Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

EU Statement – United Nations General Assembly: Resolution on the Report of the IAEA

New York, 11/11/2020 - 21:51, UNIQUE ID: 201111_25
Statements on behalf of the EU

11 November 2020, New York - European Union Statement delivered by Ms. Natacha Tolstoi, Head of Political Section, Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the Resolution on the Report of the IAEA

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Mr. President,

  1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Candidate Countries Turkey, the Republic of North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia*and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA country Liechtenstein, member of the European Economic Area, as the Republic of Moldova, align themselves with this statement.
  1. We are pleased to support the Resolution on the Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency, a report which again reaffirms the 'indispensable role of the Agency with regard to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, and in assisting the development and practical application of atomic energy for peaceful uses, as well as in technology transfer and in nuclear verification, safety and security'. We note with satisfaction the strong cross-regional support that has been expressed here for the Agency's work and underline the importance of respecting the authority and integrity of international organisations such as the IAEA which are fulfilling their duties in the service of the international community in a professional, objective and impartial manner.
  1. The EU commends IAEA Director General Grossi for leading the Secretariat’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. We highly appreciate the quick action and thank the staff for ensuring continued implementation of IAEA activities, in particular in the area of safeguards, in the difficult times of Covid-19.


  1. The EU considers the empowerment of women and gender mainstreaming to be important objectives and we welcome the Director General’s commitment in this regard. We hope that the new Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme will contribute to the emergence of a new generation of female leaders in nuclear sciences, technologies and non-proliferation around the world, and we note a number of EU Member States are contributing to this programme.


Mr. President,


  1. The EU remains fully committed to nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. Ahead of the next Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), we reiterate our firm support for the full, complete, and effective implementation of the NPT as the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime, the essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament, in accordance with Article VI of the NPT, and an important element in the development of nuclear applications for peaceful purposes. We will continue to promote its universalisation and enhance its implementation across all three pillars. The EU also reaffirms its full support for the establishment of a zone free of nuclear and all other weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems in the Middle East and for that purpose, is funding a dedicated UNIDIR project.


  1. The IAEA safeguards system is a fundamental component of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and plays an indispensable role in the implementation of the NPT. We underline the primary responsibility of the UN Security Council in cases of non-compliance. We recall the serious proliferation challenges which continue to be a threat to international security, and the need to find peaceful and diplomatic solutions to them.


  1. The EU reaffirms its resolute commitment to and continued support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), unanimously endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231(2015). We deeply regret the withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA and the re-imposed sanctions, and we call on all countries to refrain from taking actions that impede the implementation of the agreement. The EU continues to uphold its JCPOA commitments, including on sanctions lifting. The EU remains gravely concerned about Iran's continued accumulation of low enriched uranium now more than tenfold in excess of the JCPOA limit and the fact that its maximum enrichment level is above the limit set by the JCPOA. We also remain very concerned about the continued enrichment in Fordow and the expansion of Iran's centrifuge R&D activities as these activities significantly increase Iran's enrichment capacity. All aforementioned activities are inconsistent with the JCPOA and have severe proliferation implications. We strongly urge Iran to refrain from any further actions that are inconsistent with its JCPOA commitments and return to full JCPOA implementation without delay.  We support the efforts of JCPOA participants in addressing these issues within the JCPOA, including by the Joint Commission. The EU welcomes the IAEA’s updates on the implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and the Additional Protocol in Iran, and the efforts undertaken to clarify all open questions.


  1. The EU remains gravely concerned by the continued development of the DPRK’s nuclear programme and urges the DPRK to embark on a credible path towards complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation, and to take concrete steps in this direction. Until then, the EU will continue to strictly enforce existing sanctions. We encourage the DPRK to engage in meaningful discussions with all relevant parties as the international community works towards lasting peace and security on the Korean Peninsula. The EU urges the DPRK to comply with relevant UNSC resolutions and return to the NPT and to IAEA Safeguards at an early date and to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).


