Our agenda for this meeting is focused on the report of the Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee (TACC) and issues related to nuclear verification.
Technical Cooperation Programme
You have before you the Agency´s technical cooperation (TC) programme for 2007–2008, as conveyed by the TACC to the Board. The focus of TC programme management continues to be to assist Member States in making use of nuclear technology for development.
With the introduction of the Programme Cycle Management Framework and other initiatives, we are making every effort to improve our ability to deliver an effective and efficient programme.
Human health continues to be the largest single area of TC activity, accounting for nearly a quarter of the programme. The second largest area is food and agriculture, including mutation breeding, water and soil management and livestock health. Other important programme areas include nuclear power, radioisotope production, and a variety of other applications, as well as assistance across the full range of safety aspects.
Naturally, all the activities of our TC programme are formulated and implemented in accordance with the Agency Statute, Guiding Principles, and the resolutions of the Policy-making Organs, as well as relevant Security Council resolutions. As with the management of all the activities entrusted to it by Member States, the Secretariat will continue to follow due process that is impartial, objective, and - subject to certain confidentiality restrictions - transparent.
I am pleased with the improved rate of contributions to TC funding. I hope that this trend will continue. It is essential that all Member States, both donors and recipients, pay their share in a predictable and assured manner.
Verification of Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Status of Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements and Additional Protocols
The Agency´s role as an independent and competent verification body remains central to the effectiveness of the nuclear non-proliferation regime. However, as you are aware, the extent of the Agency´s authority remains uneven from country to country. This year has seen a growing number of States with safeguards agreements and additional protocols in force. Safeguards agreements are now in force in 162 States, 78 of which also have additional protocols in force.
Much, however, remains to be done. There are 30 States that have not fulfilled their legal obligation, under the NPT, to conclude a comprehensive safeguards agreement - and over 100 States that have yet to bring an additional protocol into force.
The Board has before it additional protocols for the Dominican Republic, Kyrgyzstan and Malawi. In addition, you have before you an item-specific safeguards agreement for Pakistan, covering the Chasma II reactor.
Implementation of Safeguards in the DPRK
Since the end of December 2002, when IAEA verification activities were terminated by the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Agency has been unable to conduct any verification activities in the DPRK.
The reported nuclear test carried out last month by the DPRK is a matter of deep regret and concern. The breaking of a de-facto global moratorium on nuclear explosive testing that has been in place for nearly a decade is a serious challenge to the nuclear non-proliferation regime. As the Security Council has demanded, the DPRK should abandon its nuclear weapons programme in a verifiable manner.
The test by the DPRK re-emphasizes the urgent need to establish a universal ban on nuclear testing. In resolution 1172 (1998), the Security Council reaffirmed "the crucial importance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty as the cornerstones of the international regime on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and as essential foundations for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament".
The DPRK test also underscores the importance and urgency of finding a negotiated solution to the current situation regarding the DPRK´s nuclear programme. The resumption of dialogue between all concerned parties is indispensable and urgent. I am pleased to note the recent agreement to resume the six-party talks.
The IAEA stands ready to work with the DPRK - and with all others - towards a solution that, inter alia, makes use of the Agency´s verification capability with a view to assure the international community that all nuclear activities in the DPRK will become exclusively for peaceful purposes.
Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran
The report before you on the implementation of Agency safeguards in the Islamic Republic of Iran provides an update since my last report of 31 August.
In July, the Security Council adopted resolution 1696, in which it, inter alia, called upon Iran to take the steps required by the Board in the resolution it adopted in February of this year. These steps included the necessity of the IAEA continuing its work to clarify all outstanding issues relating to Iran´s nuclear programme, and the re-establishment by Iran of full and sustained suspension of all its enrichment related and reprocessing activities.
The report before you makes clear that Iran has not suspended its enrichment related activities. In addition, the IAEA has not been able to make any further progress on resolving the outstanding issues. This is due to the decision by Iran to limit its cooperation with the Agency to the implementation of the safeguards agreement, and to link any further cooperation - particularly the needed transparency measures - to the on-going consideration of Iran´s nuclear programme by the Security Council. The IAEA is therefore unable to move forward in its efforts to confirm the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran. This naturally continues to be a matter of serious concern.
I should note again that although the transparency measures needed for the Agency to resolve outstanding issues may go beyond the legal requirements of the safeguards agreement, they are nonetheless a prerequisite for the Agency to reconstruct two decades of undeclared activities by Iran, and thereby to be able to provide assurance about the peaceful nature of Iran´s nuclear activities. This is a special situation created by Iran. It requires special transparency measures. I therefore urge Iran once more to provide the additional cooperation and the necessary transparency that are needed for the Agency to fulfil its mandate.
To that end I should inform you that I have received in recent days communications from Iran, in which it agreed to an Agency request to take further environmental samples from the equipment already sampled at a technical university. It also agreed to provide access to the operating records of the Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant. These are steps in the right direction.
The earlier Iran takes the remaining transparency measures and addresses the outstanding issues, the earlier the Agency would be in a position to provide the needed assurances - assurances that are key to restoring international confidence regarding the scope and nature of Iran´s nuclear programme.
I am still hopeful that, through dialogue between Iran and its partners, conditions will be created to achieve a comprehensive solution that addresses the respective concerns of all parties.
New Framework and Assurance of Supply Mechanisms
A Special Event was held during the General Conference on a new framework for the utilization of nuclear energy, to facilitate discussion of recent proposals on mechanisms for the assurance of supply of nuclear fuel. As I have said before, the assurance of supply of nuclear fuel, to be acceptable to States, should be formulated in a manner that is equitable and accessible to all users of nuclear energy. The Secretariat is now studying issues related to the modalities and criteria for possible assurance mechanisms. The Secretariat hopes to bring for consideration by the Board a report on "options" for assurances of supply by the middle of next year.