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16 June 2003 | Vienna, Austria
IAEA Board of Governors

Introductory Statement to the Board of Governors

by IAEA Director General Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei

Our agenda for this meeting covers a broad range of issues, including the Agency’s Annual Report for 2002, the Technical Co-operation Report for 2002, the report of the Programme and Budget Committee, nuclear verification and the prevention of nuclear terrorism. I will briefly address these issues, as well as a few others.

The Agency’s Technical Co-Operation Programme

You have before you the Technical Co-operation (TC) Report for 2002. The Agency’s TC programme continues to be a principal mechanism for implementing the Agency’s basic mission: “Atoms for Peace”. Not only do we seek to ensure that nuclear materials and equipment are used peacefully and safely, but above all we are committed to expanding the contribution that nuclear technologies make to peace and development. This commitment is Agency-wide and draws not only on the TC Fund but also on regular budget resources- where our nuclear sciences and applications programme, for example, commits about 50 to 60% of its resources, directly and indirectly, to TC.

The report reviews the achievements of the TC programme in the past year, including efforts to improve the planning of national TC strategies through early and direct dialogue with Member States. Eighty-seven country programme frameworks - which are used as planning tools to design TC projects within the context of national priorities - are now in place - 29 more than in the previous year. Thematic plans- which use the results of field experience to highlight particular technical areas in which a nuclear technology could have significant impact - were prepared for food irradiation, river basin management and the use of isotopic techniques in the control of communicable diseases. Our partnerships with other United Nations system organizations, international financial institutions, regional organizations and other relevant bodies have also expanded. For example, in the area of human health, the IAEA now has collaborative working relationships with the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the OPEC Fund for International Development, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and the World Health Organization.

Programme implementation in 2002, measured in financial terms, increased to an all-time high of $74.6 million, well above the previous record of $71.0 million attained in 2001. But more importantly, the programme contributed in many ways to the developmental goals of Member States.

Training events, expert missions and equipment were provided to support national and regional efforts to improve cancer therapy and other human health programmes. As a result of Agency assistance throughout Africa, the number of cancer patients receiving curative and palliative treatment in participating AFRA countries has risen by an average of 9% since 2001, an increase of approximately 6500 patients per year. Throughout East Asia and the Pacific (in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam), the Agency assisted Member States in the use of nuclear techniques to assess the results of nutrition supplement programmes. Five nuclear medicine courses were held in West Asia to provide specialized training for more than 100 physicians and technologists from the region, and eight courses in radiation oncology trained over 200 individuals in Europe. In Uzbekistan, a SPECT gamma camera facility was supplied, installed, and made operational at the Scientific Centre in Tashkent - the first such facility in the country. And in Albania, with the Agency’s assistance, the first technetium-99m radiopharmaceutical kits were produced locally last year, for use in Albanian hospitals.

An ongoing regional isotope hydrology project in Latin America brought together more than 30 water institutes to address water shortages, with the successful completion of conceptual models for a total of seven aquifers in Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru. In Yemen, the Agency assisted with the assessment of the deep and shallow groundwater system in the region of the Sana’a basin. Similar assistance was provided to evaluate groundwater resources in Ethiopia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.

In our work on plant breeding, we were able - following trials for mutant strains of rice in nine Asian countries - to identify many strains that grow well in different ecological conditions. We anticipate that at least seven new, high yielding varieties of rice will be released during the next 3-5 years in the region.

Despite these and other successes, however, adequate funding for the TC programme continues to be a concern. In contrast to the record levels of programme implementation last year, new resources received for the 2002 programme were down to $67.7 million, the lowest level since 1998. And although the target rate of attainment for contributions was set at 85% for 2002, the actual payments received corresponded to only about 80%. For efficient programme delivery, using careful budgeting and realistic work plans, TC funding must be predictable and assured. I would request all of you to provide the necessary support to ensure continuing success of the programme.

Report of the Programme and Budget Committee

The Programme and Budget Committee (PBC) met early last month to review, inter alia, the Agency’s accounts for 2002 and the programme and budget proposals for 2004-2005. In the weeks since - as well as in the months leading up to the PBC - there has been intensive effort on the part of many Member State representatives to find a common ground for an agreed programme and budget. I would especially note the leadership demonstrated by the Chair and the co-chairmen of the working group she established. However, despite the intensive consultations among Member States, regrettably no consensus has as yet been reached on the draft programme and budget proposals for 2004-2005.

