Search

 

Cablegate: Unvie

VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHUNV #0565/01 2951444
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 211444Z OCT 08
FM USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8577
INFO RUEHII/VIENNA IAEA POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 0353

UNCLAS UNVIE VIENNA 000565

STATE FOR IO/T, ISN,
ISN/MNSA - RAGSDALE, COCKERHAM, DAVIS
- ISN/NESS - STRATFORD, BURKART
- ISN/RA - NEPHEW, GROMOLL
DOE FOR S-1, S-2
- NE - MCGINNIS, CLAPPER, HERCZEG, HAN
- NA 2O - BAKER, WITTROCK
- NA24 - LERSTEN, SCHEINMAN, GOOREVICH, BRUNS
NRC FOR OIP - MDOANE, JSCHWARZMAN
ROME FOR USMISSION TO FAO

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AORC KNNP IAEA ENRG TRGY IR KN SY LY IN

SUBJ: IAEA/GC: GENERAL DEBATE HIGHLIGHTS

REF: A) UNVIE 554 B) UNVIE 546

-------
Summary
-------

1. (U) Director General ElBaradei opened the IAEA General Conference
on September 29 with a warning that "all is not well with the IAEA,"
given a lack of resources to meet nuclear energy, safeguards, safety
and security challenges. He called for implementation of the
Additional Protocol (AP), including by Iran, and cited upgrades of
the Safeguards Analytical Laboratory and the Incident and Emergency
Center as immediate priorities. The Director General highlighted
the Commission of Eminent Persons (CEP) report's recommendations,
and urged member states to take a long-term view of the Agency's
future. The Scientific Forum, a two-day event parallel to the
General Conference, also addressed the future role of the IAEA, as
informed by the CEP report.

2. (U) The General Debate in the GC Plenary spanned four days,
including national statements from 130 member states and
intergovernmental organizations. Speaking first in the General
Debate, Secretary of Energy Bodman delivered the U.S. statement and
a Presidential message in support of the IAEA. A number of
countries offered general assessments of the CEP report on the
Agency's future as timely but in need of member state input and
further refinement. Among other key issues were nuclear
verification in Iran, DPRK, Syria and Libya; Indian nuclear
cooperation; and the establishment of a NWFZ in the Middle East.
Several interventions noted the passage of UNSCR 1835 on Iran.
Iran, having downgraded its participation in the GC to protest the
IAEA's toughening stance, charged that the Agency was threatening
its national security. Iran also raised "non-discrimination" in
multilateral fuel assurances. In a similar vein, Syria claimed that
its cooperation with the IAEA would not be at the expense of
military or national security.

3. (U) In addition to these specific issues, member state
interventions in the General Debate addressed broad themes and IAEA
programmatic areas: strengthening safeguards with emphasis on the
Additional Protocol and nuclear disarmament; funding and support to
nuclear security; the Agency's role in the expansion of nuclear
power; the importance of technical cooperation and nuclear safety.
Japan and South Africa used their interventions to promote
respective candidates for IAEA Director General. Notably, on the
issue of upgrading the Agency's laboratories, the Czech Republic
announced that it had offered the IAEA "premises and capacities" for
safeguards analysis. Several member states, including some
potential recipients, also expressed support for Reliable Access to
Nuclear Fuel (RANF). End Summary.

-------------------------
DG's Introductory Remarks
-------------------------

4. (U) Opening the GC on a cautionary note, DG ElBaradei warned in
address entitled "The IAEA at a Crossroads," that "all is not well
with the IAEA" and cited a lack of resources and legal authority to
meet member state expectations. IAEA-FAO cooperation was the first
programmatic area he mentioned, urging continued member state
support. Among growing demands was the significant expansion of
nuclear power, projected to double by 2030, and safeguards
challenges with respect to undeclared activities by state and
non-state actors. Regarding the latter, ElBaradei regretted that
only about half of NPT states have Additional Protocols (AP) in
force and 30 states lack required comprehensive safeguards
agreements (CSA). The DG also highlighted Agency contributions to
nuclear safety standards and nuclear security. The aging
infrastructure at the Safeguards Analytical Laboratory merited
particular mention, as did the need for an overhaul of the Incident
and Emergency Center so that it may respond to large-scale
emergencies.

