Statement to the IAEA Board of Governors: AOB

U.S. Statement as delivered by Deputy Permanent Representative Hushek

Thank you Mr. Chairman,

The United States deeply regrets that the issue of Israeli nuclear capabilities has once again been raised before the Board, as Israel has broken no agreements under the purview of the Agency and discussion of this issue only serves to distract attention from legitimate issues that merit the Board’s attention.

The United States has long supported the goal of a Middle East free from weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.  However, we recognize that this is a long-term undertaking, and that a comprehensive and durable peace in the region and full compliance by all regional states with their arms control and nonproliferation obligations offer the best prospects for establishing such a zone.  Divisive efforts to single out Israel only serve to undermine the regional trust and confidence necessary to advance this goal, while also distracting attention from  actual cases of noncompliance in the region that threaten the viability of such a zone.  We encourage regional parties to engage constructively and in good faith to address these issues, rather than pursuing counterproductive, politicized measures.

Mr. Chairman,

The United States remains committed to convening the proposed conference on a Middle East zone free of Weapons of Mass Destruction and their delivery systems.  We continue to work actively with Russia, the UK, the UN, and the conference facilitator, Finnish Under Secretary Jaako Laajava, to reach consensus among the regional parties on acceptable arrangements for such a conference.  We are encouraged that the regional parties have participated in four rounds of consultations to discuss an agenda, modalities, and documents for the conference, on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at by the regional states themselves.  We hope that this dialogue will continue so that the differing views that remain among the states of the region can be addressed in a constructive manner.

Mr. Chairman, while I have the floor, I would like to raise three additional points and do a little cheerleading for the work of the agency.

First, on Technical Cooperation:  I would like to thank the governments of South Africa, Tanzania, and Ethiopia, as well as the Agency’s National Liaison Officers for facilitating the informative visit by Ambassador Macmanus earlier this year.  We appreciated the opportunity to see first-hand the impressive Technical Cooperation programs which are achieving real successes in the field.  As a prime example, the Ambassador witnessed the real results of the Technical Cooperation program in the area of Sterile Insect Technique (SIT).

In South Africa, the technique is being used to address a variety of pests, from fruit flies and moths in the Cape to mosquitos in the Northeast.  While not all of these projects are directly funded by the Technical Cooperation Fund (TCF) or Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI), their execution often relies on knowledge born in Seibersdorf.

In addition, Tanzania eradicated the Tsetse fly on the island of Zanzibar with the IAEA’s assistance, and Ethiopia continues efforts to suppress the Tsetse fly over a large swath of its territory, via the IAEA-backed Southern Rift Valley Tsetse Eradication Project.

The results of these projects are truly life changing and offer the hope of increased livelihoods and reduction of disease to ranchers and non-ranchers alike.

In addition to the SIT projects, the Ambassador also visited a number of other projects with roots in Seibersdorf.  South Africa’s Safari-1 Research Reactor offers a training hub in southern Africa and is relying on IAEA assistance to establish a Regional User Access Center of Excellence in Neutron Beam Line Applications.

In Tanzania, he visited the Ocean Road Cancer Institute – the only cancer treatment center in Tanzania and an IAEA Program of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) Model Demonstration Site.  Both PACT and a regional project on trans-boundary animal diseases have benefited from U.S. PUI contributions.

In Ethiopia, the Ambassador visited the Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa and saw the other side of the cancer equation.  The Ethiopians have only one functioning Cobalt-60 machine to service a population of roughly 90 million citizens.  The standard is one machine per million citizens.  The Ethiopians recently engaged the IAEA on an ambitious plan to expand cancer therapy capacity and have requested IAEA assistance in the purchase of a linear accelerator.

Second, on Nuclear Applications:  I want to recognize the tremendous contributions of DDG Daud Mohammed, and also to provide additional information on U.S. support for Renovation of the Nuclear Applications Laboratories (ReNuAL).

In the last two months, we have contributed sufficient funds for the Resource Mobilization Manager Cost-Free Expert (CFE) position, and have also financed a Junior Professional Officer and a consultant to assist in the project planning.  In addition, we provided a financial contribution of €250,000 for the project itself, under the PUI banner.  In total in 2014 we have provided to ReNuAL more than $680,000 through these contributions.

We support the selection of the Insect Pest Control Lab (IPCL) for renovation since it was in most dire need AND given the positive economic and social impacts SIT programs have around the world – we observed on the trip to Africa.  We also support the construction of a Flexible Modular Laboratory (FML), which will ease pressure on the remaining seven laboratories and take advantage of synergies between the Plant Breed, Soil and Crop Nutrition, and Terrestrial Environment labs.

We welcomed the strategy document released in May and were encouraged by the Secretariat’s thoughtful approach for the selection of priority renovation items.

Third and finally:  As mentioned briefly in our statement under Agenda Item Four, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will host the “Our Ocean” international conference in Washington, D.C., on June 16 and 17, 2014.  This conference will focus on marine pollution, ocean acidification, and sustainable fisheries, and the need for cooperative actions to protect the world’s oceans.  At the conference, the United States will highlight the role of the IAEA and our continuing commitment to address these issues through our contributions to the IAEA’s Peaceful Uses Initiative.  Since 2010 and as of February 24, the United States has contributed over $1.9 million via the PUI to projects focusing on the marine environment.  We warmly welcome the participation of the IAEA’s representative, Mr. David Osborn, Director of the IAEA Environment Laboratories, as well as the participation of many representatives and experts from countries sitting in this room.  The United States will continue to work with the IAEA and other international partners to mitigate the impact of human activity and climate change on our ocean and encourage other Member States to contribute to the PUI and lend their support to this global challenge.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.