|Date||17 October 1994|
Click on thebutton beside the speech or paragraph to expand it to a useful panel containing:
- The date of the speech
- A link to the original page of the PDF document
- A URL that can be used in most blogs
- A structured Citation template suitable for use in a Wikipedia article.
Those last two rows ("URL" and "wiki") use textboxes to hide most of the text.
To access this text, right-click in the textbox with your mouse and choose "Select All", then right-click again and choose "Copy". Now you can right-click into another window and choose "Paste" to get the text.
Agenda item 14
Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency
(b) Draft resolution (A/49/L.2)
Before calling on the first speaker, I should like to propose that the list of speakers in the debate on this item be closed today at noon.
I hear no objection.
I therefore request those representatives wishing to participate in the debate on this item to place their names on the list as soon as possible.
I now invite the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mr. Hans Blix, to present the report of the Agency for the year 1993.
In 1995 it will be 50 years since the founding of the United Nations and 25 years since the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) entered into force. For the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), these anniversaries provide occasions to review its role in the United Nations system and under the NPT, and to identify new needs and new challenges.
Although it is an independent intergovernmental organization, now with 121 members, the Agency's Statute enjoins it to conduct its activities in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations, and the Agency looks to the United Nations for policy guidance in the field of arms control and disarmament and development, and in acute political issues relevant to the United Nations family of organizations.
It is striking that the first resolution ever adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations, in 1946, dealt with "the problems raised by the discovery of atomic energy" (resolution 1(I)), preambular paragraph). Already at that time, the tasks ahead were identified as the elimination of nuclear weapons and control of atomic energy to ensure its use only for peaceful purposes. Also mentioned at that early stage was the need for effective safeguards by way of inspection and for exchange of scientific information.
Despite the constraints of the cold war, the IAEA was successful in pursuing some of the aims expressed in this resolution and in the subsequently proclaimed policy of "Atoms for Peace". The Agency developed the safeguards system and it helped to transfer nuclear science and technology relevant to agriculture, medicine, industry and electricity generation.
Since the Chernobyl accident in 1986, a major challenge for the IAEA has been to develop and consolidate international rules and measures relating to nuclear safety and radiation protection into a global nuclear safety regime. After the discovery of clandestine nuclear activities in Iraq in 1991, another great challenge has been to strengthen the safeguards system so as to reduce the risk that any nuclear activity which should have been declared, remains undetected.
With the end of the cold war, new opportunities for nuclear disarmament and arms control have opened up. As a result, there are new expectations and demands on the IAEA in the area of verification. Similarly, the goals of sustainable development and protection of the global environment mean new tasks and challenges for the IAEA. I shall now develop these themes, beginning with the issue of non-proliferation.
The seriousness with which the Security Council of the United Nations looks at the question of nuclear proliferation is reflected in the summit declaration of 31 January 1992, where it was clearly stated, inter alia, that
"... the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction constitutes a threat to international peace and security." (S/PV.3046, p. 145)
Pointing to the non-proliferation Treaty, the members of the Council stressed
"the integral role in the implementation of that Treaty of fully effective safeguards" (ibid., p. 145 (a-z))
and committed themselves to taking
"appropriate measures in the case of any violation notified to them by the IAEA" (ibid., p. 145 (a-z)).
The Security Council thus made it clear that it regards the IAEA as instrumental to the fulfilment of its own task of preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the cases of Iraq and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) demonstrated how the Council relies on the IAEA as the nuclear inspection arm of the United Nations system. For its part, the Agency has, naturally, looked to the Council as the political organ responsible for handling any violations of nuclear arms control agreements. It would be wise to build on this experience in the future. In these days of electronic communications, close and continuous liaison between Vienna and New York is not difficult. Between the Director General of the IAEA and the Secretary-General of the United Nations there is already a secure and direct communications link, and if the Security Council so wished I am sure informal briefings by the IAEA by closed-circuit television could be arranged.
As the non-proliferation regime moves further towards universality and as nuclear disarmament results in reductions in nuclear arsenals, it becomes increasingly important that commitments made under the NPT and other nuclear-related agreements be fully respected. The 1995 NPT review and extension Conference, which will meet in New York next year, will have before it detailed reports from the IAEA about the way in which the Agency is strengthening the safeguards system in order to increase its detection capacity and, thereby, the level of assurance it can give about compliance by States with their international commitments. The Agency will also be reporting to the NPT Conference on its activities in support of the transfer of nuclear science and technology for peaceful purposes.
I shall now discuss IAEA verification activities in specific areas, beginning with Iraq.
Since May 1991 the IAEA has carried out 26 inspection missions in Iraq under the mandate of Security Council resolution 687 (1991). Based on these inspections and the analysis of document samples, procurement data and other information, the course of Iraq's clandestine nuclear-weapons programme has been thoroughly investigated and charted. As also required by resolution 687 (1991), the IAEA has completed the destruction, removal or rendering harmless of Iraq's weapons-usable materials, facilities and equipment. We are confident that, as a result of these activities, no practical capability for the production of nuclear weapons remains in Iraq. Nevertheless, the IAEA retains the right to investigate any further aspects of Iraq's former programme if new information should warrant such action.
Concurrently with these mapping and dismantling activities, the IAEA has been phasing in elements of its plan for the ongoing monitoring and verification of Iraq's compliance with resolutions 687 (1991) and 707 (1991). All the elements of the IAEA's plan, which was approved by the Security Council in resolution 715 (1991) and was accepted by Iraq, are now in place, and the continuing presence of IAEA inspectors in Iraq has been established at the Baghdad Monitoring and Verification Centre, with the assistance and the United Nations Special Commission. Monitoring and verification measures will continue to evolve as technical needs arise and advanced technologies become available.
A mechanism for monitoring future sales and supplies of designated items to Iraq has been jointly developed with the United Nations Special Commission in consultation with the Security Council's Committee on sanctions against Iraq. Once approved by the Council, this mechanism will form an integral part of the ongoing monitoring and verification system.
In the Democratic People's Republic of Korea the IAEA has found evidence suggesting the existence of some nuclear material - plutonium - that has not been reported by that country to the Agency. No progress has been made in the Agency's consequent effort to secure access to additional information and locations, as requested by the Agency in 1993. Further, the problem has been aggravated by the discharge of spent fuel from the 5-megawatt experimental nuclear power reactor without the appropriate safeguards measures requested by the Agency. Valuable information about the history of the spent fuel was thereby irretrievably lost.
In June 1994 the Democratic People's Republic of Korea withdrew from IAEA membership. However, this does not affect its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and under the safeguards agreement with the IAEA. Although access for certain periodic safeguards verification activities in the declared facilities was denied to the Agency's inspectors during July and August, most of these activities are currently not subject to restrictions, and the Agency has been enabled to maintain inspection coverage of the discharged spent fuel at the 5-megawatt reactor on a continuous basis - in keeping, inter alia, with a statement by the President of the Security Council on 30 May this year.
So long as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is not providing full nuclear transparency through full acceptance of safeguards, it will not be possible to verify the completeness of the nuclear inventory that it declared in 1992. To the extent that effective safeguards on declared installations are accepted by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Agency can verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material from these installations.
An important development in the past year was the successful negotiation of comprehensive safeguards agreements with newly independent States of the former Soviet Union having significant nuclear facilities. NPT-type safeguards agreements have been approved with eight of those States. Ukraine, although not yet an NPT party, has also signed a comprehensive safeguards agreement with the Agency, pledging that all nuclear material under its control will be used only for peaceful purposes.
In Latin America, Argentina, Brazil and Chile have ratified the Tlatelolco Treaty for the denuclearization of Latin America, and Cuba has recently declared that it intends to adhere to the Treaty. We can therefore expect that the Treaty will soon enter into force and that the IAEA will apply comprehensive safeguards in the entire Latin American region.
South Africa's roll-back from the possession of nuclear weapons to non-nuclear-weapon status and its accession to the NPT constitute a major development. The IAEA has carried out a great number of safeguards missions to South Africa under the NPT safeguards agreement since October 1991. After thorough investigation, the Agency has found no reason to doubt the veracity of South Africa's initial declaration of nuclear material. Full membership rights in the IAEA have now been restored to South Africa.
Another recent positive development in Africa is the declaration by Algeria of its intention to accede to the NPT.
The creation of the African nuclear-weapon-free zone should now be at hand. The IAEA has continued to assist the African States in their efforts towards this end. The text of a treaty for an African nuclear-weapon-free zone, which has been submitted to the current session of the General Assembly for consideration, entrusts the IAEA with the responsibility for safeguards verification under the treaty.
At the request of its General Conference, the IAEA has been engaged in activities to promote the role of safeguards in the Middle East. I have personally pursued consultations with a number of States in the Middle East about the early application of Agency safeguards to all relevant activities in the region. Further, in the context of the Middle East peace negotiations, the Agency has provided expert assistance to the participants in the Multilateral Working Group on Arms Control and Regional Security. Lastly, the Agency organized in 1993 a workshop for experts from Middle East countries on the modalities for the application of safeguards in the Middle East region. As a follow-up, and in the context of the Multilateral Working Group, a visit by representatives of Middle East States was arranged to a nuclear power plant in Western Europe. The purpose of this visit was to demonstrate how regional verification activities can complement international verification efforts. In the coming year, I propose to continue my consultations with countries in the Middle East.
Following the discovery in Iraq of undeclared nuclear material, installations and activities, considerable efforts have been made in the IAEA to strengthen the Agency's detection capability. Some measures have already been introduced, such as the request for the early provision of design information on nuclear installations and for reporting on the export and import of nuclear material and specified equipment and non-nuclear material over and above the reporting requirements of safeguards agreements. Furthermore, a comprehensive programme to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the safeguards system is being developed for submission to the Board of Governors in March 1995. It is designed to strengthen the Agency's access to information and access to sites for inspection. It will include innovations in detection techniques and technologies, such as environmental monitoring, as well as recommendations to remove various restrictions imposed by States on inspections. It is paradoxical, for instance, that States that have accepted international inspection in order to demonstrate their openness and compliance with non-proliferation commitments, still demand that inspectors apply for visas before coming.
Safeguards are not a form of intrusion on States' sovereignty, but, rather, an opportunity for States to demonstrate their compliance with international obligations. Safeguards are an institutionalized means of nuclear transparency to create confidence.
Let me now briefly describe the IAEA's recent engagement in some verification issues that go beyond our traditional safeguards activities.
As a result of the current dismantling of nuclear weapons by the United States and Russia and the ongoing reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel in several countries, substantial quantities of plutonium and high enriched uranium (HEU) are recovered. On the issue of fissionable material from dismantled weapons, President Clinton and President Yeltsin agreed in January 1994 to establish a joint working group to consider, inter alia:
"steps to ensure the transparency and irreversibility of the process of reduction of nuclear weapons, including the possibility of putting a portion of the fissionable material under IAEA safeguards".
I can report to the Assembly that, for its part, the United States has begun a process for the eventual submission to IAEA inspection of all United States fissile material no longer needed for defence purposes. Storage locations for such material have been identified, and the legal, technical and financial aspects of safeguards are being considered. A first inspection has already taken place.
Furthermore, there seems to be broad agreement that plutonium and high enriched uranium from the civilian sector should be stored under conditions of greater transparency, adequate physical security and nuclear safety and with a high degree of assurance against possible diversion for weapons purposes. The Agency can assist in building further on existing measures if requested to do so by the relevant States and if adequate resources are made available.