5. (U) ElBaradei commented on the DPRK's intention, at that
juncture, to restrict inspector access, and noted "substantial
progress" in Iran's nuclear program. However, he stressed that the
Agency could not verify the absence of undeclared activities, and
urged Iran to implement the AP and transparency measures to build
confidence as "this would be good for Iran and good for the world."
The DG welcomed the resumption of routine verification in Libya but
reiterated concerns that electronic information on enrichment and
weapon design exists on the black market. He also reported the lack
of any progress on a Middle East NWFZ.

6. (U) Turning to the future, the DG noted that years of zero real
growth left the Agency overly reliant on voluntary contributions,
particularly for nuclear security and safety as well as safeguards.
He highlighted the Commission of Eminent Persons (CEP) report's most
important recommendations, including multilateral nuclear fuel
supply arrangements; substantial increase for the Technical
Cooperation Fund, which should not be a "political bargaining chip";
binding nuclear security standards and a global safety network;
strengthening safeguards, and progress on nuclear disarmament, which
has been on the "back burner for too long." The cost of these
proposals, with a gradual doubling of the IAEA budget by 2020, was
modest, he claimed, weighed against the cost of a nuclear accident
or terrorist attack. ElBaradei concluded by encouraging member
states to "think big and think long-term."

--------------
U.S. Statement
--------------

7. (U) The first speaker in the General Debate, Secretary of Energy
Bodman delivered the U.S. statement and a message from President
Bush. The Presidential message pledged that the U.S. would do its
part to support the Agency's goals, including those outlined in the
CEP report, of strengthening safeguards, and promoting nuclear
safety, security and peaceful nuclear energy. Secretary Bodman
noted three challenges facing the expansion of nuclear power that
need to be addressed in quick order: cost, waste and proliferation.
He also highlighted the Convention on Supplemental Compensation
(CSC), the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) and the Next
Generation Safeguards Initiative (NGSI); and he supported the
establishment of an international nuclear fuel bank, noting the U.S.
contribution of nearly 50 million USD to that effort. Secretary
Bodman advised that the U.S. hoped to ratify the AP by year's end
and reported significant progress in nuclear disarmament, with the
U.S. strategic stockpile at levels equivalent to that of the
Eisenhower Administration. Full text of the U.S. statement
available at www.doe.gov and www.iaea.org.

------
20/20
------

8. (U) Several countries commented on the CEP report and future
direction of the Agency with some expressing reservations about
outsourcing the 20/20 process. The EU advised it is willing to
enter a dialogue on CEP recommendations within the Statutory mandate
of the Agency, but also noted that the CEP does not replace the
Agency's policy bodies. Slovenia and the Netherlands observed that
member states should steer the 20/20 process. Slovenia also
recommended that the IAEA focus on its statutory role while Poland
cautioned against the trend toward politicization of the Agency's
work. Poland supported more emphasis on nuclear energy development
and reliance on the regular budget. The Netherlands attached great
importance to the Agency's future, and was ready to discuss
budgetary implications. The UK, Brazil, Chile, Philippines,
Algeria, Tunisia, Azerbaijan and others welcomed the CEP report as
timely, positive and a good basis for discussion. Norway urged that
we seize this opportunity to strengthen the Agency.

9. (U) Among the G-77, India was critical of the report as needing
"balance" and more of a focus on nuclear energy and practical ideas.
Indonesia also observed that the CEP report did not sufficiently
address issues of concern to developing countries, especially
Technical Cooperation (Note: The report calls for a substantial
increase in TC funding. End note.) Syria underlined that the CEP
report was a non-binding guidance document and that member states
and policy organs would determine the future direction of the
Agency.

-------------
DG Candidates
----------------

10. (U) Japan and South Africa used the General Debate to
enthusiastically support their respective candidates for the next
IAEA Director General, Governor Amano of Japan and Governor Minty of
South Africa. Mozambique also publicly endorsed Minty's candidacy;
the DG race was not otherwise raised in the General Debate.

