Endorsing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) annual report, the General Assembly today adopted a draft resolution that recognizes the critical role it plays in helping countries to keep nuclear and radioactive material and technologies safe and out of the hands of terrorists and other criminals.
Briefing the world body on IAEA activities over the past year, its Acting Director‑General introduced its annual report, noting that the Agency now implements safeguards for 183 States. Despite budgetary constraints, the IAEA continues to deliver on its high‑quality services, including in nuclear safety, food and agriculture, and health — most recently with the establishment of targets that will help countries develop nuclear medicine and other cancer treatments.
Providing an update on several cases, he said IAEA continues to verify and monitor Iran’s implementation of its nuclear‑related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, while keeping its Board of Governors and the Security Council informed of developments, including the recent installation of new advanced centrifuges and enrichment related activities. However, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear programme remains a cause for serious concern, he said, adding that: “They are in clear violation of relevant Security Council resolutions.” He called on Pyongyang to comply fully with its obligations, cooperate promptly with the Agency and resolve all outstanding issues.
Adopting the draft resolution “Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency” (document A/74/L.19) — transmitted in a note by the Secretary‑General (document A/74/287) and introduced by Sweden’s delegate — the 193‑member Assembly took note of several resolutions recently approved by the Vienna‑based IAEA. The Assembly also expressed its appreciation for the 10 years of distinguished service by the late Director‑General Yukiya Amano and his significant contribution to enhancing the Agency’s efforts towards international peace and security. By the text’s terms, the Assembly appealed to Member States to continue to support the Agency’s activities.
In the ensuing discussion, Iran’s delegate said that the United States withdrawal from the Joint Plan of Action and re‑imposition of sanctions rendered the agreement ineffective. If timely measures are not taken by other participants, Iran will be forced to further limit the agreement’s implementation every 60 days. Tehran has paid a heavy price because of the United States “all‑out economic war”, he said, adding that “Iran alone cannot, shall not and will not take all the burdens anymore to preserve” the Joint Plan of Action.
The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, calling the IAEA report unfair and impartial, said the historic inter‑Korean declarations that greatly excited all stakeholders are now at a standstill. Moreover, relations between Washington, D.C., and Pyongyang have not progressed, and the Korean Peninsula has not extricated itself from the vicious cycle of aggravated tension, which is entirely attributable to the political and military provocations perpetrated by the United States.
The delegate from European Union expressed regret that the United States withdrew from the Joint Plan of Action and re‑imposed sanctions, calling on all countries to refrain from taking actions that would impede the agreement’s implementation. Expressing concern that Iran has exceeded the Plan of Action’s stockpile limit of enriched uranium and is enriching uranium above permitted levels and expanding its centrifuge research and development activities, he urged Tehran to reverse its activities and return to full compliance. He also urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to embark on a credible path towards a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.
Other Member State representatives, including from Bangladesh, Egypt and India, commended IAEA for its role in helping to ensure that nuclear energy is used for peaceful purposes. Echoing statements made by many non‑nuclear‑weapon States, Mexico’s delegate urged all nations, in their deliberations on atomic safety, to keep in mind the “catastrophic” human consequences of the use of these weapons.
Also speaking today were representatives of Belarus, Singapore, Jamaica, United Arab Emirates, China, Argentina, Kuwait, Japan, Republic of Korea, El Salvador, Ukraine, Indonesia, Russian Federation, Cuba, Guatemala, Philippines, Malaysia and South Africa.
The representative of Syria spoke in exercise of the right of reply.
The General Assembly will meet again at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 20 November, to hold a high‑level meeting on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Introduction of Report by International Atomic Energy Agency
CORNEL FERUTA, Acting Director‑General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), paid tribute to Yukiya Amano, who led the Agency for 10 years, and introduced its annual report (document A/74/287). “We serve as the global platform for cooperation in nuclear safety and security, helping countries to keep nuclear and radioactive material and technologies safe, and out of the hands of terrorists and other criminals,” he said, adding that despite pressure on the Agency’s budget in recent years, it continues to deliver high‑quality services. “The Agency now implements safeguards for 183 States.”
Highlighting activities conducted over the past year, he said the Agency continued to verify and monitor Iran’s implementation of its nuclear‑related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. It kept its Board of Governors and the Security Council informed of related developments, including the latest ones on the installation of new advanced centrifuges and enrichment related activities. In addition, he informed the Board about the resumption of uranium enrichment at Fordow, and about a matter regarding the completeness of Iran’s declarations under its safeguards agreement and Additional Protocol. It is important for Iran to respond substantively to Agency questions.