  1. The EU urges the Syrian Arab Republic to cooperate promptly and transparently with the Agency to resolve all outstanding issues including through concluding and implementing an Additional Protocol as soon as possible.


  1. The EU continues to call for the universalisation of Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements together with the Additional Protocol without delay. We urge the remaining States to amend their Small Quantities Protocols or apply the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement in full, especially those States that are already building a nuclear power plant or a research reactor. The EU strongly supports the continued improvement of effectiveness and efficiency of safeguards implementation through implementation of State-level Approaches. Furthermore, the EU is actively supporting the Agency's safeguards system through the European Commission’s Safeguards Support Programme, the Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation and through EU Member States' Support Programmes.


Mr. President,


  1. The EU and its Member States attach utmost importance to the worldwide implementation and continuous improvement of nuclear safety. Over the past decades we have established and further developed an advanced, legally-binding and enforceable nuclear legal and regulatory framework applicable in all EU Member States. We stand ready to share our experience during the 8th Review Meeting of the Convention on Nuclear Safety. The EU has also continued to provide its expertise via so-called stress tests in a number of neighbouring countries, with a view to building a more robust, sustainable and transparent nuclear safety framework worldwide. We support the implementation of the Joint Convention on the safety of spent fuel and radioactive waste management and invite all UN Member States to demonstrate their commitment to develop and implement disposal as a safe solution for radioactive waste management.


  1. The EU stresses the need to continue strengthening nuclear security worldwide in order to prevent nuclear terrorism and the misuse of nuclear and radioactive material. To that end, we highlight the importance of becoming party to and fully implementing the relevant treaties, the Amended Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (A/CPPNM) and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSAN), and UNSC Resolutions 1540 and 2325. 


  1. The EU strongly supports the central role of the IAEA in improving the global nuclear security framework by strengthening international cooperation, offering advisory services and providing direct assistance to Member States. EU welcomes the outcomes of the 2020 International Conference on Nuclear Security, including the related Ministerial Declaration. We further call on IAEA Member States to ensure the availability of sufficient resources for the IAEA nuclear security activities. Together with its Member States, the EU remains a major donor to the IAEA Nuclear Security Fund. Our funding has helped the Agency to assist countries to upgrade and ensure the physical protection of selected facilities and to improve their national regulatory infrastructure. In the context of the EU strategy against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, we are supporting also other international initiatives, which contribute to strengthening nuclear security. For the period 2014-2020, the EU has dedicated more than € 145 million to the EU’s regional Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Centres of Excellence initiative.


  1. The EU highlights the benefits of multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle and ensuring that high standards of safety, security and safeguards are implemented to protect our collective non-proliferation interests. The EU has supported the establishment of the IAEA LEU Bank with around € 25 million. We noted with satisfaction that the IAEA LEU Bank became operational in October 2019 with the successful delivery of LEU by France and Kazakhstan and we look forward to a successful operation of the LEU Bank for the benefit of all IAEA Member States.


Finally, Mr. President,


  1. The EU strongly supports the Agency’s activities and efforts in raising awareness on all aspects of peaceful uses of nuclear science and technologies. We positively note the IAEA’s continuous engagement in the global dialogue on the 2030 Agenda, the SDGs and the role it plays in climate change adaption and mitigation. Nuclear technologies can make life changing contributions to the health and well-being of people around the world in line with the SDGs. In this context, the IAEA’s assistance to Member States to combat zoonotic disease outbreaks needs to continue. Again, we commend the work of the IAEA in addressing the current Covid-19 pandemic and encourage further close cooperation with the WHO, the FAO and other relevant international organisations.


  1. The EU continues to be a strong supporter of the IAEA's Technical Cooperation Programme, and is the second largest contributor to the TC Programme. The EU supports the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and technology, also through technical expertise and with an average contribution of € 20 million per year.


Thank you, Mr. President.



* The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

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