--------------------- -----
Nuclear Verification: Iran
------------------------ -----

11. (U) Iranian Vice President and Atomic Energy Agency of Iran
(AEOI) Director Agazadeh cancelled his participation in the General
Conference, reportedly to protest the IAEA's toughening stance on
Iran's nuclear program. Iran's statement, delivered by Iranian
Ambassador Soltanieh, charged the IAEA with threatening Iran's
national security on the pretext of verification and at the behest
of a few Western nations. Soltanieh described Iran's nuclear energy
plan and encouraged potential suppliers to participate. He noted
that the fuel enrichment facility at Natanz was almost at the final
stage of construction. In statements widely quoted in the press,
Soltanieh claimed that multilateral fuel assurances failed to
address concerns of developing countries and include
non-discriminatory criteria. Soltanieh insisted that Iran acts in
accordance with its safeguards agreement, and cited negative
developments in the Board of Governors. He urgently called for UNSC
reform and concluded by affirming that sanctions do not deter Iran's
nuclear program and put constraints on negotiations.

12. (U) More than two dozen IAEA members referred to Iran in their
General Debate statements; most were critical with the exceptions of
Cuba and Venezuela. The EU, UK, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Belgium,
Greece, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Norway, Ireland,
Malta, the Philippines and Singapore variously urged Iran to
cooperate with the IAEA (or noted Iran's defiance), implement the
AP/transparency measures, comply with UNSCRs and change course.
Several countries also encouraged Iran to respond to the EU3+3
offer. (Note: Like the U.S., Russia and China did not focus on
verification issues in their GC statements. End note.) The EU
"could not accept Iran with nuclear weapons" and cited the adoption
of UNSCR 1835 that week, as did the UK, Denmark and Australia. The
EU affirmed that as the guarantor of international security the UNSC
was an important partner of the IAEA. Denmark's statement was
particularly strident with respect to the credibility of the UNSC.
The EU also called on Iran to accede to the Convention on Nuclear
Safety before Bushehr goes online. Several interventions supported
the IAEA investigation of weaponization. Germany noted remaining
questions on the possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear
program, while Greece called on Iran to make full disclosure of
weapons development. Australia urged Iran to follow Libya's lead,
and Belgium contrasted Libya's case with those of Iran and DPRK.
Notably, Peru distanced itself from the Tehran NAM Ministerial
statement and supported UNSCRs on nonproliferation.

13. (U) Other national statements, including by some current or
incoming UNSC members, were carefully balanced. Mexico welcomed
positive progress on the Iran work plan and urged Iran to intensify
cooperation and clarify outstanding issues. Thailand also urged
Iranian cooperation but defended NPT rights to peaceful use. Turkey
noted the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran while
sharing the DG's concern that the Agency is not able to verify the
full scope of Iran's program. Ukraine supported constructive
dialogue between Iran and the Agency. Sudan welcomed IAEA
activities in Iran and encouraged a peaceful conclusion. Libya
warned that "threats and confrontation" would not facilitate a
solution and argued against sanctions or use of force. Libya
stressed Iran's right to peaceful use, while calling for increased
cooperation. Indonesia hoped that Iran's program would remain
peaceful and cautioned that sanctions alone would not lead to a
solution. As would be expected, Cuba and Venezuela came to Iran's
defense. Venezuela rejected the UNSC "usurping" the IAEA's role and
argued that Iran should not be singled out, using pretexts to deny
NPT rights. Cuba also cited the IAEA as the only competent
authority to verify compliance without external interference.

--------------------- ------------------
Nuclear Verification: Syria, Libya, DPRK
------------------------ ---------------------

14. (U) In a statement delivered by Atomic Energy Commission
Director Othman, Syria regretted calls by others for more
transparency with the Agency on the investigation. Othman recalled
statements made by the DG and DDG for Safeguards at the September
2008 Board of Governors meeting that Syria was "cooperative and
complied with the procedures agreed upon with the Agency." Othman
noted that Syria will continue to cooperate but not at the expense
of disclosing military positions or threatening national security.
The remainder of Syria's statement was devoted to the issues of a
Middle East NWFZ and "double standard" for Israel.