The Agency also continues to monitor the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear programme, which still remains a cause for serious concern, he said, adding that: “They are in clear violation of relevant Security Council resolutions.” He called on Pyongyang to comply fully with its obligations under relevant Security Council resolutions, cooperate promptly with the Agency and resolve all outstanding issues. On Syria, he said that it is very likely that the building destroyed at the Dair Alzour site in 2007 was a nuclear reactor that should have been declared to the Agency by Syria under its safeguards agreement. He called on Syria to fully cooperate with the Agency.
Turning to the Agency’s technical cooperation programme, he outlined efforts in the area of health and nutrition, nuclear safety, food and agriculture. Funding must be maintained at a level that ensures that demand is met. In Bangladesh, for example, an emergency mission including experts from the Agency and the World Health Organization (WHO) visited the capital Dhaka to assess the feasibility of applying a sterile insect technique to control a dengue fever outbreak. In September, the Agency launched a road map towards a national cancer control programme, which sets out targets that countries can follow in establishing nuclear medicine, diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy services. In 2019, the Agency’s first linear accelerator at its Dosimetry Laboratory enables it to provide expanded calibration services to Member States, helping to ensure that cancer patients receive exactly the right dose of radiation.
The new flexible modular laboratory building, now known as the Yukiya Amano Laboratories, will be ready for use next April, he continued. The Agency’s Low Enriched Uranium Bank in Kazakhstan, which is intended to provide assurance to countries about the availability of nuclear fuel for reactors, became operational in October when the first shipment was delivered. He said he looked forward to the Agency’s next International Conference on Nuclear Security to take place in Vienna in February. Moreover, increasing the proportion of women on the Agency’s staff, especially at senior levels, remains a priority. “For the first time, women represent more than 30 per cent of staff at the professional level and above,” he said.
ANNA-KARIN ENESTRÖM (Sweden), having introduced the draft resolution as Chair of the IAEA Board of Governors from September 2019 to September 2020, said the text contains a tribute to Director‑General Yukiya Amano, an excellent diplomat with an illustrious career. The draft resolution stems from a requirement in the IAEA Statute and a cooperation agreement signed by the United Nations and the IAEA in 1957, she said, adding that: “We hope that the General Assembly will adopt the draft resolution without a vote, thereby stressing the importance the international community attaches to the IAEA and the wide variety of its work.”
GUILLAUME DABOUIS, European Union delegation, expressing support for the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, said the Agency’s safeguards system is a fundamental component of the nuclear non‑proliferation regime and plays an indispensable role in the implementation of the Treaty on the Non‑Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The Security Council has the primary responsibility in cases of non‑compliance. Deeply regretting the United States withdrawal from the Joint Plan of Action and its re‑imposed sanctions, the bloc calls on all countries to refrain from taking actions that impede the agreement’s implementation. Concerned that Iran has exceeded the Plan of Action’s stockpile limit of enriched uranium and is enriching uranium above the permitted level and expanding its centrifuge research and development activities, he urged Iran to reverse its activities and return to full compliance. He also urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to embark on a credible path towards a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization, and Syria to cooperate promptly and transparently with the Agency. He called for the universalization of comprehensive safeguards agreements together with Additional Protocols. For its part, the European Union dedicates more than €100 million to its regional Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Centres of Excellence Initiative, during the period of 2014 to 2020. He expressed support for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and technology, to which his delegation is contributing an average contribution of €15 million annually.
VALENTIN RYBAKOV (Belarus) said international cooperation should be built around a joint interest in the safe, peaceful use of nuclear technology. More countries increasingly use this technology for peaceful purposes, as is Belarus, because nuclear technology has many benefits, among them cutting greenhouse gas emissions. He supports IAEA efforts to assist States with using nuclear technology for peaceful benefits. The Agency’s success will to a large extent determine the belief in the peaceful uses of the atom. Technical cooperation, with IAEA assistance, allows Belarus to reach its sustainable development goals. However, the safeguards mechanism should be strengthened while remaining clear. As such, Belarus supports approves the adoption of the related draft resolution.
