IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano opened a busy Board of Governors meeting in Vienna, Austria with an introductory statement.
His statement dealt with nuclear energy, nuclear safety and security, cancer control, nuclear verification and safeguards, as well as management and budget issues.
"Projections for future growth in the use of nuclear power have again been revised upwards. We have already re-focussed our activities to help meet the needs of newcomers to nuclear power.
"There has been a discussion among Member States for several years about possible mechanisms to ensure reliable supplies of nuclear power reactor fuel for countries with nuclear power programmes. The Agency is the appropriate forum for discussions because we can ensure transparency and provide assistance to Member States. It is for Member States to decide on appropriate fuel assurance frameworks."
Nuclear Safety and Security
"Restrictions on the transport of the radioisotope Cobalt-60 and other medical sources by airlines and shipping companies are causing serious problems for some countries in maintaining adequate radiotherapy services. The Agency has established an International Steering Committee to address this issue."
"I have made cancer control a priority for my first year. Cancer is a serious problem in developing countries; it should be recognized as a vital part of the global health agenda; and the IAEA can play an important role in improving cancer control in developing countries, in cooperation with the WHO and other partners.
"This year we will launch two important projects. One is a pilot project for the Regional African Cancer Training Network. The other is a Virtual University for Cancer Control, a cost-free service to help countries with human resource development in prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment.
"[Also,] cancer in developing countries will be the focus of the Scientific Forum during the General Conference in September."
Nuclear Verification and Safeguards
North Korea: "I regard the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula as a matter of great importance. I commend the tireless efforts of China and the other parties concerned to resume the Six Party Talks and to resolve this issue. I believe the Agency could and should play a key role in any future verification arrangements for the DPRK."
Iran: "The Agency continues, under its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with Iran, to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran, but we cannot confirm that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities because Iran has not provided the Agency with the necessary cooperation. I request Iran to take steps towards the full implementation of its Safeguards Agreement and its other obligations as a matter of high priority."
Syria: "As my report on the 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 other locations. As a consequence, the Agency has not been able to make progress towards resolving the outstanding issues related to those sites since the previous report to the Board of Governors. It would be helpful if Israel shared with the Agency any relevant information which it may possess. Full cooperation is also needed from Syria to facilitate the resolution of issues concerning the Miniature Neutron Source Reactor."
During the approximately three days of meetings, the Board of Governors will consider measures to strengthen international cooperation in nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety, and strengthening the Agency´s activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications.
Reports by the Director General on the Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008) and 1835 (2008) in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and on the Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic, will also be discussed.
At the end of the opening morning session of the Board of Governors, the Director General briefed the press on issues relating to nuclear verification and safeguards as well as cancer control.