15. (U) A number of statements raised Syria's cooperation with the
IAEA. The EU urged Syria to answer the IAEA's questions and provide
access, asking that the Secretariat pursue the investigation "until
such time" that it can send a full report to the Board of Governors.
Denmark, Germany, Italy and Australia also called for Syrian
cooperation with the investigation. Australia and Canada expressed
concern about DPRK cooperation with Syria. By contrast, Switzerland
was pleased to see cooperation with Syria and awaited the
conclusions of the IAEA. Malaysia noted that there was no
indication of nuclear material at Al Kibar. Rallying to Syria's
defense, Venezuela described the attack on Al Kibar as a flagrant
violation of international law.

16. (U) Several statements took note of positive developments in
Libya. The EU applauded the "courageous steps" taken by Libya and
Italy expressed satisfaction with Libya's decision to renounce WMD.
Belgium, Italy and others noted Libyan-IAEA cooperation and
transparency and Greece hoped that other member states would follow
Libya's example. Libya expressed support for IAEA safeguards and
focused its statement on peaceful use, nuclear energy and technical
cooperation. Libya also thanked the U.S. and U.K. for the fruitful
work carried out in the days prior, i.e. on the Board of Governors
resolution on Libya's return to routine safeguards, and cited
U.S.-Libya cooperation on a nuclear medicine center.

17. (U) At least 20 General Debate statements, including those of
Japan, Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, Italy,
Turkey, Malta, the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand, sounded
concern about the DPRK's announced halt to disablement activities at
Yongbyon and removal of IAEA seals and inspectors in late September.
The ROK, New Zealand, Singapore and several others called for the
DPRK's return to the NPT and IAEA safeguards. Denmark, Italy,
Ukraine, Thailand and Chile also supported the IAEA's role in DPRK.
The EU called on the DPRK to implement UNSCRs and dismantle nuclear
facilities in a verifiable manner so that the IAEA could be in a
position to assume its full role.

-------------------------
India Nuclear Cooperation
-------------------------

18. (U) India highlighted the Board of Governors' approval of its
safeguards agreement and subsequent NSG exception, which would allow
it to contribute to international civil nuclear cooperation, and
focused on the importance of nuclear energy for sustainable
development and climate change. Israel also welcomed the U.S.-India
civilian nuclear agreement. Germany expected that the India-IAEA
safeguards agreement would bring India closer to nonproliferation
efforts and that India would refrain from nuclear testing. Germany
clarified that its support of the NSG decision was predicated on the
safeguards agreement. The ROK specified that India should implement
its safeguards agreement and the Additional Protocol at the earliest
possible date; Belgium also hoped India would move forward on the
AP. Japan called on India to join the NPT as a non-nuclear state.
Others expressed continued reservations about the India safeguards
agreement and NSG exemption. Switzerland noted that this still
represented a challenge for universality and comprehensive
safeguards. Ireland had "reluctantly" agreed to India's exemption
from full safeguards only after India committed to a moratorium on
testing. Indonesia was the most critical in "deeply regretting" the
NSG decision, which would bring more harm than good to the global
nonproliferation regime.

-------------------------------
Reliable Access to Nuclear Fuel
-------------------------------

19. (U) The General Debate further reflected considerable momentum
and support for Reliable Access to Nuclear Fuel (RANF), which was
also the subject of side events by the Nuclear Threat Initiative
(NTI) and others. The EU confirmed that it was examining the
possibility of making a contribution to the International Nuclear
Fuel Bank (INFB). Russia expected to have all the mechanisms in
place for the international fuel enrichment center at Angarsk by
year's end. However, Russia cautioned that making fuel supply
arrangements subject to political considerations would undermine
support. China also called for multilateral approaches to the
nuclear fuel cycle. The UK noted that it would host a major
conference by March 2009 on assurance of supply. Germany shared the
DG's view that any multilateral mechanism should be
non-discriminatory and in compliance with IAEA safeguards. Other EU
members, including Austria, Denmark and Greece, expressed strong
support for multilateralization of nuclear fuel supply, and Denmark
advocated a crucial role for the IAEA in such a mechanism.