Last year the General Assembly adopted without a vote a resolution which recommended the negotiation of a verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other explosive purposes. The Assembly also requested the IAEA
"to provide assistance for examination of verification arrangements for such a treaty as required". (resolution 48/75 L, para. 2)
In compliance with this request I have established a working group within the IAEA secretariat to examine the verification problem and to prepare background papers which may be of use in the negotiations between States.
Negotiations are well under way at the Conference on Disarmament on a comprehensive test-ban treaty (CTBT). Although the scope of the treaty and the modalities for its verification are not yet agreed, a number of States seem to support a significant role for the Agency, having in mind the cost-effectiveness of using an existing organization with relevant experience and infrastructure, and also the mutually reinforcing nature of verifying non-proliferation and CTBT pledges. Violation of a commitment not to test would simultaneously constitute a violation of a non-proliferation commitment to use nuclear material only for peaceful purposes.
The recently reported increase in illicit trafficking in nuclear material is a matter of concern. During the past year the IAEA has recorded many cases which have warranted follow-up. Fortunately, each of these cases has turned out to involve only small quantities of nuclear material, and in no instance does this material appear to have come from a nuclear weapons stockpile. However, the uncontrolled movement of fissionable material involves both proliferation and radiation risks, and it suggests that control and supervision at some installations authorized to possess and use such material are currently inadequate.
These problems have been the subject of much discussion between Governments lately, and several measures are being taken. A primary condition to prevent trafficking is that institutions handling nuclear material should have adequate systems of accountancy, control and physical protection. In these regards, the IAEA can step up advice and technical assistance - if resources are made available.
Furthermore, although activities such as the conduct of police investigations are beyond the IAEA's competence, the Agency could significantly improve its continuous collection, verification and analysis of information obtained from the media and from Member States in order to separate fact from fiction and report the real extent of the problem. Last month the IAEA General Conference invited me to convene a group of experts designated by Member States and competent international organizations to examine the options available for a strengthened Agency role in that area. This will take place in November, and the Board of Governors of the IAEA will take up the issue again in December.
I turn now to the IAEA's work on the peaceful applications of nuclear energy, both nuclear-power generation of electricity and other applications.
Nuclear power has been stagnating in the Western industrialized countries, partly as a result of a comfortable electricity supply situation in several of these countries and partly as a result of public opposition, especially after the Chernobyl accident. East Asia is now a major growth area, where a number of countries are moving ahead with vigorous construction programmes.
As demand for electricity begins to accelerate worldwide, a continued stagnation of nuclear power could be problematic. Ambitious energy saving and the greater use of renewable sources of energy - like solar and wind power and biomass, will not be enough to meet the demand for increased base load electricity which everyone predicts. In some places more hydropower may be developed, but the easiest way to meet the increased demand dictated by population increase and economic expansion will generally be through the burning of more fossil fuels, notably coal and gas. However, as this is bound to add to the pollution of the world's atmosphere, such a choice would present policy makers with a serious dilemma. At a cost, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides may be removed from flue gases; but Governments are committed also to reducing, or at least stabilizing, the level of carbon dioxide emissions in order to try to ward off global warming. In this regard, a shift from coal to gas may be welcome, as gas gives rise to less carbon dioxide per energy unit produced. However, the current trend is towards a global increase not only in the use of gas but also in the use of all fossil fuels and, consequently, a global increase in carbon dioxide emissions.
Although nuclear power is essentially emission-free, and although uranium resources and existing industrial capacity would allow a vast expansion of nuclear generating capacity, it is not suggested that nuclear power alone can be the solution to this dilemma. It is very difficult, on the other hand, to see that there can be a solution to the dilemma without a substantial nuclear component in the world energy mix.
Governments are beginning to grapple with this problem as a part of the implementation of the Framework Convention on Climate Change, adopted at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), set up by United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization, is examining response scenarios to the threat of global climate change. From these scenarios it can be seen that future energy mixes with a substantial nuclear power component offer a chance for restraining carbon dioxide emissions. It is not surprising, therefore, that the World Energy Council stated in 1993 that
"there is a need to continue to seek a way of exploiting the immense energy reserves of nuclear power [in a way] which is publicly acceptable across the whole fuel cycle from procurement and processing through disposal."
The obstacles to general public acceptance of nuclear power relate to three major issues: the proliferation risk, safety and waste.
I have already described the proliferation situation, which is moving in a positive direction. With accelerated nuclear disarmament and the prospect of non-proliferation approaching universality, one might hope that the peaceful use of nuclear power may at long last be decoupled in people's minds from the anxiety they have felt about the threat of nuclear weapons.
On safety, Governments are not only focusing on the weaknesses of some reactors of Soviet design, they are also making broad efforts to develop an international safety culture. In this regard, a major element was completed this year with the conclusion of the international Convention on Nuclear Safety. The Convention covers power reactors and establishes binding general rules, and the implementation of these rules will be promoted by a peer review process. The Convention has already been signed by 47 States. Other elements in the international safety culture are the Paris and Vienna Conventions on liability in the event of a nuclear accident, the IAEA's safety-related "audits" at individual nuclear plants and agreed International Basic Radiation Safety Standards developed by six organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), International Labour Organization (ILO) and the IAEA. I should mention, lastly, that an International Nuclear Event Scale has been established and adopted by most States using nuclear power to help define the severity of incidents in an easily understandable way.
Thus, just as safety in the air and safety at sea have long been legitimate international concerns regulated by international instruments, safety in the operation of nuclear power plants the world over is increasingly subject to international rules, guidelines and advice. We know that an accident anywhere can result in radioactive fallout across borders, and even when this is not the case, the psychological fallout is instantaneous; hence, the efforts to ensure that nuclear power plants everywhere in the world are operated at a high level of safety.
The IAEA is at the centre of the emerging international legal infrastructure surrounding the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The Agency is also expanding its range of international services designed to strengthen safety. Nevertheless, supervision and enforcement of nuclear safety rules remain the prerogative of national Governments.
The results of the intensified work - national and international - on nuclear safety are positive. The number of unplanned stoppages in nuclear-power plants is going down generally and the trend is towards lower doses of radiation for workers in nuclear-power plants. Nevertheless, probably only years of nuclear operations without serious accidents will reduce the concern of a public which is prepared to accept much less risk in the nuclear area than in many others. To give only one example, let me mention that a report of the International Labour Organization last April estimating that 3.5 to 5 million persons per year are poisoned by pesticides, of whom 40,000 die, does not appear to have aroused the public.
A third concern affecting public acceptance of nuclear power relates to nuclear waste. The concern is not only about highly radioactive waste resulting from powerplants but even about lower medium-level radioactive waste, sometimes raising problems for further use of modern nuclear techniques in medicine. It is probable that these concerns will be allayed only when governments and industry have actually established repositories for wastes of different levels of radioactivity. From the scientific and technical standpoint there are no serious obstacles to the building of such repositories and several countries have done so or are preparing to do so. Nor are there usually any financial problems connected with the disposal of radioactive waste from civilian activities, as these are accustomed to carrying the cost of disposal. However, as the selection of disposal sites often meets opposition, a very open dialogue with the public is needed. Experience in several countries shows that this is possible.
Although the disposal of radioactive waste is clearly a local matter, the extremely long periods during which some wastes remain active creates a common international interest that radioactive waste anywhere on the planet be responsibly handled. This is also the reason why there is not only an increasing international exchange of experience in this field, but also a development of internationally agreed legal rules and guidelines. We expect that work will soon commence in the IAEA on a binding convention on the safety of radioactive waste management.
So far, only a few developing countries have a technological level and infrastructure that would allow them to make use of the present types of nuclear-power reactors. For their electricity generation, they will have to rely on technologically less demanding solutions, mostly involving the burning of fossil fuels, which in turn will make it desirable for technologically advanced nations to make greater use of nuclear power. For the future, it may be hoped that simpler-to-operate, smaller and less costly nuclear reactors will become available for wider use by developing countries in the generation of electricity for their fast-growing urban centres and also perhaps in the desalination of water to compensate for scarce fresh water resources. Developing countries members of the IAEA are keenly interested in these questions.
Meanwhile, the IAEA is intensely and successfully engaged in the transfer of many non-power nuclear techniques to developing countries. Emphasis is being placed on techniques which will contribute to sustainable development - food production and preservation, the harnessing of fresh water resources, industrial uses and the promotion of human health. Let me give just a few examples of what the Agency is engaged in in these fields.
In the field of food production, the Agency is promoting the use of the so-called sterile insect technique, which relies on the release of large numbers of radiation-sterilized male insects to mate with fertile females, thereby gradually reducing the population of, for instance, tsetse flies and Mediterranean fruit flies. Interest in this technique, which has long been used in North and South America, is now growing in many countries, and the IAEA - together with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations - is trying to respond to this interest.
Still in the field of food production, much use is being made of radiation to induce mutants of crops such as rice, grain and bananas and to create strains which may be more resistant to pests or adverse climatic conditions.
The use of tracer radioisotopes for the mapping of exploitable water resources is another technique promoted by the IAEA technical cooperation programme, especially in arid and semi-arid areas.
In the field of medicine, the use of radiation is a principal method of combating cancer and the IAEA is much involved, inter alia, in the transfer of such techniques and in assisting recipient States in the field of dosimetry to ensure that the radiation doses delivered are appropriate. A very common use of radiation for medical purposes is the sterilization of surgical instruments and skin grafts; here, too, the Agency is providing assistance.
Let me conclude with some remarks about the prospects for and constraints on the ability of the IAEA to play its full role in meeting the growing demands on the international system. The United Nations has an overall responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security and for the promotion of development. As the "Agenda for Peace" and the agenda for development show, there is an obvious link between peace and development. Such a link is also at the heart of the mandate of the IAEA, which is the nuclear verification arm of the United Nations system and at the same time an agency for the transfer of nuclear technology for peaceful development. Both tasks are likely to increase in importance as nuclear disarmament accelerates and emphasis is placed on sustainable development.
Despite the constraints of the zero-real-growth budgeting over many years, the IAEA has been able to deliver an expanding programme and to respond promptly to new challenges. This is due partly to strong support - including extrabudgetary support - from member States and partly to the enthusiasm, dynamism and versatility of the Agency's staff. I would be less than frank, however, if I did not admit that we are now facing serious problems in both respects. While we need to attract the best nuclear specialists in the world to remain on top of the problems referred to us, the pay and conditions of service offered by the United Nations Common System have deteriorated. The loss of competitiveness is creating a recruitment problem for the IAEA and for the Common System. As regards financial resources, a decade of severe budgetary constraint, combined with delays in Governments' payments of contributions, is perpetuating the sense of financial crisis.
This problem is of course not unique to the IAEA, but it is clear that for the IAEA a more adequate, timely and predictable resource base is necessary if it is to meet expanding obligations in the area of nuclear verification and to undertake tasks requested to ensure the safe use of nuclear power and the transfer of nuclear technology in support of development. As we approach the fiftieth anniversary of the first and, we trust, last use of nuclear weapons in war, and with at last the prospect of major steps towards reducing and perhaps eliminating nuclear arsenals, it is all the more vital that effective verification mechanisms be in place. It would be deplorable if short-term concerns over resources reduced the opportunity to secure the major advances in the field of nuclear-arms control which now seem to exist. Arms control and disarmament undoubtedly yield a peace dividend in terms of reduced military spending. However, disarmament, like development, must be sustainable and reliable verification is indispensable. A small part of the peace dividend must be invested in such verification.