ALAN TANG (Singapore) said that even though IAEA is the sole competent authority responsible for verifying States’ fulfilment of their safeguard obligations, the way forward on the Joint Plan of Action is unclear, following the withdrawal of the United States and Iran’s actions since July 2019. The future of the Plan itself is in doubt, he said, urging all parties to fulfil their obligations. In addition, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea should abide by its international obligations. With regard to the Agency’s role in nuclear safety and security, he welcomed its development of updated computer security guidance for nuclear facilities and its first ever international training course on protecting computer‑based systems in nuclear security regimes in 2018.
DIEDRE NICHOLE MILLS (Jamaica) said her country had benefitted tremendously from its emphasis on capacity‑building in key development areas, with €2.5 million in national projects. Expressing appreciation for grants for new projects related to coastal and marine pollution among other matters, she highlighted regional capacity‑building workshops hosted by Jamaica throughout 2019, also noting with special interest the management and improvement of the Agency’s technical cooperation programme. Outlining her country’s work with the Agency to provide for effective “cradle to grave” control of radioactive sources, she also expressed support for its work to enhance safeguards and verification, including through greater cooperation with States and regions. Commending the Agency for its efforts to integrate sustainable development and climate concerns into its work, she cited related regional initiatives and anticipated cooperating with new regional IAEA member Saint Lucia.
SHAHD JAMAL YOUSUF IBRAHIM MATAR (United Arab Emirates), highlighting the critical role IAEA plays in the peaceful use of nuclear technology and in helping Member States to ensure they make best use of this type of technology, noted the importance of verification measures, safeguards systems and Additional Protocols which helps to strengthen international trust in the peaceful nature of nuclear programmes. She encouraged Member States that have plans for the use of or development of nuclear energy to take advantage of IAEA tools and services. The United Arab Emirates will continue to support the Agency by providing experts and implementing several of its initiatives. In a similar vein, the technical cooperation programme must receive the assistance and resources required to provide Member States with the support they need.
ANJANI KUMAR (India), noting that nuclear power remains an option to meet challenges of increased energy demands, said IAEA has a critical role in supporting countries in their pursuit of this technology. India supports and works closely with IAEA by offering expert services and training slots for experts from other countries. In addition to existing reactors, India currently has 21 others under construction and planning with the aim of reaching a generating capacity of 15,000 megawatts. The recently launched global cancer care network, NCG‑Vishwam, constitutes a paradigm shift in cancer care, he said, adding that progress has been made in using radiation technologies for societal purposes. Noting his delegation’s willingness to share its knowledge and expertise and to collaborate in all areas of nuclear technologies concerning human life, he reiterated India’s support for IAEA in guiding peaceful uses of nuclear energy and ensuring safety and security.
KIM SONG (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), rejecting the IAEA report, said it “discloses ignorance” of the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Since 2018, Pyongyang has made efforts to establish a lasting peace and has refrained from nuclear testing and missile test‑firing. “It is the clearest expression of our sincere goodwill and tolerance to meet the universal desire of the international community for peace and stability,” he said, adding that the way forward is to implement the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea‑United States Joint Statement adopted in June 2018. Unfortunately, relations between Washington, D.C., and Pyongyang have not progressed and the Korean Peninsula has not extricated itself from the vicious cycle of aggravated tension, “which is entirely attributable to the political and military provocations perpetrated by the United States”. The historic inter‑Korean declarations that greatly excited all stakeholders and the international community are now in standstill. The current situation is attributable to the “double‑dealing behaviour” of Seoul authorities, and to the introduction of its latest offensive weapons and joint military exercises with the United States that are targeting the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which constitute flagrant violations of and challenges to the inter‑Korean agreement. The IAEA report shows that the Agency has not yet removed prejudice, distrust and unfair attitudes, he said, adding that it should instead take an impartial position.
JUAN SANDOVAL MENDIOLEA (Mexico) highlighted the Agency’s critical role in non‑proliferation and emphasized the need to improve safeguards efficiency. The Agency plays a central part in promoting technical cooperation, capacity‑building and technology transfer. For its part, Mexico continues to actively promote the exchange of information regarding nuclear science and technology, especially with developing countries. Nuclear energy should be reserved for peaceful purposes and highlighted the “catastrophic consequences” of the use of atomic weapons. This should be at the forefront of discussions when Member States deliberate and promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
BASSEM YEHIA HASSAN KASSEM HASSAN (Egypt), recognizing the Agency’s significant role in promoting international cooperation on nuclear energy, said Egypt is preparing to operationalize a power plant, the first of its kind in the country to generate electricity with nuclear energy. Calling on Member States to redouble efforts to ensure proper financing and resources are available for the Agency to undertake its activities and “to get rid of the impression that it is a mere nuclear watchdog,” he said that the peaceful use of nuclear energy is an inalienable sovereign right. Noting Egypt’s position on the Agency’s Board of Governors, he said IAEA also has a critical role to support nuclear disarmament efforts. “This requires developing the safeguards regime without imposing any other obligations and in a way that does not impose on the sovereignty of States,” he said.
