Good morning, Dear Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to address this Second Extraordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety.
This important meeting will be closely watched by the global nuclear community. I know you will make good use of this opportunity to consider further measures to strengthen nuclear safety throughout the world in the light of the lessons which we are still learning from the Fukushima Daiichi accident.
One year after the adoption of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, significant progress has been made in several key areas. These include the assessment of safety vulnerabilities of nuclear power plants, strengthening IAEA peer review services, improving emergency preparedness and response capabilities and reviewing IAEA safety standards.
Your work this week will address the request to Contracting Parties, expressed in the Action Plan, to explore mechanisms to enhance the effective implementation of Safety Conventions and to consider proposals to amend the Convention on Nuclear Safety.
You will recall that last year's Ministerial Declaration stressed "the importance of universal adherence to, and the effective implementation and continuous review of, the relevant international instruments on nuclear safety."
The Action Plan encouraged Member States to work cooperatively to maximize the lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident and to produce concrete results as soon as possible.
The IAEA has reported periodically to Member States about its work to implement the Action Plan. We have also organised a number of international expert meetings to analyse technical aspects of the accident and ensure that the right lessons are learned.
The results of this Extraordinary Meeting will provide an important input to future considerations of implementation of the Action Plan.
Our Member States will review implementation at the Agency's 56th General Conference next month, while the Fukushima Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety in December will provide another opportunity to share knowledge and lessons learned from Fukushima Daiichi accident.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The accident may have faded from the international headlines, but it is essential that all of us - Member States, the IAEA and other key stakeholders - maintain our sense of urgency and our commitment to implementing the Action Plan in full. Much work remains to be done and we must not relax our guard.
I wish you every success with your deliberations in the coming days.