20. (U) Among potential recipient countries, the Philippines viewed
"with interest" proposals on multilateral fuel centers with IAEA
involvement. Ecuador welcomed the rich debate about options for
guaranteeing supply of nuclear fuel, and was prepared to support
viable initiatives allowing countries to benefit from nuclear
energy. Indonesia was also forward leaning in viewing multilateral
mechanisms on fuel supply as a positive step so long as this does
not restrict the right of countries to develop nuclear technology.
Malaysia noted that the establishment of a RANF mechanism should be
based on consultation with all member states and by consensus. Only

Venezuela obliquely rejected "commercial" arrangements that limit
states' options with regard to nuclear power, while Iran portrayed
fuel supply mechanisms as discriminatory toward developing
countries.

-----------------
Middle East NWFZ
-----------------

21. (U) Once again the subject of a Middle East NWFZ would come to
dominate the General Conference. The former GC President (Lebanon)
opened the GC with a call for universal adherence to the NPT in the
Middle East and the establishment of a zone free of WMD. Upon
taking office, the 2008 GC President (Italy) expressed the hope that
a Middle East Forum on the establishment of a WMD-free zone could be
convened during the coming year. For its part, Israel noted that it
had supported establishment of a NWFZ since 1993 and had not lost
hope, but regretted the breakdown of consensus in the GC. This had
led Israel to wonder if the Middle East NWFZ was really the issue.

22. (U) The establishment of a Middle East NWFZ and the "double
standard" with respect to Israel's accession to the NPT/the
application of IAEA safeguards was the focus of interventions by
most Arab states in the General Debate (Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia,
Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Jordan, Lebanon and Sudan) and that of
Iran. Syria portrayed this as the "highest priority" on the agendas
of all international organizations, and Iran blamed the U.S., U.K
and France for Israel's possession of nuclear weapons. Libya also
pointedly warned that Israel's nuclear possibilities could trigger
an arms race in the region. NAM countries led by Cuba, Venezuela,
Indonesia, Malaysia and Ecuador voiced support for a Middle East
NWFZ and the Arab League position. Cuba condemned U.S. technology
transfer to Israel. The Palestinian Observer Mission spoke of
living in the shadow of the unsafeguarded Israeli reactor. Others
such as Afghanistan and Nigeria lent moral support to the concept of
NWFZs, including in the Middle East.

----------------------
Safeguards / AP/ SAL
----------------------

23. (U) The majority of countries underlined their commitment to
strengthening safeguards with particular emphasis on
universalization of the Additional Protocol. EU members, Russia,
China, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Kazakhstan,
Uganda, Albania and Croatia cited the importance of the AP. Spain
regretted that 11 years after the adoption of the Model AP, 104
states have yet to implement it. The UK, Austria and others cited
the failure of 30 countries to conclude safeguards agreements.
Several interventions (Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria, ROK,
Latvia, Israel and others) stressed safeguards compliance, noting
that breaches of safeguards obligations/clandestine activities
necessitated strengthened safeguards. Australia saw safeguards as
the core mission of the IAEA, including with respect to
investigation of weaponization, and cited transparency measures
beyond the AP.

24. (U) In a concrete contribution to Agency safeguards, the Czech
Republic announced during the General Debate that it had officially
offered the Agency premises and capacities for performing analysis
of safeguards samples. The Czech Republic advised that use of or
investment in adequate capacities of countries in the vicinity could
be a cost effective solution for the IAEA in its efforts to upgrade
the Safeguards Analytical Laboratory.

25. (U) In other noteworthy interventions, Saudi Arabia cited
safeguards as one of the main pillars of the Agency but argued that
they be applied without exception (i.e. including Israel). Saudi
Arabia reported that it has met all the legal and constitutional
requirements for implementation of a safeguards agreement, and
Tunisia advised that it would soon ratify an AP. Pakistan also
noted that it would place a uranium conversion facility under Agency
safeguards.

