Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
One of the purposes of this Board meeting is to consider matters arising from the 55th regular session of the IAEA General Conference.
The IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, which was endorsed by the General Conference, requires immediate follow-up. I therefore wish to inform you that I am establishing a Nuclear Safety Action Team in the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security.
This team will oversee prompt implementation of the Action Plan and ensure proper coordination among all stakeholders.
I have designated Mr. Gustavo Caruso, Head of the Regulatory Activities Section in the Division of Installation Safety, as Special Coordinator for the Implementation of the Action Plan.
He will lead a compact, dedicated team which will assist Deputy Director General Denis Flory in implementing the measures agreed in the Action Plan. My Senior Strategy Officer in the Director General's Office for Policy will work closely with this team.
We have already started to implement our responsibilities under the Action Plan. To take just one example, an IAEA methodology for stress tests for nuclear power plants will be ready in October.
The Action Plan was communicated immediately after its endorsement by the General Conference to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, as he was chairing last week's High-Level Meeting in New York.
I am grateful for the Secretary-General's strong interest in nuclear safety and, in particular, for his call for the capacity of the IAEA to be strengthened with regard to nuclear safety.
As you will recall, an enhanced programme of peer reviews of operational safety, regulatory effectiveness and emergency response capabilities is a key element of the Action Plan.
I am pleased that some member States have already requested IAEA peer review missions, or expressed their intention to do so, as I learned during my consultations with Member States last week.
At the request of Japan, for example, I am preparing to dispatch a mission whose mandate will include assisting with plans for the remediation of large areas contaminated as a result of the Fukushima Daiichi accident.
Meeting new and expanding demands for assistance from Member States in nuclear safety, as well as in other areas, will require an increase in the Agency's resources. I encourage all countries in a position to do so to make additional resources available to the Agency.
In implementing the Action Plan, we will remain focussed on the ultimate goal, which is to bring about a significant improvement in nuclear safety throughout the world.
I will update you on initial progress in implementation at the November Board. In the meantime, I count on all other stakeholders - especially governments, regulatory bodies and operators - to take a proactive approach to fulfilling their responsibilities under the Action Plan.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank you for your highly effective work in steering the deliberations of the Board of Governors for the last 12 months and to wish you every success in future.