Let me start by thanking the Director General, Dr. ElBaradei, for his comprehensive report on the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Iceland is among the co-sponsoring States of the draft resolution on the report of the IAEA.
The IAEA celebrated its 50th anniversary last July. Iceland would like to reaffirm its commitment to the organization and its valuable role in international nuclear co-operation and nuclear safety. The three pillars of the IAEA statute, Safety and Security, Science and Technology and Safeguards and Verification, remain solid. But verification of the peaceful use of nuclear materials in order to curb the proliferation of nuclear weapons is presently facing its greatest challenge.
We as Member states cannot spare any efforts in securing a high level of safety in all nuclear and radiological applications and installations. Iceland strongly supports international co-operation in order to maintain and improve safety in this area and reiterates the important and indispensable role of the IAEA in this respect.
Iceland attaches great importance to the IAEA´s technical co-operation work, aiming at the use of nuclear technology in a safe, secure and sustainable manner. This includes the areas of human health, food and agriculture, nuclear science and management of radioactive waste. Nuclear technology plays an important role in fighting the spread of disease and hunger, in particular, in the developing countries. Iceland recognizes this valuable work and makes an annual voluntary contribution to the IAEA Technology Fund.
We welcome recent developments with regard to the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea. Iceland appreciates the swift response by the IAEA in February following the diplomatic breakthrough. Shutdown of the Yongbyon nuclear facilities and the implementation of verification and monitoring measures by the IAEA are important first steps. We urge the DPRK to resume the implementation of its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement under the NPT.
With respect to the nuclear activities of Iran we hope that the current work plan between the IAEA and Iran will lead to a resolution of outstanding questions. Effective implementation of the work plan is of course a prerequisite for any progress. However we still have strong concerns concerning the implications of Iran?s nuclear programme. We regret that Iran has not fulfilled its obligations under UN Security Council resolutions or requirements made by the IAEA. The Government of Iran must take steps to build confidence regarding the scope and nature of its nuclear programme. We urge Iran to ratify and bring into force the Additional Protocol to the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, the IAEA is indispensable for nuclear co-operation and global nuclear safety. I would like to reiterate Iceland?s full support for the organization and our willingness to contribute to its work and co-operation efforts.