Let me, in closing, record the thanks of the IAEA to the Government of Austria for maintaining its tradition as an excellent host to all the international organizations which are located in Vienna.
I should like to seek the cooperation of delegations on the matter of punctuality. I remind delegations that punctuality is of the utmost importance in ensuring an effective and orderly organization of the Assembly's work and in achieving economies for the United Nations. I strongly endorse the practical suggestions that were made at previous sessions for each delegation to designate someone to be present at the scheduled time. I genuinely hope that all delegations will cooperate.
I now call on the representative of Turkey to introduce draft resolution A/49/L.2.
My delegation has the honour to introduce, on behalf of a wide and representative group of sponsors, draft resolution A/49/L.2 on the annual report of the International Atomic Agency (IAEA). The sponsors are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, Romania, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States. The draft resolution on the report of the IAEA is traditionally introduced in the General Assembly by a representative of the Bureau of the Agency's Board of Governors. In conformity with this established practice, and as a Co-Vice-Chairman of the IAEA Board of Governors this year, Turkey has assumed the responsibility of introducing the draft resolution.
I would like to commend the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mr. Hans Blix, for his comprehensive statement explaining in detail the annual report on the operation of the Agency in 1993. Turkey considers the report as a successful attempt to present a well-balanced analysis of the Agency's activities in 1993. The report clearly demonstrates that the Agency has continued to discharge its responsibilities as provided for in its statute and in the resolutions of the General Conference and the Board of Governors. My delegation endorses this report and believes that it faithfully reflects the Agency's efforts to strengthen its safeguards system, to improve the scope and the effectiveness of its nuclear-safety and nuclear-cooperation programmes, to minimize risks to life, health and the environment, and to serve as a major source of technical assistance to Member States.
In the changing international political landscape of our times, the IAEA remains vitally instrumental for the maintenance of international peace and security and continues to promote cooperation on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
During the past year, one of the most remarkable achievements of the Agency was the successful adoption of the Convention on Nuclear Safety. Turkey signed the Convention on 20 September 1994. We hold the view that this Convention is a significant step in the right direction and hope that it will contribute to maximizing safety at nuclear power plants, of which more than 420 are currently operating world-wide. The scope of this Convention should be expanded through additional international instruments to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the safeguards system of the Agency. The draft resolution before us, in paragraph 9, appeals to all States to become parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety.
Next year will be a turning-point in the history of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). We are convinced that the Conference of the parties to the Treaty to be convened in 1995 will contribute to our common goal of achieving universal adherence to the Treaty. It is widely recognized that the NPT suffers from several weaknesses, especially in connection with its monitoring and verification regime. My delegation hopes that these weaknesses will be effectively addressed during the 1995 Conference. This could strengthen and further encourage the IAEA's continuing search for verification methods. We are convinced that the IAEA will assume expanded responsibilities after the Conference.
We have to recognize the fact that the end of the cold war has not totally removed the danger posed by nuclear weapons. On the contrary, in some cases the danger has actually increased. In the post-cold-war era, illicit trafficking in nuclear material has emerged as a growing threat to international peace and security. This is a grave concern for all of us. We have to develop a common plan of action to combat this phenomenon. In this context, we must address not only the symptoms but also the root causes. It is in line with this reasoning that we strongly endorse the call upon all States in paragraph 8 of the draft resolution to take all necessary measures to prevent illicit trafficking in nuclear material.
Draft resolution A/49/L.2 is similar to resolution 48/14, which was adopted on this agenda item last year, except for the following additions and slight changes. The paragraphs on Iraq have been updated to reflect the progress that has been made. The paragraph on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has been elaborated to include reference to the bilateral talks. And new paragraphs on the prevention of illicit trafficking in nuclear material and on the new Convention on Nuclear Safety have been added to the draft resolution. It is a balanced text which seeks to be responsive to the needs and interests of all IAEA members. The draft resolution has gained broad support. We hope it will be adopted by consensus.
We have listened with keen interest to the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mr. Hans Blix, and we thank him for so ably introducing the report of the Agency. India has the honour and privilege of being Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Agency for the period 1994-1995. India has been a member of the Agency since its inception in 1957. We have consistently attached the highest importance to the objectives of the IAEA, and we are active participants in its many activities. We thus regard the chairmanship of the Board as a valuable opportunity to serve the Agency at a time when its manifold functions, be they promotional, safety-related or regulatory, are attracting wide attention.
The objectives of the Agency, objectives which we greatly value, are clearly spelt out in its statute. The primary objective of the Agency is that
"The Agency shall seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and development throughout the world".
In conformity with this spirit, India lays emphasis on the Agency's role in promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. We note with satisfaction that in September the General Conference adopted resolutions on strengthening the Agency's technical cooperation activities. It also adopted resolutions supporting the Agency's role in the use of isotope hydrology for water-resource management and in plans for producing potable water economically. Similarly, in 1993 a resolution on food irradiation was adopted; since then the Agency has developed a useful project in this field.
These are concrete examples of uses of nuclear energy for the benefit of mankind. While they are welcome, we believe that the Agency can and should do much more. For instance, the availability of radioisotopes is influenced by the shortage of high-flux research reactors as sources of radioisotope production. The existing facilities in some of the developing countries are under-utilized or face financial crunches. The Agency can address this situation.
One of the crucial areas for the Agency is to help member countries, particularly those which require technical assistance and expertise, in their plans to develop nuclear power. Though debate continues about the economic and safety aspects of nuclear power in parts of the developed world, particularly in Europe and America, in Asia and in many developing countries there is recognition that nuclear power is a viable and substantive long-term option to meet the increasing demands for energy without endangering the environment or depleting natural resources. The Agency has to play a catalytic role in assisting member countries in this regard. It can also enhance its activities in other, non-power applications in the fields of agriculture, medicine and industry. We hope that more projects of real and demonstrable benefit to the people will be developed and that such model projects will give an impetus to the growth of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. India, on its part, will be ready to intensify its interaction with the Agency in these areas and to share its know-how, either bilaterally or through the Agency technical cooperation programmes.
In September Vienna also witnessed the signing of the International Convention on Nuclear Safety. India was among the first few to sign this Convention. There is a growing global concern for nuclear safety. The Agency has done commendable work in helping the process of negotiation and conclusion of the safety Convention. We look forward to the exchange of ideas, suggestions and expertise under the peer-group review mechanism envisaged under the Convention.
Another important area of the Agency relates to the application of safeguards. We note with interest that the Agency has embarked upon a major exercise on the strengthening of the safeguards system. We attach importance to this exercise, aimed at making the safeguards system more efficient and cost-effective. In this context, one of the recurring themes over the year in the Board meetings of the Agency has been the implementation of the safeguards agreement between the Agency and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. This is a complex and substantive issue, in which there have been many developments, both technical and political. Our point of view has been consistent. We believe that the best way in which this difficult issue can be resolved is through patient discussions among all the concerned parties. We have supported a policy of cooperation and dialogue rather than confrontation and deadlines, and in this spirit have welcomed the discussions between the United States of America and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. It is for this reason that in the Board we abstained in the voting on those resolutions, which we felt did not contribute to a positive result. We have similar reservations on the ninth preambular paragraph and operative paragraph 6 of the draft resolution being considered under this item. Nevertheless, since the draft resolution is on the activities of the IAEA as a whole, to which we attach great value, we will go along with it.
One of the new resolutions at the General Conference related to illicit trafficking in nuclear material, an issue which has attracted worldwide attention. The threat emanating from such illegal trafficking is particularly grave when linked to clandestine nuclear programmes. We therefore share the concern, and look forward to meaningful activity by the Agency in this field.
Many references are made to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the IAEA's role in the application of safeguards to NPT signatories. India's position on the NPT is well known. We have always unequivocally supported all efforts at non-proliferation which are universal and non-discriminatory. Similarly, we support measures which are truly universal in the disarmament field: the chemical weapons Convention, the proposed comprehensive test-ban treaty, and a treaty on the cut-off of the production of fissile material for weapons. What we cannot subscribe to is a treaty that divides the world into nuclear haves and have-nots, with an inherently inequitable set of responsibilities and obligations for the two. In our view, the only logical and viable approach to the proliferation problem is to work for the goal of complete nuclear disarmament. In demonstrating our willingness and ability to work with others towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons, I can do no better than to quote from the Indo-United States Joint Statement issued after discussions between Prime Minister Narasimha Rao and President Clinton in Washington on 19 May 1994, as follows:
"President Clinton and Prime Minister Narasimha Rao offered their strong support for efforts towards the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery and towards their progressive reduction, with the goal of elimination of such weapons, which are among the most pressing challenges to the security of States in the post-cold war era".
Before I conclude, I would once again reiterate our full support for and cooperation with the Agency in the execution of its many responsibilities.
At the outset I should like to express my delegations's appreciation to the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mr. Hans Blix, for the annual report of the Agency for 1993, as well as for his comprehensive, forward-looking and - above all - convincing statement.
As a result of profound political transformations in the world during the last few years and of the rapidly emerging public awareness of the limitations of the main components of the natural environment that are decisive for the existence of man - such as clean air, clean water and clean soil - the international instruments established decades ago are now facing new challenges and opportunities. In the context of these changes and challenges, the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency has assumed a higher profile than at any other time in its history.
Strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime remains a top priority for both the Agency and its member States. The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) remains the cornerstone of international efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. It is our firm belief and hope that the 1995 Conference will extend the NPT indefinitely and unconditionally. That, in our view, would have beneficial effects on the world's security and stability as well as on the growth of international cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. These beneficial effects could be enhanced by further reductions of the existing nuclear weapons arsenals and by the conclusion of a comprehensive test-ban treaty, as well as by commencement of negotiations on an international treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons.
With its extensive experience in safeguards verification activities, the Agency is well placed to play a leading role in both developing and implementing the verification regime for such agreements.
In recent months Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan have acceded to the NPT, bringing it a step closer to universality. The Government of Ukraine has agreed to place its nuclear material under IAEA safeguards and has indicated its intention to accede to the NPT. There are signs that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea will be reassuming its obligations under the NPT. We urge the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to allow the IAEA to have access to all safeguard-relevant information and locations.
My delegation takes this opportunity to commend the Director General and the Agency's Action Team for their efforts relating to the dismantling of Iraq's nuclear-weapons capability. Now the Agency is in a position to implement its ongoing monitoring and verification plan.
We welcome the steps being taken by the Agency to strengthen the safeguard system, which, together with the NPT, constitutes the principal international assurance of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. We endorse in particular the request to the IAEA Director to continue with the assessment, development and testing of measures for achieving a strengthened and more cost-effective safeguards system and to present proposals to that end to the IAEA Board of Governors in March 1995.
Nuclear safety remains a key area of the IAEA's work. The recent adoption of a Convention on Nuclear Safety was an important step in this field. Poland was among the countries that signed that Convention during the thirty-eighth General Conference of the IAEA, on the day it was opened for signature. We are convinced that the Convention will serve as a basic international framework for safety and review procedures related to nuclear power plants. Poland believes that it will, among other things, help ensure the safety of the first-generation reactors which present a significant threat to both my country and the whole of Europe. We hope that all States Members of the United Nations will accede to this important instrument so that it may enter into force as soon as possible.
