IAEA Board of Governors Meeting

[As Delivered: November 30, 2012]
November 29-30, 2012

Agenda Item 5
Any Other Business – Middle East Issues U.S. Statement

Mr. Chairman,

The United States regrets that the issue of Israeli nuclear capabilities has once again been brought before the Board. Unlike other Member States whose nuclear activities are included on this Board’s agenda, Israel has broken no agreements under the purview of the Agency.

The United States remains firmly committed to the goal of a Middle East free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction. However, using meetings of this Board to single out Israel for censure will not move us closer to that goal. In fact, it is a step in the opposite direction. Repeatedly invoking this issue only serves to reduce trust and confidence among states in the region and to distract this Board from the attention that should appropriately be paid to serious issues of non-compliance by other states in the region.

The United States remains committed to bringing forward the proposed conference on a Middle East zone free of WMD and their delivery systems. To this end, we have worked with the other conveners of the Helsinki Conference as well as the conference facilitator, Finnish Under Secretary of State Ambassador Jaako Laajava, to create conditions for a successful conference. Clearly, however, more time is needed to achieve this goal and to address the serious differences that remain among the states of the region. As we have said repeatedly, these differences should be addressed through direct engagement of the regional parties, which we continue to encourage.

We state again that efforts to use proceedings of the IAEA to bring forward gratuitous, politically-motivated resolutions will not help build an atmosphere conducive to constructive dialogue. To this end, the United States looks forward to continuing our work with states in the region to help build the confidence necessary to advance these issues constructively.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.