IAEA Board of Governors Meeting – Explanation of Vote, Agenda Item 1: The safety, security, and safeguards implications of the situation in Ukraine
U.S. statement as delivered by Deputy Chief of Mission Louis L. Bono
Vienna, Austria, March 3, 2022
We have already explained at length our views on this agenda item, so today I would like to explain why we supported the resolution adopted today.
First, several delegations have expressed discomfort with what they view as the “politicization” of the Board and have abstained on the resolution as a result. Let me just reiterate. It is the strong desire of the United States not to politicize the work of this Board. Rather, it is a necessary response to those issues that have been forced upon us through an act of aggression. Yesterday, most of the countries represented on this Board voted in the UN General Assembly for a resolution that deplored the aggression as a violation of the UN Charter. If we are, as Article III.B.1 of the Statute states, to act in accordance with UN principles, it is entirely appropriate for this Board to deplore those same actions because they put at risk this Agency’s mandate to ensure the safe, secure, and peaceful use of nuclear energy worldwide.
Let us not be deceived by Russia’s efforts to paint a benign picture of its aggression against Ukraine, saying that the operation of nuclear facilities is normal and even offering to consider Ukraine’s request to the Agency for assistance. Let’s be clear: the best way for Russia to assist would be to withdraw its military forces from Ukraine, as the UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly demanded, and allow Ukrainian nuclear authorities and staff to carry out their responsibilities unimpeded. In this context, I would like to thank the Director General for dealing exclusively with the responsible Ukrainian authorities, in particular the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.