Poland strongly supports the Agency's work related to safe management of spent fuel from research reactors, in view of the growing scale of this problem in many countries. We are also grateful to the Director General for initiating consideration of international action in respect of illicit trafficking in nuclear material. The dimension of this problem deserves serious consideration and the taking of all necessary measures by the international community.
The IAEA Report for 1993 makes clear the extent of the Agency's activities in the field of technical assistance and cooperation. Poland, while not at present developing a nuclear-power option on its territory, does benefit from the Agency's technical assistance in the field of application of advanced nuclear methods and technologies, particularly in plant breeding, soil science and animal production. The IAEA's activities in nuclear techniques for food and agriculture, apart from contributing to increased food production and food conservation, deal effectively with the protection of the environment. The Agency's technical assistance model project on the industrial installation for the electron beam flue gases treatment, starting this year in the Pomorzany Power Station in Szczecin, is a good example of the pro-ecological orientation of the IAEA's activities, which are of great importance not only for Poland, but also for the whole Baltic region.
In conclusion, I wish to reiterate Poland's support for the Agency's goals and objectives. Our support finds its reflection in our co-sponsorship of the draft resolution on the report of the IAEA. To support this draft resolution is to support the Agency's goals and objectives, which I believe we all share.
I should like to start by expressing our sincere appreciation to Mr. Hans Blix, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), for the submission of the Agency's annual report for 1993, as well as for his introductory statement and oral report on more recent developments.
The activities and achievements of the IAEA have already been accorded well-deserved acknowledgment and support by the General Conference at its thirty-eighth session, held only a short time ago in Vienna. Let me therefore state here, once again, that the Republic of Hungary continues to be fully committed to the general objectives enshrined in the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency and that it deeply appreciates the work done by the secretariat in order
"to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world." (Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Article II)
The Agency and its Director General may rest assured of the Hungarian Government's full support in the discharge of their important functions.
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which has been in force for almost 25 years now, and the non-proliferation regime that is based on it have become fundamental instruments in the maintenance of international peace and security, and they have at the same time provided a solid foundation for a verifiable framework for peaceful nuclear cooperation between nations. In view of the forthcoming 1995 Conference of the States Parties to the Treaty, I wish to reiterate that the Hungarian Government remains committed to achieving the universality of the Treaty as well as the indefinite and unconditional extension of that very important instrument.
In the reporting period we have witnessed significant and promising developments in various parts of the world which were aimed at strengthening the non-proliferation regime. Argentina and Brazil, for instance, have agreed to be transparent and verifiable with regard to each other and to the IAEA. Cuba has announced its intention to adhere to the Treaty of Tlatelolco, thus raising the hope that the whole of Latin America may soon become a nuclear-weapon-free continent.
In Africa we can also see good progress - due, in part, to the valuable assistance of the IAEA - towards the elaboration of an agreement that will turn that continent into another nuclear-weapon-free zone. It is our expectation that in March the Board of Governors will be able to approve a set of measures resulting in an improved and more cost-effective safeguards system, capable of providing sufficient assurances for the international community about the peaceful nature of the declared - and any possible undeclared - nuclear activities of any State.
The Agency's skilful work in verifying the peaceful nature of nuclear activities through its safeguards system has played an outstanding role for the community of nations by providing assurances in the field of nuclear non-proliferation. We note with satisfaction that direct cooperation between the Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the close and continuous liaison between the United Nations Secretary-General and the Director General of the IAEA have proved to be effective tools in handling nuclear-non-proliferation-related challenges in keeping with the aspirations expressed in the Security Council's summit statement of January 1992.
In recent years the Hungarian Government has consistently supported the efforts of the Agency to implement the relevant resolutions of the Security Council concerning Iraq. We are pleased to learn from the Agency's report that, as a result of those efforts, no capability for the production of nuclear reactors exists in Iraq and that the continuing presence of the IAEA inspectors and the necessary technical preparations for the ongoing long-term monitoring and verification have been secured.
We must express our regret that, despite repeated attempts by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Security Council, the problems relating to the implementation of the safeguards agreements in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea have not yet been fully solved. We appreciate the impartial and consistent work of the IAEA secretariat, which is aimed at maintaining the continuity of safeguards and monitoring some of the activities of the five-megawatt plant, as requested by the Security Council in late May. The Hungarian Government continues to support the Director General's efforts, based on the relevant resolutions of the Board of Governors, to implement the safeguards agreement in force fully and unconditionally. We welcomed the resumption of bilateral talks between the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and hope that the ongoing negotiations, together with the North-South dialogue on nuclear issues, will soon enable the Agency to perform the required activities with regard to all nuclear activities in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Given our country's geographical location, the Hungarian Government feels compelled to keep a particularly watchful eye on the general trends and developments with regard to trafficking in nuclear materials. We share the public's increasing concern about recent cases of illegal transfer and smuggling of nuclear materials. That is a serious challenge to the international non-proliferation regime, causing additional health hazards as well as safety and environmental concerns. We are of the view that in this context the International Atomic Energy Agency has an important role to play by facilitating international cooperation, including technical assistance to the countries concerned in the non-law-enforcement-related fields. The Hungarian Government wishes to see joint efforts by Member States, the IAEA and other relevant international organizations coordinated to curb and stem this problem.
Further steps must also be taken to eliminate the threat of nuclear proliferation. Real and speedy progress is needed in negotiations on a comprehensive nuclear test-ban treaty and in efforts leading to the elaboration of a multilateral internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other explosive devices. These tasks, like the ongoing process of the dismantling of nuclear weapons or the safe storage of the already substantial quantities of plutonium and highly enriched uranium, require additional efforts from the International Atomic Energy Agency to elaborate and eventually to operate an effective international verification mechanism.
The peaceful utilization of nuclear energy, in particular nuclear-power generation, is of strategic importance for our national economy. We are very well aware that if we want to rely on nuclear power the safe handling of nuclear materials and facilities is essential. The Hungarian authorities therefore have high esteem for the nuclear-safety-related activities of the Agency. We commend the valuable work performed by the IAEA in the course of the elaboration, adoption and opening for signature of the Convention on Nuclear Safety. Related national measures and international cooperation could contribute greatly to achieving and maintaining high-level nuclear safety and to utilizing nuclear energy without any significant risk. Guided by that desire, the Hungarian Government has signed the Convention and intends to comply fully with its provisions. Let us express the hope that the largest possible number of States will soon sign and ratify the Convention.
The accumulated knowledge and experience of the International Atomic Energy Agency have always been of fundamental importance to Hungary's nuclear industry and scientific community. We intend, therefore, to continue to make the best use of those assets and to cooperate closely with the Agency. At the same time, let me reiterate our willingness to share with other members of the international community whatever experience we have gained in the field of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
In his opening statement, Mr. Blix described the International Atomic Energy Agency as a nuclear-verification arm of the United Nations system and as, at the same time, an agency for the transfer of nuclear technology for peaceful development. The Republic of Hungary continues to be fully committed to that type of organization and will not cease doing its best to strengthen the Agency.
Allow me at the outset to extend a welcome to Dr. Hans Blix, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and to congratulate him on his valuable statement wherein he reported on the Agency's achievements over the past year. Those achievements reaffirm the increasingly important role played by the IAEA in promoting the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes throughout the world and to limit the dangers of nuclear proliferation.
The international arena continues to witness a succession of developments that afford us many opportunities to promote efforts aimed at nuclear disarmament.
The IAEA has an important role to play and an increasingly significant duty to take advantage of these developments in promoting efforts aimed at nuclear disarmament and in maintaining international peace and security. The forthcoming 1995 Conference of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons makes it the duty of the international community to redouble its efforts to achieve the universality of the Treaty and to apply the IAEA safeguards regime to all nuclear installations as a fundamental step toward addressing the shortcomings of the current non-proliferation regime and reducing the risk of international proliferation at the regional and global levels in a manner that would build confidence and enhance the credibility of the IAEA's role.
Egypt wishes to take this opportunity to call again upon those States which have not yet done so to accede to the NPT and upon the States parties to respect their obligations by reaffirming the universality of the NPT and the provisions relating to effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or the threat of use of nuclear weapons against them. These two requirements are the only guarantee of the credibility of any non-proliferation regime.
Egypt urges all the States of the Middle East to respect and to abide by the resolution of the General Conference of the IAEA, which was adopted once again by consensus, regarding the application of the safeguards regime in the Middle East. Egypt reaffirms the importance of the accession by all the States of the Middle East to the NPT and of their placing all nuclear installations anywhere in the region, without exception, under the Agency's safeguards regime. This would constitute an important element in support of the peace process in the Middle East in view of its positive effects it would have on confidence-building and in dispelling the sense of danger that continues to cast its shadow over the region.
I cannot fail to pay tribute to the activities of the Agency in promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and in extending technical assistance to the developing countries in this field. I should like also to express Egypt's appreciation for the advice and assistance provided by the Agency, which has contributed positively to the work of the African Group of Experts on the drafting of the treaty on the denuclearization of Africa which, we hope, will be completed soon.
I should like to conclude by expressing the hope that the Agency will continue its successful work and that it will receive the necessary support through the cooperation of the Member States and receive the resources necessary for it to discharge its important responsibilities.
At the outset, I should like to express my delegation's appreciation to the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for his report, which highlights the most important activities of the Agency and outlines the challenges that are confronting it. I also take this opportunity to commend the efforts of the Director General and his staff in promoting the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
The IAEA plays a very important role in verifying that nuclear energy is not diverted from peaceful uses to military purposes; in assisting Member States to improve the safety of nuclear activities undertaken in their territories; and in disseminating nuclear technologies for a variety of applications. I am confident that the IAEA, as the organization within the United Nations system that specializes in nuclear issues, will continue to contribute to world peace and security, as well as to the well-being of people everywhere.
With the rapid growth of the world's population and the continuous expansion of the global economy, the demand for energy is increasing throughout the world. Under these circumstances, nuclear power, together with fossil fuels, must be regarded as a major and reliable source of energy. The fact that the greater use of nuclear energy will help to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the environment continues to gain relevance. Although it is up to each individual country to decide which energy sources to use, the IAEA has valuable expertise in this area and should be ready to offer advice and assistance to Member States upon request. In particular, the IAEA can facilitate the introduction and maintenance of nuclear-power generation by, inter alia, helping to improve safety levels and to ensure that nuclear energy is used strictly for peaceful purposes. It should also be noted that, in addition to power generation, there are a variety of applications for nuclear technology in agricultural, health and industrial areas.
Let me now comment on a number of specific issues.
I turn first to the question of safeguards. The implementation of the Safeguards Agreement between the IAEA and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea remains the most acute problem facing the Agency. It is my Government's position that this Agreement is still in force and should be implemented fully; we continue to support the Director General's strenuous and patient efforts in this regard. Japan also appreciates the efforts of the United States to seek a comprehensive solution to the nuclear issue in North Korea, and hopes that its discussions with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea will soon be successfully concluded. My Government will do its part to promote the process toward a solution. Once again, we urge the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to respond immediately to the concerns of the international community as articulated in resolution GC(XXXVIII)/RES/16 of the General Conference of the IAEA, which was adopted by an overwhelming majority on 23 September 1994.
My delegation is pleased that the Convention on Nuclear Safety has been adopted and is open for signing. As of 10 October 1994, 47 countries, including Japan, had signed the Convention. I should like to appeal to those countries that have not yet done so to sign it at the earliest opportunity. I hope that as many countries as possible will accede to the Convention and that it will enter into force before long. My delegation believes that our next task should be the preparation of a convention on the safety of radioactive waste management, and urges that work be started without delay on the basis of the General Conference resolution to which I referred earlier.
