Our agenda for this meeting covers issues relevant to safeguards, technical cooperation and management.
Draft Safeguards Agreement with India
I am pleased to put before you the draft Agreement with the Government of India for the Application of Safeguards to Civilian Nuclear Facilities. As the Secretariat has already provided an extensive briefing on this, I will emphasize just a few points.
The text before you is an INFCIRC/66-type safeguards agreement based on the Agency´s standard safeguards practices and procedures. These 66-type agreements are not comprehensive or full-scope safeguards agreements. They are concluded in accordance with Article III.A.5 of the Agency’s Statute and provide for the application of safeguards to specific facilities or other relevant items. In the case of the draft before you, it is an "umbrella agreement", which provides for any facility notified by India to the Agency in the future to become subject to safeguards. The draft also envisages the possibility of applying current Agency safeguards in India under this new agreement by suspending, subject to agreement by the relevant parties, the application of safeguards under existing agreements. The "umbrella" nature of this agreement provides a more efficient mechanism for ensuring that safeguards requirements can be met. It satisfies India´s needs while maintaining all the Agency´s legal requirements. Such an "umbrella" approach could also be used for the conclusion of other 66-type safeguards agreements. As you can see from India´s Plan, which has been circulated for the information of all IAEA Member States, a total of 14 reactors are envisaged to come under Agency safeguards by 2014. I should note that the Agency already applies safeguards to six of these 14 reactors under existing 66 type agreements with India. We expect to start implementing the agreement at new facilities in 2009. Facilities will be notified by India to the Agency in stages and the Secretariat will keep you informed when facilities are submitted for safeguards.
As with other safeguards agreements between the Agency and Member States, the agreement is of indefinite duration. There are no conditions for the discontinuation of safeguards other than those provided by the safeguards agreement itself. The termination provisions contained in the agreement are the same as for other 66-type agreements. Naturally - as with all safeguards agreements - this agreement is subject to the general rules of international law. Therefore, the agreement should be read as an integral whole. The preamble provides for contextual background and safeguards are implemented in accordance with the terms of the agreement.
Finally, I should note that India and the IAEA have already begun discussions on an additional protocol to the draft safeguards agreement.
Technical Cooperation Fund Targets
I welcome the fact that agreement has been reached on targets for the Technical Cooperation Fund for the years 2009–2011. This will enable us to press ahead with the finalization of the Technical Cooperation Programme for that cycle, which we will present to Member States in November. I should stress that in future the target for the TCF should be based on a priori criteria agreed in advance in order to avoid the contentious and protracted negotiations with which we have become all too familiar.
I am also pleased that Member States have reached agreement on funding the first phase of an Agency-wide Information System for Programme Support (AIPS). This will be of benefit to all Member States in all areas of Agency activity in terms of improving efficiency, as it will bring greater transparency and improved internal control to our financial and procurement operations. It will also enable us to make best efforts to introduce International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) in 2010, in line with the Board´s decision of June last year.