Statement on the IAEA Annual Report

U.S. Statement as delivered by Ambassador Macmanus

Thank you Mr. Chairman,

The United States commends the Agency for its draft Annual Report for 2013.  The draft Report provides a comprehensive and balanced summary of the IAEA’s important and unique work in promoting wide-ranging applications of nuclear technology, improving nuclear safety and security standards, managing technical cooperation efforts, and implementing strengthened safeguards.

Mr. Chairman,

We are pleased that the Report clearly highlights the Agency’s most significant accomplishments during 2013, in line with the priorities set forth by the Board.  We would like to draw the Board’s attention to several notable achievements of the Agency that are recorded in this report.

 In June 2013, the IAEA’s International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century provided a valuable forum for over 500 participants from 87 States and 7 international organizations to review the status and prospects for nuclear power, and for countries to consider the potential benefits of adding or expanding nuclear power in their energy mix.

On the nuclear fuel cycle, the Agency continued its efforts toward the beneficial, responsible, and sustainable management of all phases of the nuclear fuel cycle.  In that regard, we take note of continued progress toward the establishment of the IAEA Low Enriched Uranium Bank in Kazakhstan and look forward to the conclusion of the necessary legal and technical arrangements.

On nuclear safety, the Agency continued to enhance its important role in exchanging information during nuclear or radiological incidents and emergencies; it assisted Member States by appraising their national emergency preparedness and response arrangements; and it helped Member States in their efforts to strengthen the governmental, legal, and regulatory framework for nuclear safety.  We commend the Agency for its work to enhance safety-related assessment missions and for encouraging all Member States to host such missions.  We take note of progress in implementing the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety and we look forward to the release this year of the report on the Fukushima Daiichi accident.

 In July 2013, the IAEA’s International Conference on Nuclear Security: Enhancing Global Efforts – the first Agency conference of this type – provided a useful forum for more than 1,300 registered participants, representing 146 different Member States and organizations, to exchange ideas on trends and objectives for international nuclear security efforts and to inform the development of the IAEA’s Nuclear Security Plan 2014–2017.  The resulting Ministerial Declaration on nuclear security affirmed the Agency’s central role in strengthening the nuclear security framework globally and in leading the coordination of international activities in this field.  The United States looks forward to future periodic high-level international conferences on nuclear security that build upon the success of last year’s conference to improve international nuclear security processes.

In the area of technical cooperation, the Agency’s work in 2013 continued to build capacities in Member States to support the peaceful application of nuclear technology and to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.  We commend the Agency for assisting Member States in reaching their development objectives, increasing the availability of nuclear training and nuclear education, and promoting human health, water management, food security, and protection of the environment.

Without the Secretariat’s skillful implementation of its safeguards system, peaceful nuclear cooperation would not be possible.  During 2013, the Secretariat not only fulfilled its mandate by applying safeguards in 180 States, including the United States, but it also submitted a report to the Board of Governors on safeguards implementation at the state level.  We look forward to reviewing the Secretariat’s supplementary document to that report.  The United States was also pleased that the Secretariat completed the construction of the Nuclear Material Laboratory building at Seibersdorf on schedule and within the approved budget.  In our view, the management of this large capital project should become the standard for other projects in the future.

The United States applauds the Agency for the 2013 accomplishments that I have just highlighted, as well as for the many others described in the draft report.

Mr. Chairman,

On this occasion, the United States reiterates its abiding commitment to the ongoing cooperation across IAEA activities and its strong continued support for all areas of the Agency’s mandate.  This support is demonstrated in many ways, including through considerable U.S. contributions to the Technical Cooperation Fund and other Agency extra-budgetary funding mechanisms, such as the Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI).  We are pleased that the draftAnnual Report cites examples of the contribution of the PUI to the peaceful application of nuclear technology.

Mr. Chairman,

The United States thanks the Agency for its Annual Report for 2013 and joins other Board Members in recommending that it be submitted to the General Conference.  We look forward to the Annual Report for 2014 and urge the Agency to continue to use this annual report to highlight its ongoing efforts to prioritize tasks, maximize efficiency, and increase value for Member States.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.