IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano today opened a busy Board of Governors meeting.
In his opening address Mr. Amano touched on IAEA activities related to a range of nuclear issues including nuclear safety and security, technical cooperation, verification of nuclear non-proliferation as well as the Agency´s programme and budget. Excerpts from his speech follow:
NPT Review Conference
"I warmly welcome the fact that the NPT Review Conference unanimously adopted Conclusions and Recommendations for Follow-on Actions in the three areas that relate to Agency activities. It was very encouraging that a call was made to all States parties to ensure that the Agency continues to have all the political, technical and financial support it needs to effectively meet its responsibilities. I am confident that, with the support of all of its Member States, the Agency will continue delivering excellent results in all areas of its work.
"At the start of the Conference, the United States announced a new proposal for a 100 million US dollars IAEA Peaceful Uses Initiative, and pledged 50 million US dollars for that fund over the next five years. I am very grateful for that initiative and encourage other Member States in a position to do so to match this commitment. This additional funding would enable the Agency to significantly increase its support for Member States in key areas such as health care and nutrition, food security, water resource management, and infrastructure development for the safe and secure use of nuclear power.
"Personally, I was especially gratified that the Review Conference welcomed our focus on cancer control as a priority issue in 2010. I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that this year´s Scientific Forum, which will take place on 21-22 September here in Vienna, will focus on fighting cancer in the developing countries. I expect this conference to be a major event, at which existing partnerships will be consolidated and enlarged to confront this crucial challenge of our time. I strongly encourage Member States to participate in the Forum."
Tehran Research Reactor
"The Board will recall that my predecessor, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, proposed a draft agreement last October under which Iranian low enriched uranium would be shipped for further enrichment in Russia and processing into fuel in France. The proposed agreement was accepted at that time by the United States, Russia and France.
"I received a letter from Iran dated 24 May, in which Iran officially declared its agreement with the Joint Declaration by the Foreign Ministers of Iran, Brazil and Turkey which was signed on 17 May in Tehran. At Iran´s request, the Agency immediately conveyed Iran´s letter to the Governments of France, the Russian Federation and the United States, and asked for their views. I am now awaiting their responses, and will continue to consult with all concerned parties on this matter."
Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea
"As the Agency has had no inspectors in the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea since April last year, I have nothing to report to the Board on any activities of the IAEA in relation to the DPRK.
"However, let me recall that the DPRK continues to be bound by the obligations imposed on it by relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. For example, under UNSC Resolution 1718 (2006), the DPRK is required to act strictly in accordance with the NPT and its IAEA Safeguards Agreement and to provide the IAEA transparency measures extending beyond these requirements. The relevant resolutions of the IAEA General Conference also confirmed the need for the full implementation of the DPRK´s comprehensive safeguards agreement with the Agency.
"The recent increase in tension on the Korean Peninsula reminds us that the security situation in this region remains extremely sensitive and underscores the need to address the nuclear issue as early as possible. I urge the DPRK to fully implement all relevant nuclear non-proliferation obligations. I also call on all parties concerned to make concerted efforts for a resumption of the Six-Party Talks at an appropriate time, with the ultimate aim of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."
Implementation of Safeguards in the Islamic Republic of Iran
"While the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran, Iran has not provided the necessary cooperation to permit the Agency to confirm that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.
"The necessary cooperation includes, among other things, implementation of relevant resolutions of the IAEA Board of Governors and the United Nations Security Council, implementation of the Additional Protocol and of modified Code 3.1, as well as clarification of issues related to possible military dimensions to Iran´s nuclear programme.
"Key developments since the March Board include Iran´s continued enrichment of uranium up to 20% U-235 at the Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant at Natanz, and Iran´s announcement of its intention to install a second cascade for this purpose and connect it to the first one. This necessitated a new safeguards approach, which is now being implemented with Iran´s cooperation.
"As the Report makes clear, Iran´s Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement requires the Agency to seek to verify both the non-diversion of nuclear material from declared activities and the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities. I also need to mention that Iran is a special case because, among other things, of the existence of issues related to possible military dimensions to its nuclear programme. I request Iran to take steps towards the full implementation of its Safeguards Agreement and its other obligations, including its Additional Protocol."
Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic
"As my report on Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic shows, Syria has not cooperated with the Agency since June 2008 in connection with the unresolved issues related to the Dair Alzour site and some other locations. As a consequence, the Agency has not been able to make progress towards resolving the outstanding issues related to those sites. It would also be helpful if Israel shared with the Agency any relevant information which it may possess in this regard.
"Since my last report, the Agency has performed a physical inventory verification at the Miniature Neutron Source Reactor (MNSR) with Syria´s cooperation. Syria has provided information on previously unreported laboratory-scale uranium conversion and irradiation activities at the MNSR and additional explanations concerning the presence of anthropogenic natural uranium particles. Syria subsequently submitted inventory change reports concerning the newly declared nuclear material. The information provided by Syria is still being assessed.
"I urge Syria to cooperate with the Agency on all issues in a timely manner and to bring into force an Additional Protocol to its Safeguards Agreement to enable the Agency to verify the correctness and completeness of Syria´s declarations."
Israeli Nuclear Capabilities
"As the Board is aware, the General Conference last year adopted a resolution expressing concern about the Israeli nuclear capabilities and called upon Israel to accede to the NPT and place all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards. The General Conference requested me to work with the concerned States towards achieving that end and report to the Board and the General Conference at its fifty-fourth regular session in September on the implementation of this resolution.
"I wrote to the Governments of Member States in April 2010 requesting them to inform me of any views that they might have with respect to meeting the objectives of this resolution. As of today, I have received replies from 17 Governments. Following the meeting of the Board, I intend to remind those Governments which have not done so to provide their replies at their earliest convenience I will report to the Board and the General Conference in September.
"The Secretariat is also following up the relevant provisions of the resolution of the General Conference on the Application of IAEA Safeguards in the Middle East."
The Board of Governorns meeting is being held at the IAEA´s headquarters in Vienna, Austria.