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Director General Addresses December Board of Governors Meeting

IAEA Board of Governors

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano confer with IAEA Board Chairman, Ansar Parvez at the start of the Board of Governors meeting. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano opened today´s meeting of the Board of Governors with a statement that covered a number of issues including technical cooperation, nuclear energy, nuclear verification and assurance of supply of nuclear fuel.

Technical Cooperation

"The greatest emphasis in the TC Programme is on human health, but as usual there are different trends across regions.

Member States in Africa, Asia and the Pacific and Europe are showing increasing interest in nuclear power, with related growth in safety and radiation protection projects. Europe and Latin America are also seeing growth in the area of knowledge management and facing the challenge of ageing personnel and infrastructure.

During the past twelve months, the Agency has intensified its work on cancer control in developing countries... Contributions to our Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) have been running at record levels, exceeding US $5.7 million so far this year. I am very grateful to France, the Republic of Korea, Monaco, New Zealand, Spain, the United States and the OPEC Fund for International Development for their support, as well as to our new private-sector partner Hoffmann-La Roche.

We are seeing steady growth in Member State interest in the use of nuclear techniques for water resource assessment, agricultural water management and protecting the marine environment. These are among the most important issues for sustainable development.

During the coming year, I aim to strengthen our activities related to water and raise awareness of the Agency´s role in assisting States."

Nuclear Energy

"The expansion of existing nuclear power programmes is a high priority in a large number of countries. Of the 29 countries with operating nuclear power plants, 24 countries have plans for an expansion. This means that the main growth in global nuclear power capacity in the next few decades is expected from these countries."

Nuclear Verification

Democratic People´s Republic of Korea

"Still fresh in our memory is the call by the General Conference last September for the DPRK to fully comply with its obligations under relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, to come into full compliance with the NPT, to cooperate promptly with the Agency in the full and effective implementation of comprehensive Agency safeguards, and to resolve any outstanding issues that may have arisen due to the long absence of Agency safeguards.

I also recall that Security Council Resolution 1874 requires the DPRK to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes and to act strictly in accordance with the obligations applicable to parties under the NPT and the terms and conditions of the IAEA Safeguards Agreement.

Against this background, it was with great concern that I learned of recent reports about a new uranium enrichment facility, as well as the construction of a light water reactor, in the DPRK.

To my regret, the Agency has not had inspectors in the DPRK since April last year, and the DPRK has not permitted the Agency to implement safeguards in the country since December 2002.

I urge the DPRK to fully implement all of the relevant resolutions of the General Conference and the Security Council. As the only multilateral organization for nuclear verification, the IAEA has an essential role to play in verifying the DPRK´s nuclear programme."

Islamic Republic of Iran

"As my report on the Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran again makes clear, the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran, but Iran has not provided the necessary cooperation to permit the Agency to confirm that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.

Iran is not implementing the requirements contained in the relevant resolutions of the Board of Governors and the Security Council, including implementation of the Additional Protocol, which are essential to building confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran´s nuclear programme. In particular, the Agency needs Iran´s cooperation in clarifying outstanding issues which give rise to concerns about possible military dimensions to its nuclear programme, including by providing access to all sites, equipment, persons and documents requested by the Agency.

I request Iran to take steps towards the full implementation of its Safeguards Agreement and its other obligations.

I would also like to welcome the forthcoming meeting between Iran and the EU 3 + 3 scheduled for next week in Geneva."

Syrian Arab Republic

"Concerning the Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic, Syria has not cooperated with the Agency since June 2008 in connection with the unresolved issues related to the Dair Alzour site and some other locations. As a consequence, the Agency has not been able to make progress towards resolving the outstanding issues related to those sites.

I wrote a letter to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Syrian Arab Republic on 18 November 2010 to request the Government to provide the Agency with prompt access to relevant information and locations related to Dair Alzour. I also requested Syria´s cooperation regarding the Agency´s verification activities in general."

Assurance of Supply

"On 27 November last year, the Board authorized me to conclude and implement an agreement with the Russian Federation to establish a reserve of Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) for supply to Member States. I am pleased to announce that the Russian Federation informed me this week that all necessary conditions for the entry into force of the agreement have been met.

All of the LEU has been placed in the guaranteed reserve at Angarsk and the facility is under Agency safeguards."

Background

The Board will meet for two days and consider, among other issues, the Agency´s Technical Cooperation Programme for 2011, as recommended by the Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee.

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-- By Sasha Henriques, IAEA Division of Public Information