26. (U) Only Egypt cast the AP as a voluntary measure that should
not be generalized and complained instead of the diminishing role of
the IAEA in disarmament. Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia and Indonesia
characterized nonproliferation and disarmament as mutually
reinforcing or inseparable, and the Philippines called for
substantial progress toward both. Nigeria also linked the
transparent and nondiscriminatory application of Agency safeguards
with commitment to disarmament on the part of nuclear weapons
states. Switzerland observed that the NPT Prepcom had demonstrated
this conflict between verification and disarmament. In an apt
rejoinder, Norway argued that concerns about the lack of progress on
disarmament should not be an excuse for or detract from
strengthening safeguards. Kazakhstan also advocated universal
disarmament and Venezuela rejected the existence of nuclear weapons.
In addition, Norway, Ireland, Italy, Armenia and others called for
the CTBT to enter into force.

-----------------
Nuclear Security
----------------

27. (U) Nuclear security was also high on the agenda of the majority
of member states. The EU noted support for the Global Initiative to
Combat Nuclear Terrorism and encouraged participation in the IAEA's
illicit trafficking data base and nuclear security fund (NSF).
Russia announced that it would make a considerable contribution to
the NSF. The Netherlands saw the NSF as a "pivotal" function that
should be funded out of the regular budget, while Denmark, New
Zealand and others also noted contributions to the NSF.

28. (U) Countries from every region (Canada, New Zealand, Pakistan,
Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan,
Latvia, Croatia, Macedonia, Armenia, Poland, Italy, Colombia, Kenya
among others) highlighted nuclear terrorism and trafficking as a
grave threat, and strongly supported the IAEA's efforts in
coordination with other bilateral and multilateral mechanisms.
Pakistan saw verification of safety and security as the primary
objective of the Agency. Morocco called upon the IAEA to use all
the resources at its disposal against the acquisition of nuclear
technology by international terrorist networks. In a direct affront
to Pakistan, Afghanistan observed that AQ Khan and his government
must be accountable for their implication in nuclear proliferation,
and held nuclear states responsible if a terrorist attack should
occur. Libya noted its historic decision to dismantle nuclear
technology that could lead to nuclear terrorism.

29. (U) Denmark cited UNSCR 1540 as a fundamental step forward, and
Saudi Arabia and Ukraine commended the IAEA's role in UNSCR 1540 and
1763 implementation. Italy cited cooperation through the G-8
against nuclear terrorism and supported a ban on fissile material
production, as did Finland. A number of countries focused on
strengthening export controls and regional cooperation. Denmark
cited the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), and Latvia noted
its work with DOE on control of dual use technology. Ukraine
highlighted cooperation through GUUAM, as did Azerbaijan, and with
the U.S. and others in the Global Initiative to Prevent the
Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. In addition, Russia noted removal
of HEU from Vietnam, Poland and the Czech Republic, while the Czech
Republic noted it would fund the transfer of spent fuel from Serbia
to Russia.

--------------
Nuclear Safety
--------------

30. (U) Many interventions strongly supported the IAEA's role in
nuclear safety, in addition to nuclear security. China called upon
the Agency to strengthen the global nuclear safety culture and
advised against complacency in view of several incidents at nuclear
facilities. The EU congratulated the IAEA's work on nuclear safety
standards. Austria expressed concern at efforts to "downgrade" IAEA
safety standards from "highest" to just "standard." Italy observed
that safety and security standards should be global legal
obligations. On the other hand, Finland and others opined that the
Agency's advisory role cannot be a substitute for national
regulatory infrastructure for those developing nuclear power. Many
countries underlined safety as a prerequisite for expansion of
nuclear power, including in the context of the 3Ss (safety,
security, safeguards). India also announced that it is hosting an
IAEA conference on nuclear installation safety in November 2008.