Next, I should like to touch upon the recent increase in incidents of illicit trafficking in nuclear material, a problem that has very serious implications for both nuclear non-proliferation and safety. The countries and international organizations concerned must redouble their efforts to address this problem. It is the hope of my delegation that the IAEA too will do its utmost, in cooperation with Member States, to counter this dangerous trend.
Lastly, on technical cooperation with developing countries, my delegation appreciates and supports the IAEA's recent efforts to explore projects which address the development needs of a country and which may be expected to directly affect the lives of its people. This new trend requires the IAEA to become more closely involved with development-related ministries and agencies as well as with other international organizations. In this connection, my delegation would like to point out that, under the present and the foreseeable circumstances, it is especially important that the relevant organizations of the United Nations system cooperate closely in meeting the changing requirements of Member States.
On behalf of my Government, I congratulate the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on his report, and in particular commend him and all his staff for the many achievements that are reflected in the report.
It is clear from reviewing the IAEA's annual report for 1993 and listening to the informative remarks of the Director General that a major hallmark characterizing IAEA's activities is diversity. As an international organization, the IAEA is, by its very nature, staffed by individuals drawn from different and diverse backgrounds and cultures. These individuals bring to their respective positions an impressive range of skills. As an international organization, the IAEA reflects the involvement, concerns and priorities of its diverse and growing membership. And in response to its statutory mandate and the needs of its members, the IAEA implements a diverse set of programmes which touch many different lives in many different ways around the world.
Nowhere is the diversity of IAEA programmes more apparent than in its multifaceted programme of technical cooperation. This programme spans all continents and deals with multiple human needs, through efforts, for example, to increase food production, improve medical care, control the spread of disease among people and livestock, ensure safe and reliable water supplies, and protect the environment. The list could go on. In a steadily shrinking world, in which all countries are increasingly facing common problems which transcend national boundaries, IAEA programmes are part of timely and effective responses. At the same time, the IAEA is developing the human resources to use and expand its programmes. During the past 25 years, the IAEA has awarded approximately 9,300 fellowships and conducted over 500 training courses for its members.
Inherent in all IAEA programmes is the commitment to nuclear safety. For many years the IAEA has addressed a diverse array of safety issues, ranging from nuclear-power-reactor safety to the safe handling of medical isotopes. The United States strongly supports the IAEA's continuing work in nuclear safety, and is pleased to have been one of the first signatories of the International Convention on Nuclear Safety last month in Vienna. My Government urges all countries to participate in this important step forward in enhancing nuclear safety world wide.
In his statement the Director General highlighted a diverse set of safeguards activities being pursued by the IAEA. The United States is fully engaged with the IAEA and other IAEA members in efforts to strengthen the safeguards system further. The safeguards system is dynamic and evolutionary. It provides not only the essential confidence that nuclear material is being used exclusively for peaceful purposes, but also the fundamental basis for continued international nuclear cooperation and commerce. For these reasons, the United States will continue to advocate universal acceptance of IAEA safeguards.
In his message to the participants at the thirty-eighth regular session of the IAEA General Conference last month, President Clinton welcomed "the Agency's efforts in its diverse technical programmes". The breadth and complexity of these programmes is remarkable. Yet, for all their diversity, the underlying purpose of these programmes, when taken as a whole, is simple and singular. In every facet of its activities, the IAEA is dedicated to the basic goal of promoting a more peaceful and prosperous world for its members, and for the international community as a whole. The United States is committed to supporting and assisting the IAEA in its important work, and looks forward to continued close cooperation with the Director General, his staff and other members of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
On behalf of the Algerian delegation and in my own capacity, I am pleased to express our great appreciation to Mr. Hans Blix, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), for the excellent report he has just presented to us on the Agency's activities. Like those before it, this report, which is particularly valuable and instructive, is evidence of the Agency's vitality; during its consideration by the General Assembly a tribute must of course be paid to all the Agency's organs for the activities they carry out.
In considering of the annual report, we can immediately note with satisfaction the commendable efforts made by the Agency's various sectors of activity during the period under consideration - and with financial resources frozen, practically speaking, at the level of almost a decade ago. This financial constraint cannot but be reflected in the density and breadth of the Agency's activities, at a time when it is being called upon more than ever to satisfy the international community's growing needs both in promotional and in monitoring activities, and when the growing awareness of many developing countries of atomic energy's potential contribution to their scientific and economic development is propitious to a necessary expansion in the peaceful uses of atomic energy. To this end, the Agency must be guaranteed sufficient means to carry out its task of promoting the peaceful uses of atomic energy by strengthening its technical-assistance activities designed, in particular, to improve developing countries' scientific and technological capacities in this area. For although the international media may focus on the IAEA only in connection with difficulties relating to the implementation of safeguards or with serious situations affecting nuclear safety, there is no doubt but that by investing increasingly and wisely in all spheres of technical assistance the Agency contributes to the advancement and improvement of the living conditions of the peoples, as it is supposed to do under its statute and Article 55 of the United Nations Charter.
Through its promotional activities in the areas of agriculture, food, health, industry, the environment and earth sciences, the Agency accumulates and disseminates a broad range of experience while helping to promote the development, acquisition and transfer of nuclear technology in optimal conditions of security and safety. Ensuring the provision of reliable and predictable resources to back up the Agency's technical assistance activities is thus the best way to promote economic, social, scientific and technical progress in order to finally do justice to atomic energy in the eyes of the public, which up to now has primarily been aware of the devastating effects of its military uses and the unbridled nuclear-arms race.
Algeria for some time now has had an excellent relationship with the IAEA and has benefited from some modest but precious assistance in terms of expertise and financial resources. This technical cooperation, which has developed over the years, has helped to strengthen those relations, which have culminated in Algeria's decision voluntarily to submit to the IAEA safeguards system its two research and radioisotope-producing reactors. In this context, I am glad to note that thanks to the Agency's technical assistance Algeria has in recent years developed activities designed to expand the application of nuclear technology to the fields of health, agriculture, monitoring of foodstuffs, industrial gammagraphy, environmental protection and the management of radioactive waste.
Given this remarkable progress, my Government intends to make additional investments in this field and to share its achievements and expertise with our fraternal African countries through the framework of South-South cooperation, to which my country is deeply committed. I wish here to reaffirm to the Director General of the Agency the Algerian Government's appreciation for its assistance in organizing courses and seminars in Algeria, including the regional course on radiotherapy dosimetry, the regional course on the preparation and monitoring of radiopharmaceuticals and the regional course for Africa on food irradiation.
The conclusion of the International Convention on Nuclear Safety is a perfect illustration of the normative function expected of the Agency, which will be from now on called on to develop this role by increasingly taking responsibility for the various aspects of nuclear technology that have an impact on the broad range of human safety. Algeria welcomes the successful conclusion of the arduous negotiations leading to the adoption of this important international legal instrument and is glad to be one of its first signatories.
The conclusion of the Convention on Nuclear Safety should serve to stimulate the normative work of the Agency, and other such regimes could be envisaged as needed in order to meet various existing concerns and thus minimize the risk of accidents as a result of improper use of equipment.
Finally, in carrying out its role in the area of monitoring, the Agency should have all the necessary means available to it in order to be able to perform its traditional functions in implementing safeguards for the use of nuclear energy for strictly peaceful purposes. Here it should be noted in principle that the IAEA's safeguards system, which is still one of the key tools in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons, should not serve indiscriminately to justify unjustifiable and inappropriate impediments on the transfer of nuclear technology to the benefit of developing countries.
With the expected progress in the process of nuclear disarmament, the Agency's proven expertise will of course be called upon in providing a credible verification system to ensure respect for agreements on a total ban on nuclear testing and on prohibiting the production of fissile materials for military use. Along those same lines, I should like to express Algeria's gratitude for the Agency's positive role and the valuable assistance that it has provided to African experts in preparing the treaty establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Africa. We must hope that in the near future the Agency will be in a position to participate in establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, and it is on this expression of hope that I conclude my statement.
The delegation of Ukraine would like to express its gratitude to the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mr. Blix, for the report he has presented to us on the work of the Agency for 1993. It is our opinion that the report reflects the multiplicity of useful activities which the IAEA undertook during that period.
It is clear from the report that over the almost-40-year period of its existence, the IAEA has become not only an active channel for coordinating policies in the area of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy but also an authoritative and world-recognized mechanism for monitoring nuclear material and for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Ukraine, as a member of the Board of Governors of the IAEA, has consistently advocated the development of international cooperation in the peaceful uses of atomic energy.
The election of a representative of Ukraine as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Governors of the IAEA is viewed in our country as acknowledgment of the role and the virtues of Ukraine in this area, and also of its commitment to the nuclear non-proliferation regime. Ukraine supports the activities of the IAEA to strengthen the Agency's safeguards system by consistently implementing measures aimed at its becoming a non-nuclear State. On 28 September of this year, Ukraine signed an agreement with the IAEA on the application of safeguards to all nuclear material in all types of peaceful activity. We feel that that event is a solid contribution by our country to the strengthening of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. Ukraine views the signing of the agreement with the IAEA as a necessary interim measure in the process of our adhering to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
It is the first time that such an agreement has been concluded by the IAEA with a State that has nuclear weapons on its territory but has decided to become a non-nuclear State. We feel that the signature of that agreement will eliminate all other barriers to establishing an expanding cooperation by Ukraine with other States, including members of the Nuclear Suppliers' Group, in the area of research, production and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
Of particular importance for Ukraine and the entire world community today are the problems of nuclear and radiation safety. We note with great satisfaction that the activities of the Agency are paying increasing attention to these problems. We find evidence of the significant progress achieved in international cooperation in the area of nuclear and radiation safety in the preparation for the implementation of the Convention on Nuclear Safety. Ukraine was one of the first to sign that document, thereby taking upon itself obligations to undertake measures to support and enhance the safety of nuclear installations. We signed the Convention fully understanding our responsibility for the safety of nuclear power plants under our jurisdiction and fully aware of the complexity of the task and of the time it will take us before the safety system for Ukrainian nuclear-power plants is fully in keeping with the demands of that document.
As you know, in recent years a great deal of work has been done in assessing the safety of nuclear-power plants in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and in those of the former Soviet Union. The Agency's secretariat has played an important role in this connection. There is a gradually emerging international consensus with regard to the safety of Soviet-designed nuclear-power plants, and it is important that that consensus be linked to a realistic assessment of the virtues and inadequacies of such equipment.
There is a growing understanding that assistance cannot solve the entire gamut of existing problems. We must now move towards closer cooperation between East and West in the area of nuclear safety and promote the establishment of infrastructures that can develop and implement programmes to enhance the safety of nuclear-power plants. It is clear that there are no short-term solutions to the safety problems created by nuclear energy. Such problems demand long and painstaking efforts, devoted not so much to solving technical problems as to bringing about radical changes in the economics, management and development of a nuclear regulatory regime.
In this context I should like to speak about the problems related to the Chernobyl nuclear-power plant. The Ukrainian Government has taken the basic decision to shut that plant down. However, we must not overlook the fact that 12 reactors of the Chernobyl type are still in operation in other countries. The problem, therefore, is both national and international. We feel that all questions related to nuclear-power units of the Chernobyl type and their shut-down must be viewed, not as local questions, but as questions that should be part of a comprehensive, international programme.
