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IAEA Director General's Introductory Statement to the Board of Governors

Vienna, Austria

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

(As prepared for delivery)

Technical Cooperation

Mr Chairman,

The IAEA technical cooperation programme helps countries to use nuclear science and technology to address key development challenges in health, agriculture, nuclear safety and many other areas.

Cancer control capacity in Albania has been significantly strengthened over the past ten years thanks to six Agency projects. In May this year, a new linear accelerator was inaugurated at the Mother Teresa University Hospital Centre in Tirana, with cost sharing from the Government of Albania and IAEA support. Extensive training was provided to radiation oncologists, medical physicists and radiation therapists. The hospital expects to treat up to 700 patients per year with the new machine.

Our review of the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) continues to make progress. As I informed the Board in June, my office will, in due course, take charge of coordination of cancer related issues, both internally and externally, as part of our one-house approach.

I remind all Member States of the importance of maintaining TC funding at a level that ensures we can meet the growing demand for our services.

Nuclear Applications

Mr Chairman,

Major construction work on all new laboratory buildings at Seibersdorf is nearly complete. We are conducting tests to ensure that our valuable insect colonies adapt successfully to their new environment in the new Insect Pest Control Laboratory. Construction of the Flexible Modular Laboratory building continues to make good progress. It will be inaugurated during the Ministerial Conference in November.

I am very grateful for contributions to ReNuAL and ReNuAL+ totalling 32.4 million Euros so far from 34 Member States and individuals. We aim to raise an additional 3.75 million Euros urgently in order to equip and set up the new facilities. I encourage all Member States in a position to do so to contribute.

Ministerial Conference

The Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology will take place in Vienna from November 28 to 30. I again thank the Ambassadors of Costa Rica and Japan for their excellent work in leading the consultations, and I encourage all Member States to be represented at ministerial level.

Scientific Forum

I remind the Board that this year’s Scientific Forum during the General Conference next week is entitled Nuclear Technology for Climate: Mitigation, Monitoring and Adaptation. 

Nuclear Energy

Mr Chairman,

The Agency’s latest annual projections show that nuclear power will continue to play a key role in the world’s low-carbon energy mix. However, the declining trend in our low projection for installed capacity up to 2050 suggests that, without significant progress on using the full potential of nuclear power, it will be difficult for the world to secure sufficient energy to achieve sustainable development and to mitigate climate change.

In August, the Agency and the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics concluded their annual Nuclear Knowledge Management School. Since 2004, this flagship school has trained more than 500 young professionals from 80 countries. This year, women made up 57% of participants, the highest proportion ever.

Assurance of Supply

Mr Chairman,

Regarding the IAEA LEU Bank in Kazakhstan, negotiations on transport contracts with the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan are nearing completion. The transport contract with the Russian Federation is likely to be signed during the General Conference. With regard to the acquisition of LEU, our procurement process is very well advanced. I expect the procurement process to be completed in 2018. In line with Agency practice, only upon completion of this process will the successful bidder(s) be announced on the United Nations Global Marketplace website. I expect that the LEU will be delivered to the IAEA LEU Storage Facility in 2019.

Nuclear Safety and Security

Mr Chairman,

My report on Measures to Strengthen International Cooperation in Nuclear, Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety provides updates on our work in these important areas.

In cooperation with Member States, we continue to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of Agency peer review and advisory services in nuclear safety and security. I encourage all Member States to make full use of Agency services in these areas.

My Nuclear Security Report 2018 highlights our work to help States establish effective nuclear security regimes. Priorities for the coming year include conducting the International Conference on Security of Radioactive Material in December in Vienna. We have begun preparations for the next IAEA International Conference on Nuclear Security, which will take place at ministerial level in Vienna in February 2020.

Verification and Monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Mr Chairman,

My report on Verification and monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 (2015) covers relevant activities of the Agency in that country in the last few months.

Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. It is essential that Iran continues to fully implement those commitments.

The Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement. Evaluations regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran continue.

Nuclear Verification

Conclusion of Safeguards Agreements and Additional Protocols

Mr Chairman,

You have before you for approval a draft additional protocol for Sri Lanka. Since the last Board, a safeguards agreement and additional protocol have been signed with the United Kingdom. Paraguay has amended its small quantities protocol. The United States of America amended its small quantities protocol to the safeguards agreement pursuant to the Treaty of Tlatelolco.

State-level Safeguards Approaches

I have prepared a report on experience gained and lessons learned in implementing State-level safeguards approaches for States under integrated safeguards.

Implementation of updated State-level safeguards approaches has led to further optimization and greater consistency in safeguards implementation in States under integrated safeguards, as well as strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of safeguards.

We will continue to engage with Member States on State-level approaches, and other safeguards matters, including through bilateral consultations. As we gain further experience with implementation of State-level safeguards approaches in the coming years, we will issue periodic reports.

Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Mr Chairman,

The further development of the DPRK’s nuclear programme, as detailed in my report, and related statements by the DPRK, are a cause for grave concern. The DPRK’s nuclear activities are clear violations of relevant UN Security Council resolutions and are deeply regrettable.

Through intensified efforts by the DPRK Team in the Department of Safeguards and the Executive Group, the Agency continues to enhance its readiness to play an essential role in verifying the DPRK’s nuclear programme if a political agreement is reached among countries concerned.

I again call upon the DPRK to comply fully with its obligations under relevant UN Security Council resolutions, to cooperate promptly with the Agency and to resolve all outstanding issues.

Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic

As far as safeguards implementation in the Syrian Arab Republic is concerned, our assessment remains that it was very likely that the building destroyed at the Dair Alzour site in 2007 was a nuclear reactor that should have been declared to the Agency by Syria under its Safeguards Agreement.

I renew my call on Syria to cooperate fully with the Agency in connection with unresolved issues related to the Dair Alzour site and other locations. Syria has yet to respond to these calls.

Application of IAEA Safeguards in the Middle East

As my report on Application of IAEA Safeguards in the Middle East again shows, there remain long-standing and fundamental differences of views among countries of the region with regard to the application of comprehensive Agency safeguards to all nuclear activities in the Middle East. It has therefore not been possible to make further progress in fulfilling my mandate from the General Conference in this area.

I will continue my consultations.

Management Issues

Mr Chairman,

Turning briefly to management issues, you have before you my Programme Performance Report for 2016-2017, summarizing results achieved under our six Major Programmes.

I am pleased that the June Board recommended the Budget Update for 2019 to the General Conference for approval.

In preparing the Agency’s draft Programme and Budget for 2020-2021, we remain very conscious of the financial constraints that many Member States face. We will continue to pursue cost savings and efficiency gains in all areas, while striving to maintain the high level of service which Member States expect.

Finally, Mr Chairman, I express my regret that I cannot be present for this meeting of the Board. I am grateful to you and to IAEA Member States for your understanding and support and I look forward to returning to Vienna soon. I also thank the staff of the Agency for their continued work to deliver on our important mandate.

Thank you, Mr Chairman.

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