12 December 2016, New York – Statement on behalf of the European Union by H.E. Ms. Joanne Adamson, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the United Nations General Assembly 71st session, plenary meeting on Agenda item 88: Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency
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- I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA countries Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.
- We are pleased to support the Resolution on the Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency, a report which again reaffirms the ‘indispensable role of the Agency with regard to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, and in assisting the development and practical application of atomic energy for peaceful uses, as well as in technology transfer and in nuclear verification, safety and security’. We also note with satisfaction the amount of strong support that was expressed for the Agency’s work.
- The EU is fully committed to promoting universal adherence to nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament agreements. We regard the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime, the essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament, in accordance with Article VI of the NPT, and vital for further development of nuclear energy applications for peaceful purposes. We call upon States that have not yet done so to join the Treaty as non-nuclear weapon states. The EU reaffirms its full support for the establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems in the Middle East, as agreed by NPT state parties in a Resolution on the Middle East during the 1995 Review Conference and as agreed in the 2010 NPT outcome document.
- The IAEA safeguards system is a fundamental component of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and plays an indispensable role in the implementation of the NPT. We underline the primary responsibility of the UN Security Council in cases of non- compliance. The EU further recognises the serious proliferation challenges which continue to be a threat to international security, and the need to find peaceful and diplomatic solutions to them.
- More than one year after the conclusion of the historic agreement between the E3/EU+3 and Iran on Iran’s nuclear programme, the EU welcomes the ongoing implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). This agreement highlights the importance of effective multilateralism and international cooperation, conducted within the framework of relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions, IAEA Board Resolutions and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The EU reiterates the need for Iran to strictly adhere to all its commitments under the JCPOA and to cooperate fully and in timely manner with the IAEA. The EU restates that the early ratification of the Additional Protocol is essential. The EU fully supports the IAEA’s long-term mission of verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear related commitments and recalls the importance of ensuring the necessary means for the Agency to carry out its role.
- The EU is deeply concerned with the protracted and serious challenges to the non-proliferation regime, posed by the Syrian Arab Republic and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The DPRK is the only state to have conducted nuclear explosive tests in the 21st century, the most recent one on 9 September, which the EU condemned in the strongest terms. Its illegal activities seriously undermine peace and security in the region and beyond and aggravate tensions on the Korean Peninsula to the detriment of all. We urge the DPRK to comply with all relevant UNSCRs, including 1718, 1874, 2087, 2094, 2270 and 2321.
- Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements together with Additional Protocols constitute the current IAEA verification standard. We call for their universalisation without delay. The EU supports the continued efforts to strengthen the effectiveness of Agency safeguards through the further development and application of the State-level concept (SLC), enhanced capabilities of analytical services information analysis and technologies. In particular, the EU is convinced that consistent and universal application of the SLC further strengthens the efficiency and effectiveness of the IAEA Safeguards System and thus contributes to global non-proliferation efforts.
- The EU and its Member States attach utmost importance to the highest standards of nuclear safety being implemented and continuously improved in the EU and promoted internationally. The Council of the European Union adopted several directives to strengthen the safety framework for nuclear installations and they continue to be implemented by the EU and its Member States. The Vienna Declaration on Nuclear Safety sets forth principles similar to the principles of our Nuclear Safety Directive, and we will give serious attention to the implementation of the decisions taken in the Vienna Declaration inter alia in the preparation for, and participation in, future Review Meetings of the Convention on Nuclear Safety. The EU and its Member States emphasize the importance of the implementation of Building on the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety report. A clear sense of nuclear safety priorities will help the Agency ensure that its work adds value where it is most needed, does not duplicate activities undertaken elsewhere and makes the best use of its resources.
- In the framework of its strategy against the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, the EU is actively supporting UNSCR 1540 and UNSCR 1887 as well as other international initiatives, such as the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction and the informal Nuclear Security Contact Group, , which contribute to strengthening nuclear security as the EU was supportive of the Nuclear Security Summit process. Out of € 260 million dedicated to Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) risk mitigation worldwide, more than € 100 million for the period 2014-2020 has been allocated to the EU’s regional CBRN Centres of Excellence Initiative.
- The EU strongly supports IAEA activities in the area of nuclear security and is, together with its Member States, among the main contributors to the Nuclear Security Fund. € 40 million from EU funds and another €45 million from EU Member States have been contributed to the Nuclear Security Fund to date, to the benefit of around 100 countries. We intend to continue to support the IAEA’s work by adding another € 9 million for the coming three years by the way of a Council Decision.
- Effective Physical Protection is of the utmost importance to prevent nuclear material falling into the hands of terrorists and proliferators, and to protect nuclear facilities against malicious acts. The EU welcomes the entry into force in May of the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) which is an important milestone towards the collective aim of strengthening nuclear security globally. As a priority, we will focus our efforts on the effective implementation of the amended Convention, and on its universalisation. The entry into force of the Amendment should have its adequate reflection on the IAEA’s nuclear security plan and on the future activities of the Agency. The EU further calls on States that have not yet done so to make a political commitment to use effectively the recommendations set out in the IAEA Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radio-active sources and its supplementary guidance on the import and export of such materials.
- The EU remains firmly committed to the benefits of multilateral approaches and welcomes that the Agency has started with the procurement process for the LEU acquisition required for the establishment of the IAEA LEU Bank. We are therefore pleased to announce that on 15 November 2016, the Council of the European Union adopted a decision in support of the IAEA LEU Bank amounting to a further contribution of € 4.3 million, in addition to the € 20 million already made, for the purpose of acquiring the LEU.
Finally, Mr. President,
- The European Union attaches the utmost importance to the Agency’s Technical Cooperation Programme and the role of the Agency in the responsible development of the peaceful applications of nuclear technology in the areas of, inter alia, human health, food and agriculture, water resources, environment, preservation of cultural heritage, nuclear and radiation safety, and nuclear energy. The IAEA’s Nuclear Science and Applications laboratories at Seibersdorf contribute essential work in this respect and we welcome the Director General’s initiative regarding the modernisation of the laboratories (ReNuAL). The EU also recognizes the valuable contribution that nuclear technology can provide in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals. The EU supports both the IAEA, and IAEA Member States, in the peaceful uses of nuclear technology, also through technical expertise, with a total amount of some € 150 million per year. The EU has allocated € 225 million over the period 2014 – 2020 for the promotion of nuclear safety, radiation protection and the application of efficient and effective safeguards of nuclear material in third countries.
Thank you, Mr. President.
* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
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