IAEA Board of Governors Meeting – Agenda Item 5 – Any Other Business
U.S. Statement as Delivered by Ambassador Laura S.H. Holgate
Vienna, Austria, October 3, 2022
The United States would like to take a moment to recognize the outstanding contributions of the departing Board Chairman, Mr. Ham Sangwook, as well as his immediate predecessor as Chair, Mr. Shin Chae-hyun, both Governors from the Republic of Korea. We greatly appreciate the work of both these Ambassadors during the past year, and particularly Ambassador Shin’s exemplary service and Ambassador Ham’s willingness to step in to Chair the September quarterly Board. We would also like to recognize our outgoing Vice Chairs, Ambassador Miguel Camilo Ruiz Blanco of Colombia and Ambassador Dominika Krois of Poland, for their outstanding contributions to the Board over the last year.
In addition, Chair,
We would like to offer you, Ambassador Ivo Sramek, our congratulations and a very warm welcome. We look forward to working with you to advance the Agency’s work in the year ahead.
The United States welcomes those Member States elected to the Board of Governors by the General Conference during its recent session. We look forward to working with these States and the entire Board in support of our shared aim of accelerating and enlarging “the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health, and prosperity throughout the world.”
Thank you, Chair.
As U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated, “The United States unequivocally rejects Russia’s fraudulent attempt to change Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders, including by holding sham ‘referenda’ in Ukraine’s Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya regions.” The referenda held last week are entirely illegitimate. They have no basis in law and no legal effect and will in no way alter Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders. Russia’s actions are flagrant violations of international law, including the United Nations Charter, and my government has announced the imposition of severe costs on any individual, entity, or country that provides support to Russia’s purported annexation.
As President Biden affirmed, “We will continue to honor Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders. We will continue to support Ukraine’s efforts to regain control of its territory, including through the $1.1 billion in additional security assistance the United States announced last week. We urge all members of the international community to reject Russia’s illegal attempts at annexation and to stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes.”
We remain gravely concerned about the increasing risks and deteriorating situation at and near Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant. Violation of any of the Seven Pillars of Nuclear Safety and Security poses a serious nuclear threat.
As Director General Grossi stated in his recent report, the detention of the Director General of the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant has had “a very significant impact on at least two of the Seven Indispensable Pillars of Nuclear Safety and Security” that Director General Grossi outlined at the beginning of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. The Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant director’s absence from duty “has an immediate and serious impact on decision-making in ensuring the safety and security of the plant.” We once again call on Russia to immediately cease all activity in and around Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant and to enable the Ukrainian staff to do their jobs without duress and keep the plant operating safely.
We welcome the contributions of IAEA staff located at Zaporizhzhya to our understanding of the situation at the nuclear power plant, and we underscore the importance of the IAEA’s continuous presence on site.
We look forward to further elaboration of Director General Grossi’s proposal to establish a nuclear safety and security protection zone at and around Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant. We welcome the Director General’s negotiations and hope that his intended discussions this week make progress toward preventing further shelling at this sensitive nuclear facility. We are grateful for his courageous leadership on this and other nuclear issues that currently grip the international community.
Thank you, Chair.