Fourth day of the 55th IAEA General Conference

Sep 22 2011
VERTIC Blog >> Arms Control and Disarmament

Sonia Drobysz and Kate Farrell, Vienna

Day four of the IAEA General Conference saw some interesting developments. The general debate concluded with the final country statements. Following this, the plenary moved onto other agenda items: the resolution on the DPRK, examination of credentials and the appointment of the Board of Governors.

General debate concludes on day four
As the list of speakers was extended, the general debate continued today. The Action Plan on Safety that was adopted at the IAEA Ministerial Conference in June is still high on the list of priorities. States continue to welcome the November forum to discuss a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East. For states within the region, it is an opportunity to address all nuclear issues within the zone and begin some hopefully constructive dialogue.

Resolution of application of safeguards in the DPRK
Also in the Plenary today, the resolution on the DPRK was adopted by consensus. The resolution – ‘Implementation of the NPT safeguards agreement between the Agency and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’ – was submitted by Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom and the United States, with the support of 44 states. There was support from all IAEA members of the Six-Party Talks.

Introducing the resolution, Canada strongly urged the DPRK to abandon its nuclear programme, come into full compliance with the NPT and to cooperate with the Agency on the implementation of comprehensive safeguards.

The resolution itself notes reporting by the Director General of the construction of a new uranium facility and light water reactor in the DPRK as deeply troubling. In its statement following adoption of the resolution, South Korea stressed that these developments are the focus of the resolution. The report was based largely on open source information and submitted to the Board of Governors on 02 September 2011.

The Republic of Korea and Japan welcomed the resolution and agreed with Canada’s introductory comments. The diplomatic process is nonetheless still ongoing. South Korea noted that representatives from the two Korea’s met yesterday in Beijing and that it is their hope that this resolution will pave the way towards eventual denuclearization of the North.

Examinations of delegates credentials
The delegates’ credentials were also examined today. Those of the Libyan delegation were discussed both in the General Committee and in the Plenary, as the new transitional authority is not unanimously recognized. According to Venezuela, Cuba and Ecuador, the seat of Libya can only be occupied by a legitimately-elected government, and not a de facto transitional authority that was forced by foreign military intervention. However, these states only expressed reservations and did not reject the credentials. On its part, Egypt noted that acceptance of the credentials could not be considered as recognition neither of the borders of Israel nor of its territory.

Appointment of the Board of Governors
The IAEA Board of Governors for the period 2011-2012 was also elected today. Cuba, Mexico, Italy and Sweden, Bulgaria, Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Republic of Korea, Indonesia and Tanzania were appointed without objection. The second seat from the African region went to vote by ballot. With 89 votes of 117, Egypt was appointed to the Board.

Tonight, VERTIC will host a social reception in the Vienna International Centre to mark our 25th Anniversary. At the close of the plenary we take time to celebrate this milestone with our friends in Vienna.

Last changed: Sep 22 2011 at 5:46 PM