South Africa, Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngeuka, Minister for Minerals and Energy:
In her statement she congratulated the incoming president on his election and the outgoing president for a job well done. South Africa welcomed the thrust and tone of the Director General’s speech, found it balanced and in line with her country’s quest to build technical competence, and national consensus on the subject of nuclear energy. She welcomed the UN Secretary General’s message on NPT Review Conference and the multi-dimensional nature of the proliferation risks faced by humanity in the post Cold War era, as well as the challenges of the coming millennium. She commended the IAEA for offering a forum for discussions among experts in the nuclear and environmental field. "South Africa will play its part in this year’s discussions on nuclear power, a subject pertinent to the search for ways to secure the environment and promote sustainable development", she said. Regarding the amendment of article VI, her delegation welcomed the progress made and looked forward to a successful conclusion of the issue at this session of the General Conference. She expressed her pride in seeing the management of the conference and the leadership of the Agency in the hands of Africa. In line with the role of Africa in the promotion of global development, the continent has been outstanding in its commitments to non-proliferation and South Africa encouraged the Director General and the Agency to continue working closely with Member States in the continent to ensure that technical cooperation makes meaningful contribution in key areas of sustainable development. She expressed her appreciation to the Agency for its continued support to South Africa in the field of technical cooperation, especially the developmental work on the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) that has advanced during the past years. South Africa endorsed the Agency’s activities in the identification and evaluation of Y2K issues, as well as the coordination of exchange of related information amongst Member States. She further commended the Agency for its work on safeguards and verification. South Africa welcomed the "Trilateral Initiative" between the IAEA, the United States of America and the Russian Federation.