WU HAITAO (China), welcoming the IAEA report, said the peaceful uses of nuclear energy are playing a more salient role in promoting social and economic development, ensuring energy security and tackling climate change. The Agency should invest more resources in providing support to Member States in developing, using and applying nuclear technology on a wider scale so that its benefits can be shared by all. More should be done to improve the Agency’s safeguards regime. In addition, IAEA should continue promoting the elaboration of safety standards and security guidance, strengthening peer review and services, assisting Member States in capacity‑building, and promoting experience exchange and sharing. The Agency should also continue to facilitate the political and diplomatic settlement of nuclear hotspot issues, such as in Iran and on the Korean Peninsula.
MARTÍN GARCÍA MORITÁN (Argentina) said that the Agency must explore Member States’ efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, since nuclear energy can help contribute to those achievements. Noting that Latin America is a nuclear‑weapon‑free zone, he said Argentina has always opted for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, which plays a crucial role in a future defined by energy sustainability. The national nuclear sector plays an important role in implementing the Agency’s safeguards system, and its nuclear regulatory authority supervises related activities and ensures that plants are built in line with the latest and safest technologies. Argentina hopes to become a focal point to carry out training activities in region.
JAWAHER EBRAHEEM DUAIJ E. ALSABAH (Kuwait), noting her country’s cooperation with IAEA programmes, said efforts include building national institutions able to implement development goals. It looks forward to further efforts in the Security Council to strengthen the Agency, particularly in areas of development and condemns any nuclear testing that compromises human safety. Calling on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to support peaceful initiatives on the Korean Peninsula, she also urged Iran to comply with its nuclear obligations, while stressing the right of all States to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Iran should continue to transparently cooperate with the Agency. More broadly, she highlighted the importance of creating a nuclear‑weapon‑free zone in the Middle East.
YASUHISA KAWAMURA (Japan) highlighted the importance of strengthening IAEA safeguards and of the universalization of the comprehensive safeguards agreement and its Additional Protocols. Turning to other concerns, Japan is taking all possible measures against terrorism, including nuclear terrorism, for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Expressing deep regret over the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s ballistic missile launches, he strongly urged Pyongyang to fully comply with its obligations under relevant Security Council resolutions, and to take concrete steps towards the irreversible dismantlement of all its nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. He also strongly urged Iran to implement the Joint Plan of Action, while reiterating Japan’s commitment to promoting the peaceful use of nuclear energy and strengthening the nuclear non‑proliferation regime.
BAEK YONG JIN (Republic of Korea) said the Agency’s peer review missions provide useful feedback to Member States in their efforts to implement the fundamental principles, requirements and recommendations to ensure nuclear safety. All Member States must cooperate closely with the Agency in adopting the highest safety standards. The next International Conference on Nuclear Security will be a timely opportunity to renew commitments to strengthen national nuclear security regimes. He commended the Agency for its professional and impartial monitoring and verification of Iran’s implementation of its nuclear‑related commitments. The Republic of Korea also welcomed the Agency’s readiness to play an essential role in verification activities of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear programme.
HÉCTOR ENRIQUE JAIME CALDERÓN (El Salvador), noting the Agency’s crucial role in helping develop the use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, said today’s meeting is an opportunity to keep abreast of its activities and pledge support for its work. All countries have a right to use atomic technology for peaceful purposes, he said, reaffirming El Salvador’s commitment to nuclear disarmament. Countries must continue to promote the use of nuclear science and technologies to contribute to sustainable development and peace, with atomic energy being essential for the development of various sectors, including agriculture, food security and health. Highlighting the IAEA cancer control programme that helps countries in their treatment efforts, he said: “We hope to continue to be able to develop our bilateral cooperation with the Agency.”