The co-chairmen of the working group have circulated a package of measures which is still the focus of examination and consultation among Member States. The draft programme and budget has been with you since December. The time to act on it is now, if the Secretariat and the Board are to fulfil their responsibilities, under the Agency’s financial regulations, for submission of budget estimates by the Board to the General Conference within the required time frame. Failure to reach a decision by the end of next week will effectively bring the Agency into uncharted territory, which we all need to avoid at this critical time.

Nuclear Verification

The Safeguards Implementation Report and Safeguards Statement for 2002
In the Safeguards Implementation Report (SIR) for 2002, the Agency concludes that, in 145 States (and Taiwan, China) with safeguards agreements in force, the nuclear material and other items placed under safeguards remained in peaceful use or were otherwise adequately accounted for. In the case of 13 States having in force both a comprehensive safeguards agreement and an additional protocol, the Secretariat, having found no indication of the existence of undeclared nuclear material or activities, was also able to conclude that all nuclear material in those States had been declared and remained under safeguards.

Status of Safeguards Agreements and Additional Protocols
Our goal continues to be the ability to provide credible, comprehensive assurances regarding all States that have made non-proliferation commitments, including conclusions on the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities. This requires that States have both a comprehensive safeguards agreement and an additional protocol in force.

Since the last meeting of the Board in March, Burkina Faso and Georgia have brought into force both NPT safeguards agreements and additional protocols. The Sultanate of Oman has brought its NPT safeguards agreement into force. Additional protocols have been brought into force by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jamaica, Kuwait and Mongolia. And Denmark and France have informed the Secretariat of the parliamentary approval of their respective additional protocols, leaving only two national ratifications outstanding, in addition to the notification required from EURATOM, before the collective entry into force of the European Union’s additional protocols.

With the approval of additional protocols for Kazakhstan and Madagascar on the current Board agenda, the number of States for which an additional protocol has been approved by the Board will reach 80. But despite this incremental progress, it remains a source of concern that - more than six years after the Board’s approval of the Model Additional Protocol - only 35 States have brought additional protocols into force, and 46 States party to the NPT still do not even have the required safeguards agreements with the Agency. I call on all States that have not done so to conclude and bring into force the respective legal instruments without further delay. As I have stated many times, for the Agency to give credible assurances, we need the corresponding authority.

Integrated Safeguards
Work continues on the conceptual framework for integrated safeguards, as reported to the Board in March 2002, with the aim of having in place a more effective and efficient verification system. Our current focus is on a number of aspects of implementation. We are proceeding as fast as technically feasible - but of course we are limited, in this regard, to those States that have in force both a comprehensive safeguards agreement and an additional protocol. Currently, integrated safeguards is being implemented in Australia and Norway, and development is well underway for a number of States with significant nuclear activities - notably Canada, Hungary and Japan.

Verification in Iraq
As you are all aware, the Agency, in consultation with the President of the Security Council and the UN Secretary General, withdrew its inspectors from Iraq on the eve of the recent conflict, and before having been able to complete its Security Council mandated work to verify the presence or absence of prohibited nuclear activities in Iraq. The occupying powers have to date indicated that they are assuming that function themselves. Our Security Council mandate still stands. However, the Security Council, in resolution 1483, underlined the intention of the Council to revisit the mandate of the IAEA as set forth in previous resolutions. At this time, we are maintaining capacity in the Agency’s Iraq Nuclear Verification Office (INVO).

Following persistent media reports of looting of nuclear and radioactive material in Iraq, the occupying powers recently agreed to the Agency’s request to send a team to undertake, pursuant to our mandate under Iraq’s NPT safeguards agreement, an inventory of the nuclear material stored at the Tuwaitha complex south of Baghdad. The mission is limited to verification of nuclear material under safeguards. The occupying powers have informed the Agency that they are taking responsibility themselves for nuclear and radiation safety and security in Iraq.

Once the inspection is complete, and the exact results are known, I intend to report the findings to the occupying powers, as the authority in Iraq, and I will naturally keep the Board informed.

Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran
In March, I reported to the Board on discussions taking place with the Islamic Republic of Iran concerning a number of safeguards issues that needed to be clarified in relation to Iran’s implementation of its NPT safeguards agreement with the Agency. Since my visit to Iran in February, the Agency has undertaken extensive verification activities in Iran. The report before you provides the results of these activities to date.

The report points out that Iran has failed to report certain nuclear material and activities, and that corrective actions are being taken in co-operation with the Iranian authorities. The report also explains that work is still ongoing with regard to the correctness and completeness of Iran’s declaration to ensure that all nuclear material in Iran has been declared and is under safeguards. In this respect, we are continuing our efforts - through technical discussions, inspection and environmental sample analysis - to understand all aspects of Iran’s nuclear programme, including: the research and development work relevant to its uranium conversion and enrichment programme; and its programme for the use of heavy water.

