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President: Mr. Han Seung-soo..........................................................(Republic of Korea)
In the absence of the President, Mr. Sharma (Nepal), Vice-President, took the Chair.
The meeting was called to order at 3.05 p.m.
Agenda item 14
Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency
Note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report of the Agency (A/56/313)
The Acting President: I invite the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mr. Mohamed ElBaradei, to present the report of the Agency for the year 2000.
Mr. ElBaradei : The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) continues to play an important role as a catalyst for development and as a cornerstone for nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear safety.
I will speak briefly today about the IAEA’s activities in terms of our three fundamental functions: to bring about the development and transfer of peaceful nuclear technologies, to build and maintain a global nuclear safety regime, and to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and ensure the security of nuclear material and facilities.
In keeping with my mandate from the Agency’s General Conference, I have continued to consult with the States of the Middle East region on the application of full-scope safeguards to all nuclear activities in the Middle East and on the development of model agreements that would contribute to the eventual establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in that region. Regrettably, I have not yet been able to make progress in fulfilling this mandate. I do hope that future progress in the Middle East peace process will make it feasible to make parallel progress in this major security issue.
Mr. Khairat (Egypt) (spoke in Arabic ): At the outset, I wish to extend my sincere congratulations to Mr. Mohamed ElBaradei on the renewal of his mandate as Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency. This demonstrates the confidence of all countries and their appreciation for his wise leadership in conducting the work of the Agency and in developing its activities to enhance the peaceful application of nuclear energy in the service of humankind and prosperity, and in strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime. I also wish to thank him for his excellent presentation of the Agency’s annual report.
Egypt attaches great importance to the aims and principles of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and nuclear disarmament in the world. Achieving progress in this field, especially in the Middle East, is of critical importance in the light of Israel’s intransigence and its threatening use of obsolete strategies of deterrence. All the countries of the region have acceded to the NPT and have placed their nuclear activities under comprehensive Agency safeguards. That is a bid to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. However, Israel continues to stand apart from the efforts in the region in this regard.
Since 1974, Egypt has taken the initiative to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. This is an appeal that the General Assembly has repeatedly renewed by consensus since 1980, culminating in President Mubarak’s initiative of 18 April 1990 calling for the creation of a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, as a natural continuation of Egypt’s ongoing bid to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. Towards the implementation of this initiative, the Agency’s General Conference unanimously issues annually a resolution on applying Agency safeguards in the Middle East. Despite all of that, Israel still refuses to comply with international will and refuses to subject its nuclear facilities to the safeguards regime. Those efforts and appeals are not merely Egyptian or Arab demands, but an international demand involving many other countries. That international will was reflected in the Final Document of the sixth NPT Review Conference, held in 2000. The Final Document welcomed the accession of all the countries of the Middle East, except Israel, to the NPT. It also reaffirmed the importance of Israel’s accession to the Treaty and its placing all its nuclear installations under the full scope of Agency safeguards.
The meeting rose at 6.15 p.m.
This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room C-178. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.