VOLODYMYR LESCHENKO (Ukraine) said his country is still suffering from the Russian Federation’s aggression, which has significantly undermined international efforts towards the non‑proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The Russian invasion and occupation of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol resulted in a rapid transformation of the peninsula into a large military base that currently threatens security and stability in the entire Black Sea region and beyond. Despite this continued aggression from a nuclear‑weapon State, Ukraine remains fully committed to its obligations under the Non‑Proliferation Treaty, recognizing the considerable progress in the overall safeguards implementation approach. The Agency’s conclusions should be based on the collected and processed information from a wide range of sources, but judged only from technically credible data. He also highlighted that not a single Agency document recognizes the Russian occupation of Crimea.
MOHAMMAD KURNIADI KOBA (Indonesia) said applying nuclear technology to agriculture plays an important role in achieving national food security, as it meets the needs of rice and soybean production. In the area of health, Indonesia has collaborated with the Agency in the cancer therapy and radiopharmaceuticals spheres. Since 2010, IAEA has sent integrated missions related to cancer therapy to improve diagnosis and treatment for sufferers through nuclear technology. Indonesia has also successfully produced radiopharmaceuticals for bone pain palliation of cancer patients and for neuroblastoma diagnosis and therapy.
DENIS N. LOZINSKIY (Russian Federation) said his country intends to continue to increase its potential in nuclear energy and will assist other countries in doing the same. International trust in the Agency’s safeguards system remains essential. Any verification approaches should help to increase the effectiveness of the safeguards and must remain impartial and unbiased. A professional and objective approach is required in Iran. The Russian Federation is an active participant in the Agency’s work, including as a financial donor, supporting IAEA efforts in helping to develop nuclear energy and ensuring safety. “We are convinced that the responsibility of ensuring nuclear safety lies with Member States,” he said, calling on all countries that have not yet done so to accede to various international instruments. It is important to refrain from artificially adding to the Agency’s agenda, particularly activities that fall outside of its mandate, he said. Turning to comments made by the Ukraine’s delegate, he noted that the Russian Federation’s position on the situation is outlined in various Agency documents.
LILIANNE SÁNCHEZ RODRÍGUEZ (Cuba) said the implementation of the Agency’s verification system is crucial to assuring the peaceful nature of nuclear energy programmes around the world. As IAEA also guarantees that all States can develop nuclear energy, Cuba places great importance on such activities and wants to “step up” the Agency’s transition of technology to developing countries. Havana calls for the elimination of all restrictions on the export of nuclear technologies to developing States that use them for peaceful purposes. However, IAEA must offer greater protection of nuclear materials in various countries, facilitating the cooperation between States to prevent crimes involving nuclear technology, such as theft. Turning to disarmament concerns, she said the only way of guaranteeing the non‑use of nuclear weapons is their total elimination. She regretted that the United States withdrew from the Joint Plan of Action and re‑imposed unilateral sanctions against Iran, contrary to international law.
MARÍA DEL ROSARIO ESTRADA GIRÓN (Guatemala), acknowledging the sovereign right of States to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, reaffirmed her delegation’s obligation to work toward a world free of atomic weapons. Recognizing the benefits of peaceful technology, including in areas such as health, medicine, food safety and the environment, she said all States should work with the Agency to share nuclear technology with other countries. For its part, Guatemala remains committed to the high standards of the Non‑Proliferation Treaty and actively promotes its universality. The only guarantee for humanity is a total prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.
ESHAGH AL HABIB (Iran), highlighting a dangerous trend of several countries monopolizing nuclear science research and development, said all developing countries must be vigilant about the negative consequences of this phenomenon and be united in resisting it. Restrictions imposed on developing countries are impeding the full and effective realization of their right to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and the Agency must avoid double standards, politicization and a selective approach. Iran is subject to the most robust nuclear verification, with all its related activities conducted under the Agency’s supervision, and will continue to act in full conformity with its obligations under the Non‑Proliferation Treaty. Similarly, it will honour its commitments to the Joint Plan of Action. Participants must support the agreement’s implementation and refrain from all actions that undermine it, including policies directly and adversely affecting the normalization of economic relations with Iran. In practice, the United States withdrawal from the Joint Plan of Action and re‑imposition of sanctions rendered the agreement ineffective, placing it at a serious risk.