31. (U) A number of countries, including Lithuania, Belgium, the UK,
Finland, Spain and China, drew attention to waste management. The
UK supported deep geological disposal of nuclear waste, and Finland
noted that it is constr]I[:Q-QQ
QYp> power and the
promotion of innovative approaches. The EU announced that it has
developed a global plan on energy and is producing a strategic
report by November 2008. The EU also supported IAEA activities on
INPRO. Russia expected to double its nuclear capacity by 2060 with
the addition of 36 power plants. The UK, Canada and many others
noted the vital and expanding role of nuclear energy. Germany
believed the IAEA's mandate was sufficiently broad and flexible to
support this demand. Only traditional nuclear power opponents such
as New Zealand and Ireland raised reservations about the risks of
nuclear power and the role of the Agency in its promotion.

34. (U) Developing countries such as India and Morocco saw nuclear
energy as integral to meet growing energy needs and for sustainable
development. Countries ranging from Saudi Arabia, Libya, and
Bangladesh to Romania advocated increased Agency support for nuclear
power development. Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Libya
stressed unconditional and transparent support and
non-discrimination in furtherance of NPT rights to nuclear energy.
Several of 50 or so states considering nuclear power addressed their
plans. Kuwait referred to a Gulf Summit declaration on a joint
program among GCC countries for peaceful use of nuclear energy,
noted satisfaction with preliminary feasibility studies, and looked
forward to further IAEA-GCC cooperation. Libya had invited a number
of companies to offer expertise on nuclear reactor technology and
had signed agreements with France, Russia and South Korea. Morocco
noted that it had launched its first reactor in 2007 and supported
technical cooperation with brotherly countries. Turkey planned for
nuclear power to become a major component of its energy mix. Jordan
would like to use nuclear power and is developing a nuclear energy
infrastructure. Malaysia, Thailand, Uganda and Mongolia were
exploring or considering nuclear power; Namibia saw it as a prospect
and Ghana as a long term option (Ghana is holding its first workshop
in early 2009.) The Dominican Republic sought IAEA assistance on
nuclear power and noted an agreement with Cuba on training staff.

35. (U) Bulgaria, Armenia and Kazakhstan noted their participation
in the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP). OECD countries were
also more vigorously pursuing nuclear power. Italy noted the
adoption of legislation to allow the production of nuclear energy.
Lithuania noted it is expanding nuclear power with a new plant
expected by 2016, and supported TC for nuclear power development.
Finland is building a new plant and considering others. Canada
expressed renewed interest in a thorium-fueled reactor. Spain was
completing a study on its nuclear power needs through 2030.

36. (U) States were cognizant of the proliferation risks associated
with nuclear energy expansion. In addition to Japan, Nigeria
advocated adherence to international legal and regulatory
requirements for 3s (safety, security and safeguards). Saudi
Arabia, Romania, Brazil and several others underlined the role of
Agency safeguards in this expansion. Russia noted that it was
important to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons technology, and
China supported the right to nuclear power for those in compliance
with nonproliferation obligations.

----------------------
Technical Cooperation
----------------------

37. (U) Noting that it was the leading contributor to technical
cooperation (TC), the EU called for a substantial debate to ensure
its effectiveness and efficiency of TC and equitable geographic
distribution, including to LDCs. Other donor nations such as Canada
also voiced strong support for TC. Many national statements
(Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Botswana, Bosnia, Croatia, Ghana,
Libya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Mongolia, Vietnam
and others) focused on the importance of TC in general or TC
projects in respective countries. The Program of Action for Cancer
Therapy (PACT) drew universal praise, and the African Regional
Cooperative Agreement for Research (AFRA), cooperation with the
African Union on tsetse fly eradication (AU-PATTEC), and the Sterile
Insect Technique (SIT) received accolades from African countries.
Ethiopia gave the highest priority to the SIT program, which was at
a decisive stage, and thanked the U.S., China and Japan for their
support. Continuation of IAEA-FAO cooperation in the Joint Division
also drew support from Poland, Norway and Ethiopia, among others.

