Press Statement by Chairman of Board of Governors
The Board of Governors convened today, 21 March 2011, upon the request of the Director General to discuss his report on his visit to Japan which took place from 17-19 March 2011, related to the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The Chairman of the Board of Governors, Dr. Ansar Parvez, has issued the following statement after the conclusion of the meeting of the Board:
In today's meeting, the Board expressed its deep condolences and sympathy to the people and Government of Japan for the tragic loss of many thousands of lives and the immense destruction of property suffered as a result of the 11 March earthquake and the subsequent tsunami. The Board by observing a minute of silence paid tribute to the memories of the victims and to the courage and resilience of the Japanese people in the face of these devastating natural disasters.
This extraordinary calamity also resulted in severe damage to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In his report, the Director General pointed out that although some development had taken place to restore the safety of the affected reactors, the situation remains serious at the plant. The Board appreciated the outstanding dedication of the emergency teams who were working at the plant under extremely difficult circumstances, and emphasized the important role of the Agency in coordinating international assistance to Japan.
The Director General also outlined in his report the Agency's current on-the-ground support to Japan and the Agency's ongoing efforts in providing information to the Member States and to the general public. The Director General indicated that he had encouraged the Japanese authorities to further improve the provision of information to the Agency, and in turn the Japanese Government had expressed its strong commitment to ensure the highest transparency in information sharing.
It was emphasized during the Board meeting that the international community had a shared responsibility to ensure that the general public were provided accurate and reliable information of such emergencies to alleviate their concerns and that they must be kept aware of how the respective national authorities were responding to those emergencies.
The Board welcomed the Agency's close cooperation, since the beginning of the crisis, with other international organizations and partners, such as the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, the World Meteorological Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization through the IAEA-FAO Joint Division. The Board emphasized also the need for the enhancement of such cooperation.
The need for Member States' continuous commitment to the application of the highest standards of nuclear safety, and to draw conclusions and learn from the Fukushima nuclear accident was also highlighted.