Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
63rd IAEA General Conference
17 September 2019 in Vienna
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Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of my government, I congratulate you on your election as President of the sixty-third IAEA General Conference. I fully endorse the statement made by the European Union. With deepest sadness we received the tragic news of the sudden death of South African Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy. On behalf of the German Federal Government, I would like to convey my sincere condolences to Miss Hlongwa´s family and to the Government and the People of the Republic of South Africa.
The IAEA plays a central role in nearly every question that arises in the context of nuclear technology and Germany will continue to be a constructive and reliable partner of the Secretariat and all Member States. Let me stress that Germany highly values the objectivity and independence of the work done by the IAEA Secretariat.
Germany decided to phase out nuclear power by the end of 2022. At the same time, Germany respects the sovereign right of every country to choose its own energy mix and supply. Of course Germany will continue research into nuclear safety and waste management.Beyond power production Germanywill continue to strive for a leadingposition in the use of nuclear technology, for example in the fields of medicine, food, energy storage, industry, material science and Research.
In addition to our share to the regular budget, Germany voluntarily contributes to specific needs of the IAEA: Germany has supported the modernization of the Agency’s Laboratories at Seibersdorf in the framework of ECAS, ReNuAL and ReNuAL plus since 2011 with extrabudgetary contributions amounting almost 11 million Euros. I am pleased to inform you today, that the German Government has decided to support this project once again with a financial contribution of six hundred thousand Euros. This is intented to close the gap for the completion of this project. We appeal to all Member States who are in the financial position to do so, to make a financial contribution to bringing this project to a successful conclusion.
I would like to underline the extraordinary importance of effective and efficient IAEA safeguards. That is why Germany funds one of the first national support programmes for IAEA safeguards. Germany highly welcomes the fact that Liberia and Serbia have recently brought into force Additional Protocolssince the last General Conference.Together with our EU partners, we promote the universalization of IAEA Additional Protocols (AP) as the international verification standard. At the same time, we support the further evolution of individual state level approaches in a structured and objective manner.
Germany regards nuclear safety as an indispensable prerequisite for any application of nuclear technology. Germany strongly encourages cooperation between regulators and a worldwide system of mutual controls as they have proven to be an important pillar for nuclear safety. Self-assessments and international peer-reviews conducted incooperation with the respective IAEA service are of particular importance. Regarding nuclear security, Germany has steadily contributed to improving the security of radioactive sources. This is a responsibility shared by all states. We would also like to stress out the increasing problem of digital attacks on critical infrastructure worldwide. Germany is thus fully committed to enhancing the security of its nuclear facilities with respect to computer security and fostering international cooperation in that regard. We will be hosting a weeklong IAEA Technical Meeting on nuclear cyber security next week in Berlin, at which we are expecting more than a hundred participants from a large number of Member States. Moreover, Germany would like to emphasize the importance of better inclusion of computer security on the highest possible level within the nuclear security series as well as in the relevant conventions. Germany also welcomes the progress related to the „Low Enriched Uranium Bank“. The LEU Bank is a major incentive to secure worldwide LEU supply and an important contribution to global nuclear non-Proliferation.
On Iran: Germany reaffirms its strong commitment to the full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). The JCPoA is an important contribution to the global nuclear nonproliferation regime, and an essential asset for international security. We strongly urge Iran to stop and reverse all actions contrary to the JCPoA. Iran must return to full compliance without further delay. Together with all JCPoA participants we will continue our efforts to preserve the nuclear agreement. We strongly commend the professional and impartial work of the IAEA to monitor and verify Iran’s nuclear-related commitments under the nuclear agreement. It is important that Iran extend full and timely cooperation to the IAEA on all issues related to safeguards and the JCPoA.
So far, we have contributed about 4.83 million Euros of extra-budgetary funding to support the IAEA’s crucial activities under the JCPoA and, before, the JPA. Since the last General Conference, we have made available 350,000 Euros, and we are prepared to continue making substantial contributions in the future. We likewise encourage all Member States to ensure that the IAEA is able to conduct its long-term verification and monitoring mission in Iran.
For good reasons we have decided to financially support the IAEA in enhancing its readiness to play an essential role in verifying North Korea’s nuclear program, once the political conditions should allow for it. The complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the DPRK in line with applicable Security Council resolutions remains our ultimate objective. This is also crucial for the credibility of the NPT. The international community must remain united in our policy of steadfast pressure through the effective implementation of sanctions. It is up to North Korea to finally take up expert- level negotiations with the U.S. in good faith.
Since the passing of the late Director General Yukiya Amano the International Atomic Energy Agency has mourned the loss of Mr. Amano with regard to his outstanding personality and his most distinguished leadership. He worked tirelessly to fulfill the mandate of the IAEA and he forcefully stood in for the Agency´s independence. To honour his efforts in the ReNuAL/ReNuALplus project in renaming the FML Laboratories as „The Yukiya Amano Laboratories“ is a dignified tribute to him. Germany is ready to support the Agency during these difficult times. We are pleased to see that the highest standards of professionalism in all areas of the IAEA´s crucial work are maintained.
In conclusion, let me reiterate that furthering our joint objectives in the field of nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear technologies requires intensive international cooperation and competent oversight. Germany is grateful for the successful work of the IAEA.
Thank you, Madam Chair.