38. (U) Egypt, Indonesia and Guatemala made traditional calls for
"balance" between safeguards and TC and among the Agency's three
pillars. Others such as Malaysia called for predictable and assured
funding for TC, incorporation of TC in the regular budget, and the
establishment of criteria for TC fund targets. Cuba once again
lambasted the U.S. blockade, which it blamed for difficulties in
implementing TC projects.

----------------
Scientific Forum
----------------

39. (U) The two-day Scientific Forum on the margins of the General
Conference was devoted this year to the "Future Role of the IAEA and
chaired by former Dutch PM Ruud Lubbers. Four panels considered the
IAEA's role in nuclear energy; development; safety and security; and
non-proliferation. Among the 21 panelists, including government
officials, NGOs and academics, was U/S of Energy and NNSA Deputy
Administer William Tobey, who addressed the Next Generation
Safeguards Initiative (NGSI). Opening the Forum, DG ElBaradei
related these topics to the 20/20 exercise and the Commission of
Eminent Persons report, reiterating many of the points from his
introductory remarks to the GC. The first session on nuclear energy
included calls for increased IAEA budget and legal authority and
focused on the Agency's support role in nuclear power development.
Thailand presented an excellent case study on infrastructure and
capacity building, and other participants addressed fuel cycle
approaches and waste management. The only distraction was an
intervention from an Iran during the Q&A in defense of its nuclear
program, which was finally cut off. The second panel on development
and technical assistance was the most "scientific" of the four,
including talks on cancer treatment and water resources. During the
panel on safety and security, some participants proposed that the
IAEA play the role of an international regulator; most however,
favored harmonization of safety and security standards. In the
final panel on safeguards, Chairman Lubbers pushed for international
acceptance of the AP and criticized U.S.-India nuclear cooperation
as a possible failure of the NPT. Other speakers also suggested the
expansion of the IAEA role to include verification of disarmament.

40. (U) Taking on the DG's challenge to "think big and think
long-term," the Scientific Forum Chairman's report to the GC sought
to inform and enrich the views of member states with inputs from a
variety of stake-holders on the Agency's future. The Director
General's 20/20 report and the Commission of Eminent Persons report
provided a starting point for the discussion. The Forum report
focused on the Agency's role as the global leading actor on
non-proliferation; its important role on nuclear energy, safety and
security; and the IAEA's strategic but more modest contribution to
development assistance. The Forum took note of greater demands on
the safeguards system with the expansion of nuclear energy and fuel
cycle activities, and nuclear security challenges. This
necessitated greater efficiency and effectiveness of Agency
safeguards and other innovations, including multilateral approaches
to the fuel cycle. Although the Forum report recognizes that the
IAEA is not the lead forum on disarmament, it recommends that the
Agency be prepared to respond to the technical needs of verification
in this domain. The second part of the report on meeting energy
needs in a safe and secure manner focuses on the challenges
accompanying the nuclear renaissance, including Agency support for
"newcomer" countries as well as solutions for waste management, the
back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle and innovation. The report
recommends a stringent approach to safety and security to enable
this renaissance, and sees the Agency as playing a leading, expanded
role in harmonization of standards. The final section on
development assistance highlights the Program of Action for Cancer
Therapy (PACT), the contribution of the FAO-IAEA Joint Division to
food security, and Agency research on isotope hydrology. The report
recommends enhanced technical cooperation in partnership with other
organizations.

41. (SBU) In conclusion, the Chairman's report recommends
consideration of greater resources to meet the Agency's dual mission
for development and security so that it may remain "ahead of the
curve." The "vital messages" from the Forum focus the need for more
technical assistance to member states and enhancement of nuclear
technology for development, and the Agency's role in ensuring that
all nuclear facilities meet the 3S (safety, security and safeguards)
requirements. (Comment: As has become increasingly the case, the
Scientific Forum was less "scientific" and more "political"; this
year's focus on the future of the Agency only reinforced the trend.
The DG used the Forum as yet another platform for the 20/20 process
in the hopes of advancing his agenda. We expect to see some of the
Scientific Forum's recommendations creep into discussions of the way
forward in the 20/20 process. End Comment.)

PYATT

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC