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3 June 2013 | Vienna, Austria
IAEA Board of Governors

Introductory Statement to Board of Governors

by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano

Mr. Chairman,

I am pleased to welcome you all back to our old Board Room. Those of us with long experience with the Agency have many memories of important events in this room. I thank the many Agency colleagues who worked very hard on the renovation. They did a great job. I hope the Board will have fruitful and productive discussions in this room, in the traditional spirit of Vienna, for decades to come.

Mr. Chairman,

A number of important reports are on the agenda of this meeting.

The Annual Report for 2012 serves as the Board's report to the General Conference, as well as the Agency's report to the United Nations General Assembly and the general public. As the report shows, the Agency's programme continues to make a real difference to the lives of many people throughout the world.

Technical Cooperation

The Technical Cooperation Report for 2012 details the many ways in which we make nuclear science and technology available for peaceful purposes.

For example, in Africa, we are supporting the use of nuclear techniques to estimate soil erosion, assess the effectiveness of soil conservation measures, and control pests. In Asia and the Pacific, ten regional projects related to food were initiated in 2012. In Europe, there was continued emphasis last year on safety and security in the peaceful use of nuclear technology. In Latin America, the Agency is helping to establish a database of levels of radioactivity in food.

In 2012, we expanded our e-learning programmes for Member States and provided support through fellowships, scientific visitors and specialised training in many areas. These included introducing nuclear power, promoting quality in nuclear medicine, and protecting radiation workers and the public from the hazards of ionizing radiation.

To maximise the impact of our technical cooperation programme, we are working to improve partnerships with other key international organizations. Later this month, we will sign updated Revised Arrangements with the FAO concerning the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture. In 2012, we signed a Practical Arrangement with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization to develop the role of nuclear technologies that can contribute to cleaner industrial production. We agreed with the Pan American Health Organization to intensify our common efforts in cancer, medical physics, non-communicable diseases, nutrition and other areas.

New resources for the TC programme totalled 70.7 million euros in 2012, which included 11.4 million euros in extra-budgetary contributions.

Nuclear Applications

Mr. Chairman,

This year's Scientific Forum in September will focus on protecting the coastal and marine environment, which covers over 70% of the surface of the earth. Entitled The Blue Planet, the Forum will consider the urgent need to respond to pressures such as pollution, unsustainable extraction of living resources, climate change and ocean acidification. The Forum will highlight the ways in which the use of nuclear and isotopic techniques can mitigate pollution and increase global understanding of changes in the environment. I encourage all Member States to participate fully.

Member States have requested Agency assistance in responding to an outbreak of a new strain of avian influenza known as H7N9. The Joint FAO/IAEA Division's Animal Production and Health Laboratory is investigating rapid diagnostic techniques for identifying infected birds and poultry. We are also providing technical support and training to Member States.

Planning for the modernization of the nuclear applications laboratories in Seibersdorf is well underway. With your support, our scientists will be able to continue to provide "fit-for-purpose" services to Member States.

Nuclear Safety and Security

Mr. Chairman,

The IAEA will host an International Conference on Nuclear Security: Enhancing Global Efforts from the first to the fifth of July, here in Vienna. This is the first ministerial meeting on nuclear security which is open to all 159 IAEA Member States. I encourage all Member States to participate at a high level. I hope that Ministers will use the Conference Statement to send a strong message on the need to address nuclear security and express their support for the Agency's role as the global platform for strengthening nuclear security. The Conference will also provide useful input into the next IAEA Nuclear Security Plan.

During the next General Conference in September, we will again hold a Treaty Event to promote adherence to key multilateral treaties for which the IAEA is depositary. I hope that Member States will make use of this event. In particular, I encourage States to ratify and bring into force the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, which would provide an important basis for more effective global nuclear security efforts.

You have received my report on Progress in the Implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety.

Work is underway on a comprehensive Agency report on the Fukushima Daiichi accident, which will be finalised by the end of 2014. The goal is to produce an authoritative, factual and balanced assessment, addressing the causes and consequences of the accident, as well as lessons learned. This report is intended to serve as a key reference document on the accident for years to come. It is a major undertaking and I am grateful to all Member States which are in a position to provide support.

The latest in our series of post-Fukushima international experts' meetings took place last month, focusing on human and organizational factors in nuclear safety. In April, an International Conference on Effective Nuclear Regulatory Systems took place in Ottawa, Canada. Also in April, the Agency organized a peer review by international experts of Japan's Mid-and-Long-Term Roadmap towards the Decommissioning of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Units 1-4.

The Agency is actively supporting the Fukushima Prefecture in remediation and decontamination, management of waste generated during remediation activities, radiological mapping, and radiation monitoring in the environment. An IAEA Response and Assistance Network (RANET) Capacity Building Centre has been designated in Fukushima City and the first RANET workshop was organized there last week.

Nuclear Energy

Mr. Chairman,

The third International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century will take place from June 27 to 29 in St Petersburg. It will provide a valuable opportunity to look forward and consider nuclear power's long-term contribution to sustainable development. I encourage all states to be represented at ministerial and senior expert level.

We continue to provide technical support both to countries embarking on nuclear power, and to established users. Poland hosted an Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review Mission and an Integrated Regulatory Review Service Mission. Bulgaria received an IRRS mission. In Romania, we initiated a National Nuclear Energy System Assessment.

In March, the Agency organized an International Conference on Fast Reactors and Related Fuel Cycles in Paris. The Conference focused on strategic and technical options for deploying fast reactors operating with a closed fuel cycle in a safe, proliferation-resistant and economic manner.

Several new nuclear energy publications will be produced in 2013, including one to help nuclear facility vendors and designers better understand international safeguards requirements. We have launched a new set of interactive e-learning modules covering the 19 infrastructure issues of the Agency's milestones approach.

An IAEA expert mission starts today to the site of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine. The team will analyse the root causes of the recent collapse of the turbine hall roof at Unit 4.

Our efforts to help States reduce the civilian use of high enriched uranium (HEU) continue. In April, 68 kilograms of irradiated HEU were shipped from the Nuclear Research Institute in Řež in the Czech Republic to the MAYAK reprocessing facility in the Russian Federation. This was the sixth and final HEU shipment from the Czech Republic.

Assurance of Supply

Concerning the IAEA LEU Bank project, we have held a number of meetings with the Government of Kazakhstan to negotiate a Host State Agreement and supporting technical agreements. There have been a total of 12 technical missions to Kazakhstan to date. A number of technical matters, including the seismic assessment of the site, are being addressed.

Last week, we held a briefing to update Member States on our work on establishing the LEU Bank. I will continue to keep the Board informed of developments.

Nuclear Verification

Safeguards Implementation Report for 2012

Mr. Chairman,

Turning now to nuclear verification, the Safeguards Implementation Report for 2012 has been distributed. It details our work implementing safeguards in 179 States with safeguards agreements in force. The Agency's findings are based upon our evaluation of the information available to the Agency in exercising its rights and fulfilling its obligations under safeguards. We draw our conclusions on the basis of these findings.

As the report shows, we have continued to improve the efficiency of safeguards implementation. Improved cooperation from State and regional authorities has been an important factor in maintaining this trend.

As requested by Member States, I intend to submit a report on the conceptualisation and development of safeguards implementation at the State level to the September Board.

ECAS Project
I will briefly update you on the status of the ECAS project - Enhancing Capabilities of the Safeguards Analytical Services.

Construction of the new Nuclear Material Laboratory remains on schedule and within budget. The handover of the new laboratory is scheduled for 10 July, when we will take formal occupancy of the building. The phased transfer of operations from the old building will run through 2014.

Remaining tasks include construction of the site infrastructure and preparation of non-laboratory space. We are paying special attention to ensuring that the new facilities fully comply with IAEA safety standards and security guidance. For final completion of the project, further extra-budgetary support is urgently required. I am grateful for the support of Member States which have contributed so far, and encourage all those in a position to do so to make a financial contribution.

Conclusion of Safeguards Agreements and Additional Protocols
Since my last report to the Board, Denmark has brought an additional protocol into force with respect to Greenland. Bosnia and Herzegovina brought into force a comprehensive safeguards agreement. Vanuatu brought into force a comprehensive safeguards agreement, a small quantities protocol and an additional protocol. Andorra and Mauritania amended their small quantities protocols.

The number of States with additional protocols in force now stands at 120. I strongly hope that remaining States will conclude additional protocols as soon as possible. I also ask the 12 States without NPT safeguards agreements in force to bring such agreements into force without delay, and I call on States with the old small quantities protocols to amend or rescind them, if they have not yet done so.

Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
I remain concerned about the situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, particularly since its announcement of a third test of a nuclear weapon in February. Once again, I strongly urge the DPRK to fully implement all relevant resolutions of the Security Council, the IAEA General Conference and the Board of Governors.

I reiterate my call for the DPRK to fully comply with the NPT and to cooperate promptly and fully with the Agency. The IAEA remains ready to contribute to the peaceful resolution of this issue by resuming its nuclear verification activities once political agreement is reached among the countries concerned.

Implementation of Safeguards in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Mr. Chairman,

As my report on safeguards implementation in Iran shows, the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement. However, Iran is not providing the necessary cooperation to enable us to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities. The Agency therefore cannot conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.

Iran continues to advance its heavy water related projects. The number of centrifuges installed by Iran also continues to increase, as does the amount of enriched uranium it holds. These activities are in clear contravention of resolutions adopted by the Board of Governors and the United Nations Security Council.

Iran is still not implementing the modified Code 3.1 of its Subsidiary Arrangements General Part. This is a matter of concern in light of statements made by Iran in relation to the construction of new research reactors, new uranium enrichment facilities and new power reactors. In particular, the lack of up to date design information on the IR-40 Reactor at Arak is having an increasingly adverse impact on our ability to effectively verify the design of the facility and to implement an effective safeguards approach.

At the last Board meeting in March, I expressed the hope that I would be able to report real progress in clarifying outstanding issues related to Iran's nuclear programme to the June Board.

That has not been possible. Despite the intensified dialogue between the Agency and Iran since January 2012, during which time ten rounds of talks have been held, no agreement has been reached on the structured approach document. To be frank, for some time now we have been going around in circles. This is not the right way to address issues of such great importance to the international community, including Iran. We need to achieve concrete results without further delay to restore international confidence in the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear activities. In order to achieve that objective, the Agency has made clear its view of the elements which the structured approach should contain. First and foremost, Iran has to address the Agency's requirement to conduct effective verification. Unless Iran does so, it will not be possible for the Agency to resolve outstanding issues, including those relating to possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear programme.

I reiterate my request that Iran, give substantive answers to the Agency's detailed questions regarding Parchin and the foreign expert, and provide access to the location at the Parchin site of interest to the Agency. The Agency remains committed to constructive dialogue that will lead to concrete results.

The Agency has solid grounds for requesting clarification in relation to possible military dimensions. The resolutions of both the Board of Governors and the United Nations Security Council have urged Iran to cooperate with the Agency to resolve all outstanding issues, including those relating to possible military dimensions. In its resolution of 13 September 2012, the Board of Governors stressed that it was essential for Iran to conclude and implement the structured approach "immediately". I do not need to remind the Board that the Agency has the right and the obligation to verify the correctness and completeness of safeguards declarations.

I urge Iran to fully implement its Safeguards Agreement, and its other obligations, and to engage with us to achieve concrete results in resolving all outstanding issues with a sense of urgency.

Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic
Concerning the Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic, the Board will recall the Agency's conclusion that a building destroyed at the Dair Alzour site was very likely to have been a nuclear reactor and should have been declared by Syria.

There have been no significant developments since my March statement to the Board. I renew my call to Syria to cooperate fully with us in connection with unresolved issues related to the Dair Alzour site and other locations. I will continue to keep the Board informed.

Programme and Budget

The Agency's Draft Programme and Budget for 2014-2015 has been the subject of extensive consultations. It sets forth the appropriate balance among Major Programmes and identifies the main priorities for the Agency during this biennium. These are technical cooperation, nuclear safety and security, and the modernization of the nuclear applications laboratories in Seibersdorf. The statutory function related to nuclear energy remains an Agency priority.

The proposal balances the increasing needs of Member States for the Agency's services, while taking into consideration the financial constraints that many Member States face. I assure Member States that I remain committed to vigorously implementing efficiency and cost-saving measures throughout the coming biennium. I look forward to your adoption of the Programme and Budget proposal.

As you may recall, 2011 was the first year in which the Agency's financial statements were prepared on the basis of International Public Sector Accounting Standards, known as IPSAS. In 2012, we fine-tuned the financial statements by improving presentation and adding comparative information for the previous year. We have again received an unqualified audit opinion from the External Auditor.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, I note that three senior colleagues will shortly be leaving us: Mr. Vilmos Cserveny, Secretary to the Policy-Making Organs; Mr. Rafael Mariano Grossi, Assistant Director General for Policy and Chef de Cabinet; and Mr. Neville Whiting, Director of the Division of Operations B in the Department of Safeguards. I thank all of them for their dedicated service to the Agency and wish them every success in future.

Thank you, Mr.Chairman.