UN: EU Statement on the Report of the IAEA 2006

UN: EU Statement on the Report of the IAEA 2006

UN 61st Session; GA Plenary, Agenda Item 81: Report of the IAEA 2006
New York, 30 October 2006

Statement by H.E. Ms. Heidi Schroderus-Fox, Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations, on behalf of the European Union

Madam President,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, EFTA countries Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration.

Madam President,

Please allow me first of all to thank Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, the Director-General of IAEA, for his statement on the report of the IAEA activities in 2006. The EU commends the Secretariat of the IAEA and its Director-General for the excellent work done by the Agency and for the importance of the results achieved last year.

The EU Member States welcome the outcome of the 50th IAEA General Conference, held in Vienna from 18 to 22 September 2006, and the resolutions and decisions that were adopted at this Conference.

Madam President,

The European Union Member States are co-sponsoring the draft resolution on the report of the International Atomic Energy Agency and fully supports its content. The draft resolution with over 75 co-sponsors reflects a broad agreement among IAEA’s Member States. In this regard, we commend the efforts of the Chairman of the IAEA Board of Governors and sincerely hope that the present draft resolution will be adopted by consensus.

Madam President,

The Agency officially turns 50 in July 2007. We have good reason to celebrate this important milestone and give due recognition to the Agency for the remarkable achievements attained during this time. Allow me to briefly highlight a few elements of the role of the IAEA within the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and its contributions to it, as illustrated by the report submitted to you under this draft resolution. The three pillars of the IAEA Statute – verification, safety and technology – are all as valid today as they were 50 years ago. The EU is profoundly committed to them considering that they form the basis for the Agency’s accomplishments.

The pillars have stood firmly amid challenges and we are convinced that by promoting the agendas of these pillars on an international level we are effectively promoting peace and security in the world. However, although all pillars are important, some are facing more urgent pressures than others. This has been in particular true for the IAEA’s verification activities in recent years.

The IAEA has an important role to play within the global nuclear non-proliferation regime. The EU underlines the importance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The EU believes that the most important challenge to non-proliferation currently faced by the international community is non-compliance with the Treaty and the safeguards obligations stemming from the Treaty. The NPT stands as the cornerstone in international co-operation concerning non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. We urge all states not yet party to the Treaty to join as Non-Nuclear Weapons States.

We still regret that the 2005 NPT Review Conference was not able to produce a consensus document. However, we should be able to leave the failure behind us and concentrate on the present and the future. The EU is looking forward to the first Preparatory Committee Meeting in 2007 leading to the Review Conference in 2010. We are committed to contributing actively to a successful outcome of the review process and hope it produces tangible results in all three areas of the NPT.

Madam President,

International threat to nuclear safety constitutes a major concern for all Member States. Addressing full support to the IAEA in its pursuit for nuclear security should be a prerequisite for all States. We express our highest regard for the IAEA’s indispensable work in this field. A concrete example of our commitment to this task is the fact that the EU is the largest donor to the Nuclear Security Fund (NSF) this year. We call on all States to commit themselves to the financing of the NSF.

The IAEA remains as the supreme actor for nuclear co-operation and the impartial expertise of the Agency is widely valued by all Agency Member States. The role of the IAEA continues to be of pivotal importance in the global combat against nuclear terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons.

The international safeguards system is a fundamental part of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and the essential template for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament under Article VI. Safeguards are an essential tool for monitoring the progression of peaceful nuclear activities. The EU vigorously supports strengthening the effectiveness of the safeguard system and stresses in this regard the importance of the 5th preambular paragraph of the NPT.

We reiterate that the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement together with Additional Protocols constitute the current IAEA verification standard. The EU regrets that there are still 105 States that have yet to bring into force the Additional Protocols. It is of utmost significance that the Additional Protocols along with the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements form the basis of action for all States.

Madam President,

The EU reiterates its full support for the IAEA and is pleased to co-sponsor the draft resolution on the Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency as before you.

Thank you, Madam President.

*) Croatia and former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process