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7 June 2010 | Vienna, Austria
IAEA Board of Governors

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Introductory Statement to Board of Governors

by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano

Mr. Chairman,

Since the last Board meeting, I have represented the Agency at a number of important events.

In March, I addressed the International Conference on Access to Civil Nuclear Energy, which was opened by President Sarkozy in Paris. This conference illustrated the growing international interest in nuclear power as a clean and stable source of energy. The willingness of participating countries to support newcomers to nuclear power was very much in evidence. Also,the importance of the Agency´s role in setting nuclear safety standards and providing security guidance was emphasized. For my part, I stressed the Agency´s readiness to help interested parties, in particular developing countries, to establish a nuclear infrastructure.

In April, I attended the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, which was hosted by President Obama and attended by leaders from 47 countries. I was encouraged by the firm commitment of all participants to combat nuclear terrorism and the strong support expressed for the essential role of the Agency in nuclear security. I explained the Agency´s activities in supporting national efforts to improve nuclear security, which include assistance such as supplying radiation detection devices like this.

Last month, I addressed the opening session of the eighth NPT Review Conference in New York. I outlined recent activities of the Agency in the relevant areas. The Secretariat provided its customary assistance at the Conference, including two factual reports covering the main areas of IAEA activities.

I warmly welcome the fact that the NPT Review Conference unanimously adopted Conclusions and Recommendations for Follow-on Actions in the three areas that relate to Agency activities. It was very encouraging that a call was made to all States parties to ensure that the Agency continues to have all the political, technical and financial support it needs to effectively meet its responsibilities. I am confident that, with the support of all of its Member States, the Agency will continue delivering excellent results in all areas of its work.

At the start of the Conference, the United States announced a new proposal for a 100 million US dollars IAEA Peaceful Uses Initiative, and pledged 50 million US dollars for that fund over the next five years. I am very grateful for that initiative and encourage other Member States in a position to do so to match this commitment. This additional funding would enable the Agency to significantly increase its support for Member States in key areas such as health care and nutrition, food security, water resource management, and infrastructure development for the safe and secure use of nuclear power.

Personally, I was especially gratified that the Review Conference welcomed our focus on cancer control as a priority issue in 2010. I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that this year´s Scientific Forum, which will take place on 21-22 September here in Vienna, will focus on fighting cancer in the developing countries. I expect this conference to be a major event, at which existing partnerships will be consolidated and enlarged to confront this crucial challenge of our time. I strongly encourage Member States to participate in the Forum.

In March, I had the pleasure of welcoming many of you to the ground-breaking ceremony marking the start of the construction of the extension to the IAEA´s Clean Laboratory at Seibersdorf. I hope you found it a valuable opportunity to learn at first hand about the extensive range of activities of the Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications, as well as our safeguards analytical work. The Clean Laboratory Extension, which will cost 9.04 million euros, is fully funded. I thank all Member States for the support which they have provided. I am pleased to report that the actual construction work is proceeding as planned. I also ask Member States to ensure that adequate funding is put in place soon to ensure that the construction of the new Nuclear Material Laboratory can proceed on schedule. This is important to ensure that the Agency has up-to-date, safe and secure analytical laboratory premises. We have trimmed the budget for 2011 to the absolute minimum necessary to maintain momentum on this key project and ensure we do not incur avoidable extra costs in future.

Also in March, the Director General of the Russian Federation´s State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM), Mr Sergey Kiriyenko, and I signed an agreement to establish a reserve of low enriched uranium (LEU) for supply to the IAEA for the use of its Member States, which is yet to enter into force. I wish to inform you that the Angarsk facility, where the LEU fuel reserve for the IAEA will be located, has been designated for safeguards. The costs of safeguards implementation will be borne by the Russian Federation. The Agency remains ready to provide further assistance to Member States as they consider possible additional arrangements to ensure supply of nuclear fuel.

Tehran Research Reactor

I wish to bring the Board up to date on the current situation concerning Iran´s request to the Agency to facilitate the supply of nuclear fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor.

The Board will recall that my predecessor, Dr Mohamed ElBaradei, proposed a draft agreement last October under which Iranian low enriched uranium would be shipped for further enrichment in Russia and processing into fuel in France. The proposed agreement was accepted at that time by the United States, Russia and France.

I received a letter from Iran dated 24 May, in which Iran officially declared its agreement with the Joint Declaration by the Foreign Ministers of Iran, Brazil and Turkey which was signed on 17 May in Tehran. At Iran´s request, the Agency immediately conveyed Iran´s letter to the Governments of France, the Russian Federation and the United States, and asked for their views. I am now awaiting their responses, and will continue to consult with all concerned parties on this matter.

Mr. Chairman,

I will now turn to some of the main items on the agenda of this meeting, starting with Technical Cooperation.

Technical Cooperation

As the Technical Cooperation Report for 2009 shows, new resources for the technical cooperation programme as a whole rose to 112.2 million US dollars from 91.5 million US dollars in 2008. This is the result of our joint efforts and all of us can take pride in this. Human health remained the largest area of activity overall, followed by nuclear safety, and food and agriculture. Increased interest among Member States in introducing nuclear power led to a three-fold increase in technical cooperation projects in this area. Fifty-eight Member States are now participating in regional or national technical cooperation projects related to the introduction of nuclear power.

As far as the regional breakdown is concerned, human health remained the top priority in Africa, where the Agency provided significant support to cancer treatment and radiotherapy facilities in Algeria, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Uganda. In Asia and the Pacific, the main areas for disbursement of TC funding were divided fairly evenly between human health, food and agriculture, nuclear safety, and radioisotope production and radiation technology. In Latin America, there was an increase in Agency activities in the food and agriculture sector, reflecting the continued importance of food security for countries in the region. Safety and security issues remained high on the agenda in all regions, especially in Europe, where Member States are dealing with an increase in demand for nuclear power while at the same time managing ageing power plants.

Report of the Programme and Budget Committee

Let me now move to the 2011 programme and budget. In February this year, I submitted a draft budget update, which was aimed at funding the Agency´s 2011 programme - approved in 2009 - but also included some spending cuts. Since then, intensive dialogue has taken place among Member States on an appropriate budget for 2011. I wish to thank each one of you for your hard work and engagement, particularly Ambassador Rasi, who has taken up the challenging task of leading this complex process.

The clear reality is that the role of the Agency is becoming more and more important, as was acknowledged by participants in many recent international fora. The inevitable consequence is that the Agency´s need for financial resources is increasing. On the other hand, the undeniable reality is that many Member States are experiencing economic difficulties. Under these circumstances, the only solution is to strike a good balance between needs and capacity to contribute, as I have been advocating for a long time.

The IAEA has a long-standing practice that the Director General facilitates the budget preparation process by submitting an initial estimate, while the Member States decide on the programme and budget, but do not engage in micro-management. I sincerely hope that this traditional wisdom will continue to be respected. I continue to trust that Member States will find common ground, based upon the package proposal of Ambassador Rasi, during this session on funding the programme which was agreed at the General Conference in 2009. The Secretariat will continue to do all it can to facilitate this process.

Nuclear Verification

Conclusion of Safeguards Agreements and Additional Protocols
At the very beginning of my tenure last December, I expressed the hope that we might soon achieve the milestone of 100 additional protocols in force. I am pleased to inform you that that important milestone has recently been passed and that the number of States with additional protocols in force now stands at 101. This is very encouraging. It clearly illustrates the importance that States attach to the AP as an essential measure for the Agency to be able to provide credible assurance that declared nuclear material remains in peaceful activities, but also that there is no indication of undeclared nuclear material and activities in a State. I would also like to reiterate that full implementation of the additional protocol contributes to the efficient and effective implementation of safeguards. I am hopeful that this positive momentum will encourage other States to follow suit and conclude such protocols as soon as possible.

Since my last report in March, the number of States with no comprehensive safeguards agreements in force has fallen from 22 to 18. I reiterate my call to these remaining States to take action in this regard without delay. I also ask States with small quantities protocols that have not yet done so to amend their protocols.

Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea

As the Agency has had no inspectors in the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea since April last year, I have nothing to report to the Board on any activities of the IAEA in relation to the DPRK.

However, let me recall that the DPRK continues to be bound by the obligations imposed on it by relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. For example, under UNSC Resolution 1718 (2006), the DPRK is required to act strictly in accordance with the NPT and its IAEA Safeguards Agreement and to provide the IAEA transparency measures extending beyond these requirements. The relevant resolutions of the IAEA General Conference also confirmed the need for the full implementation of the DPRK´s comprehensive safeguards agreement with the Agency.

The recent increase in tension on the Korean Peninsula reminds us that the security situation in this region remains extremely sensitive and underscores the need to address the nuclear issue as early as possible. I urge the DPRK to fully implement all relevant nuclear non-proliferation obligations. I also call on all parties concerned to make concerted efforts for a resumption of the Six-Party Talks at an appropriate time, with the ultimate aim of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Implementation of Safeguards in the Islamic Republic of Iran

You have before you my report on Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

While the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran, Iran has not provided the necessary cooperation to permit the Agency to confirm that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.

The necessary cooperation includes, among other things, implementation of relevant resolutions of the IAEA Board of Governors and the United Nations Security Council, implementation of the Additional Protocol and of modified Code 3.1, as well as clarification of issues related to possible military dimensions to Iran´s nuclear programme.

Key developments since the March Board include Iran´s continued enrichment of uranium up to 20% U-235 at the Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant at Natanz, and Iran´s announcement of its intention to install a second cascade for this purpose and connect it to the first one. This necessitated a new safeguards approach, which is now being implemented with Iran´s cooperation.

As the Report makes clear, Iran´s Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement requires the Agency to seek to verify both the non-diversion of nuclear material from declared activities and the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities. I also need to mention that Iran is a special case because, among other things, of the existence of issues related to possible military dimensions to its nuclear programme. I request Iran to take steps towards the full implementation of its Safeguards Agreement and its other obligations, including its Additional Protocol.

Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic

As my report on Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic shows, 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. It would also be helpful if Israel shared with the Agency any relevant information which it may possess in this regard.

Since my last report, the Agency has performed a physical inventory verification at the Miniature Neutron Source Reactor (MNSR) with Syria´s cooperation. Syria has provided information on previously unreported laboratory-scale uranium conversion and irradiation activities at the MNSR and additional explanations concerning the presence of anthropogenic natural uranium particles. Syria subsequently submitted inventory change reports concerning the newly declared nuclear material. The information provided by Syria is still being assessed.

I urge Syria to cooperate with the Agency on all issues in a timely manner and to bring into force an Additional Protocol to its Safeguards Agreement to enable the Agency to verify the correctness and completeness of Syria´s declarations.

Israeli Nuclear Capabilities

As the Board is aware, the General Conference last year adopted a resolution expressing concern about the Israeli nuclear capabilities and called upon Israel to accede to the NPT and place all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards. The General Conference requested me to work with the concerned States towards achieving that end and report to the Board and the General Conference at its fifty-fourth regular session in September on the implementation of this resolution.

I wrote to the Governments of Member States in April 2010 requesting them to inform me of any views that they might have with respect to meeting the objectives of this resolution. As of today, I have received replies from 17 Governments. Following the meeting of the Board, I intend to remind those Governments which have not done so to provide their replies at their earliest convenience. I will report to the Board and the General Conference in September.

The Secretariat is also following up the relevant provisions of the resolution of the General Conference on the Application of IAEA Safeguards in the Middle East.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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