I continue to call on Iran, as with all States with significant nuclear programmes, to conclude and bring into force an additional protocol at an early date, in order to enhance the Agency’s ability to provide credible assurances regarding the peaceful nature of its nuclear activities. In the meantime, I also continue to call on Iran to permit us to take environmental samples at the particular location where allegations about enrichment activities exist. This is clearly in the interest of both the Agency and Iran. I will keep the Board informed of the results of our work.

Verification in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
The Agency has not performed any safeguards functions in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) since the end of last December. We cannot, therefore, provide any assurances about the non-diversion of nuclear material for weapons or other explosive devices in the DPRK. We remain, however, ready to assist all concerned parties, through our verification role, in bringing the DPRK back to the non-proliferation regime, and redress a most serious challenge to that regime.

Nuclear Security - Measures To Protect Against Nuclear Terrorism

You have before you the report on the status of Agency activities related to nuclear security. Agency assistance to Member States, in helping to put in place measures to protect against nuclear terrorism, is continuing at an exceptionally fast pace. Since September 2001, a total of 35 advisory and evaluation missions have been conducted in Member States, and a total of 54 training courses, workshops and seminars have been convened.

These Agency activities are helping Member States in all regions to increase their nuclear security. Two major international conferences have been held: one, in Karlsruhe, Germany, focused on helping States to make use of advanced analytical methods for nuclear material seized in illicit trafficking incidents, and to improve co-ordination between the nuclear scientific community and the law enforcement community; and the second, here in Vienna, on the security of radioactive sources, about which I reported to the Board in March. Workshops on the self-assessment of security vulnerabilities at nuclear installations were held in Hungary, India and Turkey. International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) missions and follow-up missions were carried out in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine. Requests for seven additional IPPAS missions are currently being processed. Regional training courses in physical protection were held in Asia and Eastern Europe, and similar courses are being planned for Africa and Latin America.

Evaluation missions to assess Member States’ capabilities to detect nuclear and other radioactive material at their borders have been held throughout Eastern Europe. Agency incident response missions have been sent to Bolivia, Ecuador, Nigeria and Tanzania to assist with the characterization of radioactive sources seized in illicit trafficking incidents. And the three-way initiative by the United States of America, the Russian Federation and the Agency, which seeks to secure vulnerable radioactive sources within the territories of the former Soviet Union, has so far resulted in missions to the Republic of Moldova and Tajikistan, with further missions scheduled for seven additional countries.

Clearly, more work still needs to be done in this important area, and I encourage all of you to continue your support.

Nuclear Technology

In the nuclear technology area the Agency’s International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO) has completed the definition of user requirements related to economics, safety, proliferation resistance and the environment, bringing Phase 1A of the project to a close. The INPRO Steering Committee last month approved the Phase 1A report, and made a number of recommendations for the future, namely: that co-operation be strengthened with other initiatives on innovative nuclear energy systems, including the US-led Generation IV project; that research and development initiatives be pursued in areas such as environmental impact and proliferation resistance; and that case studies be conducted to enable Member States and independent analysts to apply INPRO methodology in specific situations. We are currently planning to undertake three case studies: in Argentina, India and Russia. I would note that the results of INPRO’s work to date will be presented next week at an international conference on innovative reactor and fuel cycle technologies.

New Information Security Policy

A new Information Security Policy is now being implemented throughout the Secretariat. It addresses confidentiality of information, how to maintain information integrity, and how to ensure the availability of information to staff, Member States and others as appropriate. Extensive training is being given to staff on this policy, to foster an Agency-wide security culture.

Public Communication

I should also mention that the Secretariat has been active in public communication, including media interviews, renovating the Agency’s web site, and initiating media campaigns on different areas of Agency activities. As a result of these initiatives, as well as recent Agency activities, readership of the WorldAtom web site has risen dramatically, with more than 7 million hits per month, as compared to 1.5 million per month in mid-2001. This increased exposure has enabled the Agency to have broader outreach with civil society and the public at large.

Annual Report

The draft Annual Report for 2002 before you summarizes the scope and results of Agency activities throughout the year, with an introductory chapter that considers the Agency’s work within the context of overall nuclear developments and key related issues. This report serves as the Board’s report to the General Conference, and as the Agency’s report to the United Nations and the general public. But it serves equally as a record of the Agency’s commitment to the implementation of programmes that reflect the needs and priorities of all its Members. This past year has been an exceptional and challenging year for the Agency. Many of the challenges remain. However, I trust that with your support the Agency will continue to carry out its important responsibilities as an effective and credible institution for much needed multilateral co-operation.