It should be pointed out that within the framework of cooperation between Ukraine and the Group of 7 most-developed countries an intensive search is being carried out to find acceptable financial and technical solutions to the problem of the Chernobyl nuclear-power plant. Similarly, we would stress Ukraine's position that shutting down the Chernobyl nuclear-power plant and taking it out of operation must be carried out according to an agreed timetable that should contain deadlines for bringing sufficient compensatory power on line, measures to prepare for taking out of operation and subsequently shutting down sectors of the Chernobyl plant, guarantees for the protection of plant personnel and a series of measures to enhance the safety and security of the sarcophagus. Specific deadlines for shutting down individual sectors of the Chernobyl plant will depend on the effective solution of all of the aforementioned problems.
Of equal concern to Ukraine is the problem of the disposal of spent fuel from the plant. In designing nuclear-power plants in Ukraine, no one considered the technology of using or disposing of spent radioactive materials. All such operations were carried out on the territory of a neighbouring country. Today, Ukraine is confronted with the serious problem of establishing permanent, long-term depots for such material on its own territory.
However, in siting such installations on the European continent, and with an awareness of the danger inherent in the disposal of radioactive waste by European States, it has been concluded that joint efforts are required to solve this complicated problem. The results of the international conference on isolating radioactive waste held late in September of this year bear eloquent witness to the fact that the European countries, and especially the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, are prepared to combine their financial and scientific resources to achieve a more rapid and reliable solution to the problem of enhancing nuclear safety in all the countries of the continent.
We support the Agency's activities aimed at establishing a comprehensive civil liability nuclear damage regime, and we would express our commitment to the fundamental principles of that regime, aware as we are that it must be applicable to nuclear installations in Ukraine. We are undertaking concrete steps to have our country join the international legal regime for nuclear responsibility. Our country's Parliament is examining a law on the use of nuclear energy and protection from radioactivity that will contain provisions for the exceptional and absolute responsibility of the operator in nuclear-damage compensation. The law will also contain standards for regulating the conditions and statute of limitations for such compensation.
The Government has mandated a group of experts to prepare proposals for Ukraine's adherence to the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage. With regard to accession to that Convention, one must bear in mind, first, the economic and financial situation of my country, as well as the fact that we possess neither an insurance or compensation structure nor any relevant legislative regulations.
In conclusion, my delegation would like to assure the General Assembly that it will continue to play a constructive role in meeting the important challenges inherent in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
This year is of special importance in the history of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for two reasons. First, this year marks the end of the first 25 years of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and, secondly, it is the year in which the Convention on Nuclear Safety was concluded and opened to signature. Let me therefore focus my statement on the IAEA activities in those two fields.
The Czech Republic has reiterated on many occasions that it considers the non-proliferation Treaty to be one of the basic pillars of the system of international security on both a global and on a regional level. Neither the world of today nor that of tomorrow can do without it. It is in this context that we highly praise the role of the IAEA and its safeguards system in the verification mechanism of the non-proliferation Treaty. In addition to the Agency's continuing work in Iraq and its efforts aimed at the systematic implementation of the safeguards system in various parts of the world, this year we particularly appreciate all the efforts of the IAEA in the settlement of the North Korean nuclear problem. We regard that problem as one of key importance and assure the IAEA of our readiness to support all its efforts fully to implement the safeguards agreement with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
We also welcome the attention being paid by the IAEA, especially of late, to strengthening safeguards and enhancing the effectiveness of the safeguards system. The IAEA will in future have to cope with even more demanding tasks in this field in connection with the continued process of nuclear disarmament, for that process will remain a permanent reality. Fissile material will increasingly be diverted from the military sphere to civilian use and thus be brought under the IAEA safeguards system. The process has already begun in the United States. We note with satisfaction the attention paid to the "93 plus 2 Programme", the framework of which includes many recommendations submitted jointly by the delegations of Austria and the former Czechoslovakia at the thirty-sixth General Conference of the IAEA in 1992.
It gives me great honour and pleasure to inform the Assembly that, on 20 September, just as the Convention on Nuclear Safety was opened for signature in Vienna, the Czech Republic signed it. We regard this step as our contribution to efforts to increase the safety of nuclear installations all over the world through national measures and international cooperation. In doing so, we also wish to express our readiness to have the international community objectively evaluate the safety level of our own nuclear installations. We attach paramount importance to this question, inasmuch as the Czech Republic has been operating in a densely populated region of Central Europe its Dukovany nuclear-power plant, with an output of 1,760 MW, and is building a 2,000 MW nuclear-power plant at Temelin. This plant will go down in history as the first nuclear-power plant combining to a great extent Russian and American nuclear technologies.
On this occasion, let me recall the attention and efforts with which the IAEA has been assisting countries of Central and Eastern Europe that are operating nuclear reactors of Soviet provenance to upgrade their technical and safety standards. We are very grateful for such assistance.
Providing technical assistance and cooperation is indeed another important role the Agency plays. For a number of countries, particularly developing ones, material and scientific assistance in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, especially in the use of ionizing radiation, contributes to their technical and economic progress. The Czech Republic cannot as yet contribute more towards the fund of technical assistance and cooperation, but we intend to re-evaluate our contribution as soon as our economic situation permits.
Let me conclude by thanking the staff of the IAEA secretariat, headed by Director General Hans Blix, as well as the Chairman, Vice-Chairmen and members of its Board of Governors, the staff of the advisory committees, the working groups and all those who have participated in the IAEA's work. The Czech delegation greatly appreciates their devoted work and I assure them of my Government's readiness to continue working with the IAEA in all fields of its activities.
Before commenting on the comprehensive, informative and focused report which was presented to this General Assembly by the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), I should like to take this opportunity to express sincere thanks and great appreciation to Mr. Hans Blix for his outstanding services to the Agency and its member States. Under the Director General's leadership, the Agency has successfully met once again the challenges of the past year.
Austria commends the IAEA for its activities in the field of safety of nuclear installations and radiation protection. We have been following with great interest the Agency's efforts related to the operational safety of nuclear-power plants. We also support technical assistance to the newly independent States. Austria recently signed the Convention on Nuclear Safety, completed under the aegis of the Agency, and we are hoping for progress towards a future convention on the safety of radioactive waste management.
We strongly support the ongoing programme to evaluate possibilities of further strengthening the Agency's safeguards system, especially its capacity to detect undeclared nuclear activities. We are interested in the development and testing of alternative safeguards measures, such as environmental monitoring and the expanded involvement of national systems of nuclear accounting and control in verification.
A major challenge for the Agency resulted from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's failure to respond to obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and its safeguards agreements and to the relevant resolutions of the Board of Governors and the United Nations Security Council. In this connection, we commend the Agency for its firmness, competence and impartiality in dealing with this disregard for the international system of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and for its perseverance in trying to secure the full compliance of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea with its legal safeguards obligations.
Decisive action by the Agency, carried out in close cooperation with the United Nations Special Commission, also yielded noticeable success in the dismantling of Iraq's clandestine nuclear-weapons programme. The long-term verification system will further contribute to preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East region.
Austria attaches priority importance to the prevention of the proliferation of nuclear weapons. We recognize the centrality of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to all efforts to stem the spread of nuclear weapons and we will support the indefinite and unconditional extension of the NPT at the review and extension Conference next year.
Austria welcomes recent accessions to the NPT. Stressing the importance of universal adherence to the NPT, we urge all States which have not yet decided to do so to accede to the Treaty as soon as possible. In this respect, we welcome the recent agreement between Ukraine and the IAEA for the application of safeguards to all nuclear materials in all peaceful nuclear activities. We look forward to the accession of Ukraine to the NPT as a nuclear-weapon State.
We welcome the entry into force of the Treaty of Tlatelolco in Argentina, Chile and Brazil, the announcement of Cuba of its intention to adhere to that Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Argentina's decision to accede to the NPT this year. We also welcome the progress achieved towards the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Africa and, in the light of the ongoing peace process in the Middle East, we urge all States in the region to further the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone by becoming States parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
There is an important link between international endeavours to prevent nuclear proliferation and nuclear disarmament, as called for under Article VI of the NPT. In order further to facilitate the process of nuclear disarmament, which has gained momentum in recent years, we therefore call for the early start of negotiations on a "cut-off" convention to ban the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. We are gratified by the continued moratoriums on nuclear testing declared by the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France and Russia, and we appeal to all States to make every effort to intensify the negotiations and to ensure the earliest possible completion of a comprehensive test-ban treaty. We appreciate the IAEA'S contributions to the ongoing negotiations in Geneva and we foresee an important role for the Agency in the verification of a comprehensive test-ban treaty. In this context, I should like specifically to recall and refer to the relevant statement made this morning by the Director General.
The success of a future comprehensive test-ban treaty will largely depend on the quality of the work of the organization entrusted with its verification. Close cooperation with and proximity to the IAEA and its facilities will undoubtedly facilitate this work significantly. The Austrian Government has therefore offered to accommodate the future comprehensive test-ban treaty organization in Vienna. This offer was reiterated by Foreign Minister Mock in his statement during the general debate of this session of the General Assembly.
The promotion of nuclear non-proliferation and of nuclear safety world-wide, the prime responsibility of the IAEA, is paramount to global security. As the host country for the IAEA, we commend the Agency on its efforts and on another year of successful implementation of its mandate.
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The European Union thanks the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for his concise, comprehensive and informative report. It clearly demonstrates that the Agency can once again look back to a year of successful work in promoting world-wide cooperation for the peaceful and safe use of nuclear energy.
The European Union feels a particularly strong responsibility for promoting nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear safety world-wide. Strengthening the international non-proliferation regime is among the chief priorities of the European Union's common foreign and security policy, developed under the provisions of the Maastricht Treaty. The Union therefore strongly supports the strengthening of the Agency's safeguards system. We welcome the Agency's well-defined programme to investigate ways and means of further strengthening the safeguards system. We are looking forward to the results of this programme which the Director General intends to submit to the Board early next year.
With regard to the application of Agency safeguards in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, we are greatly concerned about the continuing and even increasing non-compliance by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea with its obligations both under the non-proliferation Treaty and under its non-proliferation Treaty safeguards agreement. We deplore the failure of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to implement the essential elements of resolutions of the Board of Governors and of the Agency's General Conference, and of the United Nations Security Council. The European Union, at its Corfu summit meeting in June, noted with deep concern that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea had not permitted the Agency to complete essential inspection activities, thus making it impossible to ascertain whether plutonium had been diverted for non-peaceful purposes. This persistent non-compliance with international obligations constitutes a serious challenge to the international non-proliferation regime and to the safeguards system as a whole.
We support all efforts which contribute, through consultation and dialogue, to the transparency of the nuclear programme of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and to stability on the Korean peninsula. However, we wish to emphasize that our objective remains to secure full compliance by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea with its legal obligations. We welcome in this regard the resolution adopted on 21 September 1994 by the IAEA General Conference which urges the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to cooperate immediately with the Agency in the full implementation of the safeguards agreement and to allow the Agency to have access to all safeguards relevant information and locations.
As regards the Agency's activities related to the dismantling of the clandestine nuclear weapons programme of Iraq, we note positive developments. The IAEA and its action team have succeeded - in cooperation with the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) and with close support from the European Union - in further neutralizing and eliminating Iraq's nuclear-weapons potential. After Iraq's formal acceptance of Security Council resolution 715 (1991) in November last year, and given the progress reported by UNSCOM since then, we may now see the introduction of a long-term verification system. This represents an important further contribution to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East region.
