The Permanent Mission of Iceland to the United Nations
Statement by Ambassador Hjálmar W. Hannesson,
Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United Nations
Sixty-first Session of the United Nations General Assembly
Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency [ 81 ]
New York, 30 October 2006
At the outset let me thank the Director General, Dr Elbaradei, for his report on the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Iceland is one of the co-sponsoring States of the draft resolution on the report of the IAEA.
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the IAEA and on this occasion we look back with appreciation on the accomplishments of the IAEA and it’s important work. The IAEA is the world´s focal point for peaceful nuclear co-operation and nuclear safety and it has an indespensable global role in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and countering new threats of nuclear terrorism.
The accomplishments of the Agency and its valuable work were highlighted by the Nobel Peace Prize received by the IAEA and its Director General for 2005. Iceland congratulates Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei and his staff for this recognition of their important work.
We reaffirm our commitment to the three pillars of the IAEA statute, namely verification, safety and technology, which form the basis for the activities of the Agency. States must honour their committments and we urge Member States to comply transparently and effectively with the NPT and IAEA safeguard obligations and allow for full IAEA verification of all nuclear activities. In this context, Iceland has strongly condemned the recent nuclear test carried out by the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea (DPRK). We urge the DPRK to return to compliance with the NPT and IAEA safeguards obligations and allow for full IAEA verification of all nuclear activities of the DPRK.
Iceland supports the Director General and the IAEA in their efforts to seek clarifications from Iran and to verify its nuclear programme. It is of concern that the Director General´s assessment that, after four years of intense inspections, the Agency remains unable to make further progress in its efforts to verify the correctness and completeness of Iran´s declaration in order to confirm the peaceful nature of Iran´s nuclear programme.
Iceland attaches the greatest importance to a high level of safety in all nuclear and radiation applications. Safety is a national responsibility but has implications well beyond national boundaries. International co-operation is therefore indispenseble in order to maintain and improve safety in all nuclear and radiation applications.
Iceland appreciates the activities of the IAEA in fostering a global nuclear safety regime and welcomes the efforts over the last years to update and extend the IAEA Safety Standards to cover all important thematic areas, facilities and activities. To assist in this effort Iceland has undertaken to chair the IAEA Radiation Safety Standards Committee for the period 2005 - 2007.
On a national level, I would like to mention that Iceland has this year ratified the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Managament and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management and urge other Member States to do so. Iceland has also ratified the Convention on Assistance in the case of Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency.
Finally, Mr. President,
Iceland attaches much importance to the IAEA efforts to improve the quality of technical co-operation in the interest of all Member States, in particular, the developing countries. Iceland contributes annually to the IAEA Technical Co-operation Fund.