Recalling that the United States policy is a breach of its obligations under the Joint Plan of Action and Security Council resolution 2231 (2015), he said Washington, D.C., continues these violations by brazenly forcing other States to follow suit or face punishment. Within one year after the United States withdrawal, Iran gave ample opportunities to remaining agreement participants to compensate for the consequences of that action, yielding no concrete results. Tehran has paid a heavy price because of the United States “all‑out economic war”, he said, adding that “Iran alone cannot, shall not and will not take all the burdens anymore to preserve” the Joint Plan of Action. Instead, Iran decided to limit its implementation in full conformity with the Joint Plan of Action, which gives Tehran the right to “cease performing its commitments” if sanctions are re‑introduced. If timely measures are not taken by other participants, Iran will be forced to further limit the agreement’s implementation every 60 days. All measures taken by Iran are reversible, providing opportunities for remaining participants either to take serious practical steps to preserve the Joint Plan of Action, or, along with the United States, “accept the full responsibility for any possible consequences”. Responding to the European Union, he said Iran fully conforms to IAEA safeguards. Instead of focusing on this issue, the European Union must break its “deadly silence” on Israel’s clandestine nuclear weapon programme, the only of its kind in the Middle East.
ARIEL RODELAS PENARANDA (Philippines) said his country is a strong partner of IAEA in its efforts to share ideas and expertise on nuclear applications for development. Also welcoming the Agency’s efforts for gender equality and balanced geographic representation, he encouraged it to maintain this approach across its six major programmes. Affirming the importance of addressing nuclear non‑proliferation and disarmament issues, he welcomed resolutions adopted on the Korean Peninsula and in the Middle East. He also recognized the challenges faced by the Agency, including, budgetary pressures, the increase of nuclear material in circulation and the growing number of facilities.
GLORIA CORINA PETER TIWET (Malaysia), highlighting the Agency’s vital role in promoting the peaceful use of nuclear energy and technology, recognized its extensive activities in atomic sciences and applications, safety and security, verification and the management of technical cooperation for development. Today’s draft resolution reaffirms the importance of supporting IAEA in its role in development and in peaceful applications of nuclear energy, reflecting Malaysia’s longstanding support for its work. As a member since 1989, her country continues to benefit from the Agency’s technical assistance and cooperation programme, she said, adding that: “The cooperation between Malaysia and the [Agency] in various fields has been fruitful and encouraging.”
XOLISA MFUNDISO MABHONGO (South Africa) said the Agency’s work in the field of technical cooperation through nuclear science and technology in areas such as food and agriculture, food safety and food security, human health, water resource management and animal health contributes immensely towards assisting Member States in achieving socioeconomic development. The Agency has supported South Africa in notable ways, such as further strengthening its ability to diagnose and control transboundary and zoonotic diseases, and in developing a sterile insect technique to help control malaria. The Agency also plays a central role in the implementation of the Non‑Proliferation Treaty safeguards verification system, which continues to play an essential role in the global non‑proliferation regime by verifying the peaceful nature of civil nuclear programmes.
TAREQ MD ARIFUL ISLAM (Bangladesh) said his country values its collaboration with the Agency and has been efficiently using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes for years. However, its initiative for nuclear power generation is fairly recent. With this in mind, nuclear energy is a safe, environmentally‑friendly and economically viable source of power generation. Recognizing that the right of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy comes with responsibilities, he said the Agency has long been a partner to Bangladesh in its promotion of safe and secure applications of nuclear technologies.
Right of Reply
The representative of Syria, speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that while Damascus signed the Non‑Proliferation Treaty in 1969, long before some European Union members, all North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries currently have nuclear weapons on their territories, directly violating that instrument. While Syria’s credibility on non‑proliferation is solid, the Security Council and IAEA have not condemned Israel’s non‑cooperation with the Agency and its 2007 attack on his country. Indeed, Israel is the only country whose nuclear weapons threaten the region and the world. For its part, Syria cooperated with IAEA about the location of the attack and reached an agreement in 2011 on a work programme. However, the United States remains fully responsible for the non‑implementation of the agreement, he said, citing WikiLeaks reports. Meanwhile, Damascus has satisfied all inspection requests, including the latest in March. The European Union’s criticism of Syria is ironic since it fails to condemn Israel and rings hollow, given that its members have provided nuclear submarines and other technologies to that country, he said, calling on the Agency to investigate the presence of nuclear weapons in non‑nuclear‑weapon States in the European Union, and adding that many Member States also violate their non‑proliferation commitments.