IAEA Board of Governors Meeting, June 7-11, 2010 Agenda Item 2
The Annual Report for 2009
Ambassador Glyn Davies
Permanent Representative of the United States to the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United Nations Office in Vienna
The United States welcomes the Annual Report of Agency activities in 2009. The 2009 Annual Report lays out in detail the great diversity of important work performed by the IAEA over the past year as it has carried out its objective of accelerating and enlarging the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health, and prosperity throughout the world. This report clearly points out the ways in which all IAEA Major Programs contribute to the well-being of Member States.
In carrying out this mandate, the Agency has advised and assisted its members in the application of nuclear technologies for development, in promoting nuclear safety and security, and in activities related to nuclear verification. The United States welcomes and applauds these activities.
The Agency’s Technical Cooperation and Nuclear Application Programs assisted 125 Member States in 2009, attesting to the fact that Member States are increasingly turning to the expertise of the IAEA in applying nuclear techniques to food, agriculture, and water resource management among other areas, all of which are, in turn, important contributors to broader socioeconomic development. As the incidence of cancer grows rapidly in developing countries, the IAEA’s assistance through the Program of Action for Cancer Therapy, PACT, is an essential tool in combating this indiscriminate disease. We welcome the launching of the Joint Program for Cancer Control with the World Health Organization, as well as the seventh PACT Model Demonstration Site, in Ghana.
As Member States seek to address their energy needs in a way that responsibly takes into account the challenge of climate change, an increasing number have turned to the IAEA for support in developing and expanding nuclear power programs, including with respect to the development of national infrastructure and human capacity. The Annual Report informs us that construction started on 11 new reactors in 2009 (the largest number since 1987) with a total of 55 new reactors currently under construction worldwide. More than 60 countries, most of them in the developing world, have indicated their interest in launching nuclear power programs. This represents only the latest evidence of a rapid expansion in nuclear power across the globe. The Agency’s work is essential for Member States that are assessing whether nuclear power has a role to play in meeting their energy needs, and, if so, provides them the assistance needed to develop nuclear power programs consistent with the highest standards for safety, security, and nonproliferation.
Through the application of safeguards, the Agency aims to assure the international community that nuclear material and facilities are used only for peaceful purposes. Agency safeguards are an essential component of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and an indispensible factor enabling the nuclear cooperation that undergirds efforts to spread the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
As more and more Member States seek the important services offered by the IAEA, the resources and capacities of the Agency will quickly be exceeded. The Agency’s core activities are mutually reinforcing, not competing priorities. My delegation reiterates the commitment of the United States to ensure the Agency is adequately resourced to fulfill its broad mandate, now and in the future. As the demands for the services laid out in the Annual Report increase, we urge Member States to consider the resource ramifications of the Agency’s expansion. It is untenable that the Agency conducts such a wide and expanding variety of activities without an underpinning of sound financial health.
The United States endorses the recommendation that this report be submitted to the General Conference. We recommit ourselves to ongoing support for Agency activities, and support for the dedicated Agency cadres who so skillfully carry out those activities, anticipating the 2010 Annual Report will describe an empowered IAEA, one that is improving its efficiency while increasing its value to Member States.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.