Protocol of the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty without reservations.
EVGENY LAZAREV (Belarus) said that while further improving the safeguards system of the Agency was important, so was maintaining the confidence of Member States in the objectivity of the current system. In 2013, Belarus had begun building its first nuclear power plant, the second country to do so in the past three decades. Underlining his country’s strict compliance with international norms and standards, as well as its openness and preparedness for dialogue with international organizations during the implementation of the project, he noted that Belarus would use the services of the Agency by inviting advisory missions at this current stage of the programme. IAEA’s participation in multilateral efforts to develop areas still suffering the effects of the Chernobyl disaster were important, as was IAEA’s continued coordination with other international organizations and donor countries.
NEGASH KIBRET (Ethiopia) said his country’s largest technical cooperation initiative with IAEA was the Tsetse Fly Eradication Project, which aimed to control that deadly cattle disease in the Southern Rift Valley region. He commended IAEA’s support in establishing the comprehensive cancer control programmes at Black Lion Specialized Hospital, and asked it to establish more radiotherapy and nuclear medicine services in five other university hospitals in Ethiopia. Ethiopia believed sufficient and predictable resources should be provided for the Agency’s programmes. More importantly, the balanced distribution of resources for the agency’s nuclear safety and technical cooperation activities needed to be ensured. The Technical Cooperation Programme was playing a crucial role in transferring nuclear technology to developing countries, and needed sufficient and predictable financial resources. His delegation also supported the right of all States to have full use of nuclear technology and scientific application, in accordance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
WANG MIN (China) said this year marked the thirtieth anniversary of China’s membership in the Agency. He praised the fact that the development of nuclear energy had maintained its momentum, and that safeguards had been strengthened. International efforts for non-proliferation still faced challenges, however, and the Agency had a huge task ahead in that regard. He hoped the Agency would focus on deepened cooperation to improve nuclear technology, especially in developing countries; make specific requests to Japan to enhance its nuclear safety programme; bolster an independent nuclear safeguard regime; and objectively and impartially deal with regional nuclear issues through dialogue and consultations.
YOSHIFUMI OKAMURA (Japan) said managing the aftermath of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Poster Station was an important task for Japan. Disseminating information to the international community and within Japan was equally important. Japan was publishing marine monitoring results daily, and comprehensive information was reported to IAEA on a regular basis and made public through the Agency’s website. Food safety was assured with stronger administrative systems. Japan was determined to strengthen nuclear safety worldwide by sharing the lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s continued nuclear and missile development was of serious concern to North-West Asia and the entire international community. Japan again stressed that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs, including its uranium enrichment, in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. It had to immediately suspend all related activities. Turning to the Iranian nuclear issue, Japan fully supported IAEA’s continued involvement in the issue, and fully supported efforts by the EU3-plus-3 (European Union, China, Russian Federation and the United States) to pursue a final and comprehensive resolution of the issue.
JAMAL JAMA AL MUSHARAKH (United Arab Emirates) said that in 2013 his Government had hosted the International Conference on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources. His Government had also joined several international protocols, and ratified the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage. The failure to convene a conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in 2012, as had been announced at the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, was a disappointment to his Government and countries in the region, and he called for holding such a conference at an early date.
HUSSEIN HANIFF (Malaysia) recognized the need to accede to the relevant multilateral instruments to ensure the peaceful, safe and secure use of nuclear energy, and said Malaysia was revising its regulatory framework towards enacting a comprehensive nuclear law. Regional cooperation was also essential. Malaysia would be actively participating in the International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles to ensure that the country’s energy needs would be met in the twenty-first century. The country had established a national nuclear security regime, and had focused on development detection capabilities at its major ports and borders. Malaysian scientists had benefited greatly from hands-on training and research at the Seibersdorf Nuclear Application laboratories. The Agency’s technical cooperation programme should be made adequate to ensure that all planned activities were efficaciously implemented. He welcomed the report of the Working Group on Financing the Agency’s activities, and hoped its recommendations were implemented to allow for sufficient, predictable funding of the technical cooperation programme. Malaysia was implementing national technical cooperation programmes, and was collaborating with neighbouring States on regional projects.
NURAN NIYAZALIEV (Kyrgyzstan) said that his country had ratified the primary international agreements on non-proliferation, and strongly endorsed IAEA’s efforts to strengthen the international safeguards system, including the adoption of the Additional Protocol as the safeguards standard. One of the most promising approaches to disarmament and non-proliferation was the creation of nuclear-weapon-free zones, and his Government took pride in the 2009 entry into force of the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty. His Government, as depository of that Treaty, welcomed the signing of the Protocol on Negative Security Assurances to the Treaty by nuclear-weapons States on 6 May 2014.
OLIVIER MARC ZEHNDER (Switzerland) welcomed the Sixth Review Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety organized by IAEA in April 2014, during which his Government had proposed an amendment with a view to strengthening the safety of new and old nuclear reactors. More than three years after the Fukushima disaster, that conference provided the international community with a unique opportunity to restore people’s confidence in the safety of nuclear energy and in the multilateral instruments set up for that purpose. Acknowledging the cooperation between Iran and IAEA since January 2014, his Government encouraged the parties to continue strengthening their partnership, in order to facilitate the implementation of a diplomatic solution to the satisfaction of all parties.
SUSAN B. NATIVIDAD (Philippines) said her country looked forward to the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, and strongly supported the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones to help foster global peace and security and end nuclear disarmament. It again called for a conference to establish a Middle East zone, free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, before the 2015 Review Conference. This “will provide a positive momentum to the Review Conference,” she added. The Philippines supported the Agency’s work to strengthen nuclear safety by implementing international legal instruments, developing safety standards, enhancing national safety infrastructure and coordinating international emergency preparedness and response. The Philippines would host a national workshop on Nuclear Security Information Management Systems from 25 to 26 November. It also was asking for an International Nuclear Security Advisory Service mission, focusing on nuclear security at major public events, to help the Government prepare for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting scheduled to take place in the Philippines in late 2015.
NGUYEN PHUONG NGA (Viet Nam) stated his Government’s full support to the crucial role taken by the Agency in nuclear safety and security, and recognized its efforts in nuclear verification and safeguards. While progress was still needed in the forming of safeguard agreements and additional protocols, he welcomed the entry into force of two more agreements and four protocols. Since 2000, IAEA had helped Viet Nam implement more than 200 technical cooperation projects worth $15 million. More than 1,200 Vietnamese scientists and technicians had benefited from various IAEA training programmes. Under the 2011-2015 Country Programme Framework cooperation between the Agency and Viet Nam, they had brought productive results in nuclear power infrastructure and safety, healthcare and industrial applications, and environmental protection. In close collaboration with the Agency, Viet Nam had prepared feasibility studies for two sites intended for its first nuclear power plants in 2013. Viet Nam was a co-sponsor of the draft resolution on Agency’s report.
GUILHERME DE AGUIAR PATRIOTA (Brazil) said that among the State-level concepts that had come out of IAEA General Conference’s 2014 resolution on strengthening the effectiveness and improving the efficiency of Agency safeguards, he strongly endorsed the close consultation and coordination with the State and/ or regional authorities in developing State approaches to protocols and agreements, and the seeking of each State’s agreement for practical arrangements to implement safeguard measures. The process of consultations arising out of the Conference introduced a new and encouraging dynamic between Brazil and the Agency in how safeguard issues should be developed; and had given greater room for accountability and transparency on the part of the Secretariat and for closer involvement of Member States in the development of proposed new policies. He trusted that the Secretariat would abide by its assurances, and that no new interpretation of the State-level concepts would evolve unilaterally. Regarding Iran’s nuclear programme, he reiterated his call for all parties to remain engaged towards a comprehensive, long-term solution, and to the normalization of the Agency safeguards in Iran.
AKAN RAKHMETULLIN (Kazakhstan) said that it was important to bring international legal norms in line with the reality of the existence of de facto nuclear weapons States. As the world’s largest producer and supplier of uranium, with the ability to expand fuel fabrication capability for peaceful uses of nuclear energy within the framework of IAEA safeguards, his Government continued to make progress in the establishment of the IAEA low enriched uranium bank in the country. As the five nuclear possessor States had signed the Protocol to the Central Asian Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Treaty, the region could continue to work towards reducing nuclear terrorism and the smuggling of nuclear weapons and radioactive materials, as well as ecological radiation in the region.
ANASTASIA CARAYANIDES (Australia) expressed approval that IAEA’s Director General had quickly established a task force to enhance response capacities of States in regard to outbreaks of zoonotic diseases, including the Ebola virus. Global demand for nuclear medicines was increasing at a time when a number of radioisotope-producing research reactors were either closing or entering extended maintenance. Her Government was expanding its production of a radioisotope, and in 2016 would be able to produce over 20 per cent of global demand for molybdemum-99. Confidence in the safeguards system provided necessary assurances about the peaceful nature of nuclear activities, and was the basic foundation for nuclear trade and cooperation, security and continuing progress on nuclear disarmament.
PAIK JI-AH (Republic of Korea) looked forward to next year’s IAEA report on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, and hoped that its recommendations would be incorporated into Member States’ nuclear safety infrastructure. He appreciated the Agency’s focused approach on bringing into force the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, which had resulted in additional ratifications, including the Republic of Korea’s in May. The Nuclear Security Summit process had served as a useful mechanism to consolidate political commitment for global nuclear security, and he looked forward to exploring new ways to maximize the synergy between the Agency and Summit processes. But the cases of non-compliance by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran and Syria continued to pose grave challenges. Of particular concern was the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s continuous pursuit of nuclear capability. That country had conducted three nuclear tests, had publicly threatened international society with the announcement of further tests, and had continued its nuclear activities in Yongbyon, including the operation of the 5MWe graphite moderated reactor, in clear violation of Council resolutions. He urged that country to fully comply with its obligations under all relevant Council resolutions and the 2005 September Joint Statement of the Six-party Talks. The Republic of Korea would continue its efforts with the international community to achieve complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
AMR ABOULATTA (Egypt) said that his Government appreciated ongoing cooperation with IAEA, as his country was currently developing a programme to construct nuclear power plants to meet the growing energy demands of its citizens and industrial sector. He recalled that at the fifty-eighth General Conference of IAEA, Egypt had submitted a resolution which would ensure that the remaining State of the region accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapon State, and affirm the urgent need for that State to forthwith agree to the application of comprehensive, full-scope Agency safeguards to its nuclear facilities, among other goals and measures.
RODOLFO BENITEZ VERSON (Cuba) said that his region must receive more technical cooperation from the Agency. Cuba had given particular priority to the Agency’s programme to treat cancer. The criminal policy of the United States embargo against Cuba delayed his country’s implementation of its technical cooperation programme with the Agency, and made it significantly more difficult to acquire equipment approved for those projects. He welcomed the holding of the ministerial conference of the Agency in 2016, and the entry into force of the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, which would give greater protection to nuclear installations and material, and facilitate cooperation between States to combat crimes. Cuba had obtained double certification and satisfactory results during safety inspections by the Agency. He encouraged further progress between Iran and the Agency. Supporting the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, he encouraged the holding of a conference on the topic without delay. Disarmament could not be continually postponed: The only way was the total elimination of nuclear weapons and under the strict supervision of the Agency. He emphasized that Cuba would continue to play a major role in the battle against nuclear weapons.
NATALIA BILA (Argentina) said that IAEA had a central role in nuclear non-proliferation. Effective monitoring of nuclear energy was essential, and IAEA played an essential role in the promotion of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Argentina was participating in 20 technological cooperation projects at the national, regional and interregional levels. The international community should make concerted efforts towards more sustained nuclear infrastructures. International safeguards were important to ensure nuclear security. Those safeguards must be developed in the context of dialogue between organizations and States.
SARMAD AL-TAIE (Iraq) said that his delegation reasserted the right of States Parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty to produce and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, as well as reasserting the importance of balance, and mutual assistance, between activities of the Agency in terms of the Agency’s budget. Attempts to reduce the technological assistance programme or its budget would not be favourably welcomed, he said, adding hopes that the working group responsible for the budget would be successful. Noting that his country had worked with IAEA experts to dismantle nuclear sites under the earlier Iraqi programme to reduce radioactive waste, he expressed hope that Iraq would be freed of “all this waste” in a safe way. Iraq needed international support in terms of environmental cleansing.