We welcome the evolution of a nuclear non-proliferation policy in Latin America, in particular the coming into force last March of the Quadripartite Agreement between Argentina, Brazil, the Joint Argentine-Brazilian Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials, and the IAEA on the implementation of full-scope safeguards in both countries. We also note with satisfaction that the Tlatelolco Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America has now entered into force in Argentina, Chile and Brazil, thus nearly completing an important regional non-proliferation system, and we note with appreciation the recent announcement by Cuba of its decision to adhere to the Tlatelolco Treaty. The next step should be accession to the non-proliferation Treaty by all those Latin American countries that have not yet ed to it. In this context, we welcome Argentina's decision to accede to the non-proliferation Treaty before the end of this year. We also welcome the commitment by Algeria and Moldova to accede to the non-proliferation Treaty at an early date.
The European Union notes with concern that a major newly independent State, Ukraine, has not yet acceded to the non-proliferation Treaty. We welcomed the agreement between Ukraine and the IAEA for the application of safeguards to all nuclear material in all peaceful nuclear activities in Ukraine. We wish to point out, however, that this safeguards agreement is no substitute for Ukraine's rapid accession to the non-proliferation Treaty. We therefore urge Ukraine to accede to the non-proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear-weapon State in accordance with the commitment it gave in particular in the so-called Lisbon Protocol and reiterated in the Trilateral Statement by the United States of America, Russia and the Ukraine issued in Moscow in January this year.
The European Union is firmly committed to the indefinite and unconditional extension of the Treaty on the non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, to be decided upon in April and May next year. This aim has been enshrined in a formal "joint action" adopted by the General Affairs Council of the European Union in July this year.
We furthermore underline the importance of universal adherence to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and therefore call upon all States that are not yet parties to the non-proliferation Treaty to accede as soon as possible, preferably before the extension conference.
In this connection we welcome the progress being made in other important fields of arms control and non-proliferation, such as a comprehensive test-ban treaty. Furthermore, we hope that in the near future negotiations on a convention on a ban on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices - known as the "cut-off" - will be initiated. In both areas we appreciate the IAEA's readiness to contribute to the ongoing negotiation processes.
Furthermore, the European Union welcomes the progress achieved towards the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in Africa as an encouraging sign of the increasing commitment in that region to non-proliferation principles. We hope that full agreement on all the provisions of the draft treaty will soon be reached among all the States concerned.
In the Middle East peace process we have witnessed remarkable progress. We welcome this development and strongly encourage all States in the region to join the non-proliferation Treaty and establish a multilateral and comprehensive safeguards system as a step towards enhancing peace and security in the context of the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone.
There is serious concern in States members of the Union about recent cases of illegal transfers and smuggling of plutonium and uranium, sometimes of weapons-grade quality. The illicit trade in nuclear materials is a challenge to the international system of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. We urge Member States to apply the relevant legal instruments and the IAEA's standards for physical protection, and to seek assistance in cases where the existing systems of accounting and control of materials and of physical protection or export controls are inadequate.
We appreciate the support given by the Agency to Member States with regard to the establishment and upgrading of national systems of nuclear-material accounting and control. Moreover, we welcome the resolution adopted by the Agency's General Conference, on the basis of an initiative taken by the European Union, inviting the Director General to examine additional options available in the field of collecting, verifying and analysing data relating to incidents of illicit trafficking and in the field of physical protection, in conformity with the Agency's statute. We are looking forward to proposals from the Director General in the near future.
The Agency is conducting a valuable programme in the area of the safety of nuclear installations and radiation protection. In particular, the activities related to the operational safety of nuclear power plants will continue to be followed with interest by national administrations and to enjoy their support. There is, of course, a particular interest in activities related to assistance to newly independent States.
The European Union considers the 20 September 1994 signature by 47 States of the Convention on Nuclear Safety, the outcome of an initiative undertaken by the Union, a major achievement of the international community. The Convention can be expected to help harmonize safety requirements, in particular through the implementation of the peer review process, and thus to enhance nuclear safety worldwide. We hope that the greatest possible number of States, in particular those using nuclear energy, will soon sign and implement the Convention.
Let me now make some observations on the cooperative efforts undertaken by the Union and the Agency to improve the situation with regard to nuclear safety in the States of Central and Eastern Europe and in the newly independent States. Since the Group of Seven summit in Munich two years ago, bilateral and international assistance programmes have shown important improvements. The Agency's activities to assess the safety of nuclear power plants in those States and to assist the Group of 24 in coordinating its nuclear safety assistance are of great value.
The Union, at its Corfu summit in June this year, recommended to Ukraine a series of measures in the field of nuclear safety and pledged substantial financial and other assistance to encourage and support these measures. Early closure of reactor units 1 and 3 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and confirmation that reactor 2 will not reopen remain high priorities, subject to the introduction of acceptable alternative energy resources, possibly including new reactors with adequate safety standards. Reform of the energy sector, review of nuclear safety regulations and Ukrainian ratification of the Vienna Convention and Joint Protocol on nuclear third party liability are also seen as vital ingredients of this programme. The Union will make available 100 million European Currency Units (ECU) as grants and 400 million ECU as loans to support this package of measures, which was formally adopted as an action plan at the Naples summit of the Group of Seven in July. At Naples, the Group of Seven pledged an additional $200 million, and there are pledges for more funds from other States members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The action plan has in principle been accepted by Ukraine. The safety situation at Chernobyl gives rise to serious concern, and we therefore expect that the action plan will provide a sound basis for prompt and appropriate decisions leading to the closure of the plant. We also anticipate that the Agency will play its role in the implementation of this plan and in all future action to enhance nuclear safety in the region and world wide.
Turning now to the Agency's activities in the field of technical cooperation, the Union commends the Director General and the secretariat on the implementation of the 1993 programme. Increased income for the technical assistance fund and other funding instruments, higher implementation rates, increased delivery figures and the start-up of the new concept of model projects indicate that the Agency's programme in technical cooperation is on the right track. The Union considers technical cooperation a very high political priority. Its member States are contributing sizeable extrabudgetary funds to the Agency's technical cooperation activities. We would like to encourage all measures, already initiated or planned, to improve programme delivery further and to make the Agency's assistance more directly relevant to the stated needs and development priorities of the countries concerned.
Let me begin by stating that Finland associates itself with the statement of the European Union just delivered by the representative the presidency of the Union. In this statement I shall therefore touch only on some aspects of the Agency's work which are of particular relevance to Finland's relations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
My Government remains strongly committed to international cooperation in the peaceful and safe use of nuclear energy. In per capita terms, Finland is one of the most important producers of nuclear energy. In building that capacity, we have benefited from international cooperation and assistance. In turn, we have been able to play our part in advising and assisting others, notably in our neighbouring areas and within the framework of the IAEA.
The Finnish Government strongly supports the indefinite and unconditional extension of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). We are particularly active in the preparations for the 1995 review conference, and we are pleased to note that the Agency is making a valuable contribution to the preparatory process. Indeed, the Agency's safeguards are essential to the implementation of the Treaty.
In the course of the past year, the Agency has taken important steps to strengthen the safeguards system further, particularly in the area of detection of undeclared nuclear facilities. Finland welcomes these steps and regards the further strengthening of the safeguards system, also in this respect, essential to its effectiveness and credibility. I am therefore happy to state that Finland is and will remain a contributor to the Agency's safeguards support programme.
The IAEA has moved forward in streamlining its safeguards operations. In this connection, we welcome the partnership agreement concluded between the IAEA and the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM). This partnership will release valuable resources to help the Agency cope with additional workload as new facilities are placed under safeguards in many parts of the world.
During the 38th General Conference of the IAEA, a major step forward was taken in the field of nuclear safety. Finland was among the first to sign the Nuclear Safety Convention. We believe that highest standards in nuclear safety, radiation protection, and waste management in all areas of nuclear applications are essential for the continued development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In order to have a real guiding effect in the area of nuclear safety globally, it is important that adherence to the Convention be as wide as possible.
Finland, together with several other States, supported a broader scope for the Convention. We welcome, therefore, the commitment of the contracting parties to apply corresponding principles in all uses of nuclear energy and to develop an international convention on the safety of radioactive waste management.
The IAEA has a recognized role in the formulation of internationally applicable norms and standards, notably in the field of nuclear safety. It is important to stress, however, the fundamental role of the national safety authorities and of the utilities themselves in seeing to it that the highest safety standards are rigorously applied in practice.
The IAEA continues to face many challenges. We commend Director General Hans Blix and his secretariat for their good work done under difficult circumstances. And I should also like to thank Mr. Blix for the annual report, which he introduced this morning. Redefining the Agency's priorities remains, however, an important task. My Government will continue to participate actively and constructively in this important work.
We listened with great interest to the very comprehensive report given by the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mr. Blix, and we have analysed the annual report on the activities of the Agency for 1993. We note with satisfaction that special attention was given by the organs of the Agency to the development of a more effective safeguards regime and to its extension to the greatest possible number of countries. Attention was also given to dealing with radioactive waste, radiation safety and the safety of nuclear installations.
We are also pleased at the fact that the Agency has dealt with the problems of individual countries with regard to the establishment of the appropriate infrastructure for nuclear safety and protection from radiation and radioactive contamination. In particular, a joint IAEA-United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) programme was begun in Vienna to give assistance to independent States in strengthening their infrastructure for nuclear and radiation safety. A regional project of technical cooperation was also established to promote clean-up activities in those countries of areas that were contaminated as a result of nuclear-fuel-cycle activities, defence activities, and industrial and research work. These numerous but important examples demonstrate the Agency's ability to react flexibly, rapidly and effectively to constantly changing international needs.
We are on the threshold of two important dates in the life of our Organization: the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations and the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Allow me, in reference to these special events, to offer you a few thoughts on the item we are considering. We should point out that in recent years there has been a trend in the activities of the IAEA towards strengthening cooperation and coordination with the United Nations and other international organizations. The activities of the Agency with regard to Iraq and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea have once again convinced the world that the Agency is playing an important role in strengthening the non-proliferation regime.
As you know, a large number of nuclear weapons from the former Soviet Union were on the territory of our Republic, Belarus, which is an important geostrategic centre in Eastern Europe. When the Republic of Belarus became an independent State, it indicated its desire to achieve non-nuclear status and laid down that desire in our new Constitution, which was adopted by the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Belarus on 15 March 1994. In article 19 of the Constitution, it says:
"The Republic of Belarus has the goal of making its territory a non-nuclear zone and its State a neutral State."
Belarus has firmly and consistently carried out measures to achieve that goal. As we have already pointed out, in 1992 we completed, ahead of time the withdrawal of all tactical nuclear weapons from the territory of our Republic, and we are working now on ridding our territory of strategic nuclear warheads, in accordance with existing bilateral agreements with Russia.
Last year the Republic of Belarus adhered to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as a non-nuclear State, and it also adhered to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. The next concrete step we took to strengthen the international non-proliferation regime was to state that our Republic was ready to sign an IAEA safeguards agreement. At the same time, in order to implement the provisions of the agreement effectively, it is necessary to carry out a great deal of preparatory work, primarily to establish a State system of accounting for and monitoring nuclear materials. In this connection we note with gratitude the participation of Japan and Sweden in solving these questions.
The Republic of Belarus has paid much attention to the development of bilateral and multilateral relations in matters relating to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, nuclear safety and the protection of our populations against radiation. Belarus therefore signed an agreement within the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States on cooperation in the area of the peaceful uses of atomic energy, and we have prepared an agreement with Poland on an early-warning system on nuclear disasters and cooperation in the area of nuclear safety. We are preparing similar agreements with Lithuania and also agreements with the United States on cooperation in the use of atomic energy. We are prepared to consider proposals on concluding other such agreements, mainly with our neighbouring countries.
The Republic of Belarus, being well aware of the danger for all mankind of radioactive contamination of the environment, has made a firm appeal for a rapid conclusion of the preparation of the text of a comprehensive test-ban treaty. Belarus is very much interested in pursuing initiatives and measures that are being carried out by the Agency itself to enhance nuclear safety, because there are nuclear power plants near our borders. We emphasize this because we can see from the report of the IAEA that incidents at nuclear power plants are continuing. We welcome the efforts of the IAEA, together with UNDP, the Commission of the European Union and the World Association of Nuclear Operators, to enhance the safety of nuclear installations. We note with satisfaction the completion of the drafting and the opening for signature of the Convention on Nuclear Safety, which is to introduce high safety standards for nuclear installations into worldwide practice. We are also interested in a rapid conclusion of the preparations for international safety standards for protection against radiation, since this has a direct bearing on the conditions under which populations live on territories contaminated by radionuclides.
We share the international community's concern about illicit trafficking in nuclear materials, and we welcome the efforts to overcome that problem. Belarus supports the Agency's moves to establish a comprehensive regime of civilian liability for nuclear damage.
It is more than eight years since the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear-power plant. That accident was the biggest single disaster in the entire history of atomic energy. It caused unprecedented radioactive contamination of the environment in many countries, and it resulted in deaths and sickness in the most severely affected territories, of which Belarus, like Ukraine and Russia, is one. We have repeatedly drawn the world community's attention to the fact that Belarus is the country most seriously affected, more than 20 per cent of its population having been in the area of radioactive contamination.
The cost of undoing the damage, together with direct and indirect expenditures between 1986 and 2015, is assessed at $45 billion, which is approximately 30 times our State's budget for this year.
But most horrible of all are the accident's effects on people's health. Research carried out by Belarusian scientists has revealed persistent deterioration in the health of our nation. In recent years the incidence of malignant tumours in the country increased by an average of 25 per cent. Among the children living in the most contaminated areas the number of cases of anaemia, thyroid cancer and respiratory disorders is more than 100 times what it was in the past. In the next 50 years, according to the calculations of Belarusian and foreign scientists, there may be up to 150 cases of child leukaemia annually.
Following the Chernobyl disaster the frequency of birth defects in the non-contaminated areas increased by a factor of 1.2, compared to a factor of 1.8 in the contaminated areas. This, together with other detrimental consequences, has resulted in negative population growth in several regions of Belarus. Unfortunately our country cannot, by itself, deal with the disaster that has befallen it. We are grateful to all countries and all international organizations that have helped us to overcome its consequences. We hope that the assistance we receive will not lessen.
We call for continuing non-governmental humanitarian initiatives and for steady intergovernmental cooperation to resolve the long-term medical, environmental, humanitarian and scientific problems arising from the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. In this connection, we place great hopes in the work of the United Nations Committee that was set up to coordinate efforts to minimize the consequences of the disaster.
With regard to the International Atomic Energy Agency's programme of technical assistance and cooperation for 1995-1996, Belarus has put forward projects primarily related to problems connected with Chernobyl. We hope that these projects will be included in the Agency's programme, especially since, throughout the Agency's existence, Belarus did not, until recently, receive any money from the fund for technical assistance and cooperation.
It should be emphasized that scientists and specialists in our country have accumulated a great deal of material concerning the impact of radiation on the environment, on the migration of radionuclides and on ecosystems and concerning the effect of long-term doses of radiation on people's health, as well as the effectiveness of counter-measures taken to protect the population, and so on.
This experience was our sad fate, but what happened to us is, we think, of great interest to the entire world. In 1990, under the auspices of the IAEA, an international project on Chernobyl was undertaken to assess the radiation situation and the health of people in the affected regions. In addition, a study was carried out to assess what measures should be taken to protect the population. Experts from 23 countries and seven international organizations came to the conclusion that the methodology for studying the Chernobyl disaster's consequences in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus were basically in keeping with international standards, and they acknowledged the need for further scientific studies, coordinated worldwide, to achieve a fuller understanding of the effects of radioactive contamination and of exposure to radioactivity. In this context, of course, we must study also the question of improving the health of the peoples of the entire world.
More than three years have elapsed since then, and in 1996 we shall mark the tenth anniversary of the disaster. In these circumstances, we propose that the IAEA, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and other bodies concerned with this matter, together with scientists and specialists from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, analyse and summarize the results of a study of the Chernobyl disaster over a period of 10 years.
To that end, it is advisable that an international group of highly qualified experts be set up. In our view, it would not be necessary for that group to travel to the contaminated areas to carry out their studies. Its task would be to study and analyse the material that has been accumulated. The Republic of Belarus is prepared to provide all necessary materials for that purpose. In our opinion, one product of such work might be the publication of a special summary report, which would become the property of the entire world community. In this context, we propose that an international conference under the auspices of the United Nations and the IAEA, and with the direct patronage of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, be held in Minsk in 1996, on the eve of the tenth anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster.
I wish to emphasize one further aspect of the Chernobyl problem. There are currently about 6,000 reactors of different types in operation in the world. The consequences of Chernobyl are holding up the development of the use of nuclear energy and of other peaceful uses of the atom. Therefore, our country appeals to all interested States and international organizations - especially the IAEA, the WHO and the Commission of the European Communities - not to slacken their efforts to have every last effect of that disaster eradicated.
At the outset I should like to express the Pakistan delegation's sincere appreciation to Mr. Hans Blix, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), for his detailed statement on the Agency's activities for 1993. The widening scope of the programmes and activities of the IAEA bear testimony to the energy and dedication of Mr. Blix and his colleagues in the Agency. Pakistan has always reposed great confidence in the IAEA as an instrument both to promote peaceful nuclear cooperation and to regulate the use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Pakistan's decision to seek the presidency of the General Conference this year was a manifestation of our commitment to the important tasks of the Agency.
We welcome the annual report of the Agency for 1993. This well presented document outlines a number of complex and technical issues in a way that will facilitate meaningful discussion here.
My delegation considers it essential to recall that the central purpose of the IAEA is to promote the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Despite the negative public perceptions created in some countries and the fears aroused about the danger of nuclear proliferation, nuclear energy remains a viable and attractive energy option for many countries.
Pakistan's current and projected need for power generation is considerable. The attractive framework of our energy policy has generated considerable interest. A large number of projects for thermal, oil, gas and coal-fired plants, involving investments of over $11 billion, have recently been concluded with United States and other companies. However, in the words of the United States Energy Secretary on the conclusion of her recent visit to Pakistan,
"We have no intention of walking away from a power source like nuclear energy. Any capping of this technology would cap the development of the world".
In this regard, the assistance that the Agency has rendered to several countries in providing advanced technologies such as MAED, WASP and ENPEP for an integrated approach to energy and nuclear power planning is praiseworthy. These methodologies should continue to be made available, and should not be constrained by extraneous considerations. The development of an interagency project, DECADES, on data bases and methodologies for comparative assessment of different energy resources is another useful initiative undertaken in 1993. Pakistan is an active participant in this project, which we hope will lead to a better-informed assessment of the role of nuclear power.
I must, however, express our concern at the relative decline in the Agency's promotional activities. The 1993 annual report commences with a review of IAEA safeguards and controls, then considers nuclear safety and only later takes up the area that is of vital concern to the majority of the Agency's membership: technical cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. It is our fervent hope that this sequence in the report does not reflect the priority the Agency attaches to its areas of responsibility.
It is essential that the IAEA should expand its technical cooperation programmes. Adequate resources are required to finance those programmes. We are disappointed that the pledges for technical cooperation programmes for 1994 have so far reached only 66 per cent of the target of $59.4 million. Moreover, the shortfall in overall contributions has made it necessary to reduce the regular budget appropriation of $201 million by $24 million. While that reduction of about 12 per cent in the regular budget has been spread across the board, we are especially concerned by its negative effect on the departments concerned with technical cooperation. Pakistan has not only pledged, but has paid in full, its target contribution for technical cooperation programmes. We hope that IAEA members will cooperate to increase the payment-to-assessment ratio, thereby facilitating the implementation of the Agency's programmes.
While much more needs to be done in the area of technical cooperation, certain initiatives undertaken by the Technical Cooperation Department of the Agency in 1993 deserve to be commended, particularly the successful launching of the model project initiative. We welcome the approval under that initiative of a key project on the eradication of cotton pests in Pakistan. The Agency's initiative to help Member States become self-sufficient in training operators, managers and technical personnel must be encouraged. In that regard, the Agency might consider supporting selected national training centres in order to develop them and upgrade them into regional centres.
Pakistan has always supported activities related to the enhancement of nuclear safety. We have participated actively in meetings of the Technical Committee held to prepare and finalize the International Basic Safety Standards. Pakistan was among the original signatories of the Convention on Nuclear Safety. The success of that Convention will depend in large measure on the implementation of provisions relating to cooperation between the industrially advanced countries and the developing countries. It is through continued and unimpeded supply of safety-related information and equipment that the safety of nuclear facilities can be assured and enhanced. Such measures for nuclear safety would be reinforced by an international agreement prohibiting attacks against all nuclear facilities. Pakistan has endeavoured to promote such an agreement. The Agency can play an important role in its realization.
Pakistan has always adhered to the Agency's safeguards and will continue to lend its fullest support for them. This is consistent with our commitment to nuclear non-proliferation and to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Pakistan has sincerely endeavoured to keep South Asia free of nuclear weapons. We proposed the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone, the simultaneous signature of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the simultaneous acceptance of full scope IAEA safeguards, mutual verification of nuclear facilities, a bilateral nuclear-test-ban treaty and a bilateral renunciation of nuclear weapons. We continue to hope that these proposals will evoke a positive response. We are also willing to consider any other equitable and non-discriminatory proposals which would avert the danger of nuclear weapons in South Asia. In this context, we are greatly encouraged by the adoption of the IAEA General Conference resolutions relating to the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones in Africa and the Middle East.
Pakistan supports a cost-effective safeguards system. The objectives of safeguards activities should be realized without causing a gross imbalance in the allocation of resources between the Agency's major areas of activity. We are happy to note that the Agency is in the process of developing a programme for improving the cost effectiveness of the safeguards system. However, the major thrust of the programme is in environmental monitoring and analysis of information supplied by third parties. Both of these activities could turn out to be costly in terms of financial resources and manpower requirements.
The Agency's regulatory responsibility should not lead to the imposition of arbitrary restrictions on the transfer of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Unfortunately, restrictions have been imposed even when it is evident that no proliferation dangers are involved. At times even safety-related information has been refused. This approach is not conducive to the evolution of safer techniques and methods or to the promotion of greater openness and transparency in the field of nuclear technology. Since these are the Agency's key objectives, we hope it will redouble its efforts for their achievement. It can best do so by striving to remove all impediments in the transfer of peaceful nuclear technology.