KATERNYNA BILA (Ukraine) said a top priority of her Government was the rehabilitation of contaminated territories as a result of the Chernobyl accident. Ukraine was constructing a new safe confinement unit over the destroyed Unit 4. She welcomed the adoption of the Agency’s nuclear security plan for 2014-2107 to enhance States’ nuclear and radioactive security regimes. Ukraine had reinforced the physical protection of 15 power units at four power plant sites to further ensure nuclear security. Ukraine attached great importance to the universalization of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. It did not recognize the illegitimately proclaimed “Republic of Crimea,” and its illegal annexation by the Russian Federation. The ongoing occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, where nuclear facilities and material of Ukraine were located, undermined the non-proliferation regime established by the Treaty to which Ukraine had acceded. She urged the Russian Federation to abstain from any actions connected with the violation of the nuclear-free status of the territory of Ukraine, and “possibilities of extension” of the 21 February 1985 agreement between the Russian Federation and the Agency, as well as the March 2000 protocol thereto regarding Ukraine nuclear facilities and materials.
DESRA PERCAYA (Indonesia) said nuclear technology was a valuable tool in helping his country ensure food security, improve livelihoods, increase crop quality, and enhance irradiation technology for sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, among other improvements. There was an increased demand for energy in Indonesia, and it intended to build nuclear power plants to feed the energy needs of the growing industrial sector. He believed in the Agency’s role in assuring the safety of all nuclear activities worldwide. While the responsibility of ensuring nuclear security lay principally with each State, the Agency had a central role in ensuring security through international coordination and cooperation. He welcomed the Agency’s steps to help countries reduce the risk of terrorists obtaining nuclear or radioactive materials and prevent sabotage at nuclear facilities.
Action on Draft Resolution
The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in explanation of vote before the vote, gave a statement which he said would also serve as a reply to what he termed “irrelevant and hostile statements by some delegations”, including Japan and the Republic of Korea. Rejecting the draft resolution, he said that his Government’s possession of nuclear deterrence was the outcome of the hostility of the United States towards his country, and that the solution to the nuclear issue depended entirely on the withdrawal of that policy. As IAEA was devoid of impartiality and objectivity, it had lost its integrity. It was the United States and IAEA that had forced his Government to withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty, as a self-defensive measure. If the United States continued to threaten and blackmail his country with nuclear weapons, his Government would continue to exercise the right to self-defence by strengthening its nuclear deterrence capabilities. And if IAEA wanted to see a proper solution to the nuclear issue, it had to take a fair stance, and question the United States, which had created the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula, and continued to threaten the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with nuclear weapons.
The Assembly then adopted the draft resolution entitled “Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency” (document A/69/L.7) without a vote.
Right of Reply
In exercise of the right of reply, the representative of Lithuania, reacting to the statement by Belarus’s representative, said every country had a right to develop nuclear energy. She expressed concern that nuclear objects were being constructed outside of conventions and standards. The lack of nuclear safety information was disturbing. Confidence building was crucial for nuclear energy development. Adherence to nuclear safety standards should be inseparable from any nuclear power programme. She called on all countries implementing those projects to use the instruments of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and other nuclear conventions for the safe use of nuclear energy.
In exercise of the right of reply to the statement by Ukraine’s representative, the representative of the Russian Federation said the Ukrainian delegation used any opportunity in the United Nations platform to express its rhetoric and insinuations that were not relevant to the agenda item. In 1985, the then Soviet Union and the Agency signed a safeguards agreement, and the 2000 addendum to that agreement extended to Crimea as a unit of the Russian Federation. In a spirit of openness, the Russian Federation had worked with the Agency on the areas referred to, thus the situation was fully in line with international law. According to the 16 March referendum, Crimea and Sevastopol were under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation. Accordingly, Russian Federation had taken responsibility for nuclear materials in that area. This was all provided for in the 1985 Safeguards Agreement between his country and the Agency. Regarding the claim that the Russian Federation was not supporting the Agency’s safeguards, he said the concept of negative safeguards was the non-use of the threat of nuclear power. The Russian Federation was in no way violating its relationship with Ukraine.
The representative of Ukraine, also speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that she was not going to get into a long speech to explain all the lies told a few minutes ago, but wanted to note only that the agreement between Ukraine and IAEA was the main document that regulated and provided guarantees and safeguards to objects on what she termed occupied territory, and that this was decided by the Agency.