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Cablegate: Geneva Group Moves to Implement Iaea Rules On

VZCZCXYZ0007
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHUNV #0664/01 3570727
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 220727Z DEC 08
FM USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8861
INFO RUEHXX/GENEVA IO MISSIONS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHII/VIENNA IAEA POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 0394
RHEBAAA/DOE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEGGTN/DEPT OF ENERGY GERMANTOWN MD PRIORITY
RUEHFR/USMISSION UNESCO PARIS PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1425

UNCLAS UNVIE VIENNA 000664

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

FOR IO, T, ISN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: IAEA AORC KNNP TRGY UN PREL SZ
SUBJECT: GENEVA GROUP MOVES TO IMPLEMENT IAEA RULES ON
PROCEDURES INVOLVING EXPENDITURE

1. (SBU) Summary: This is a guidance request (see paragraph
7). Geneva Group members have reached consensus to request
the IAEA Secretariat to report in writing on the financial
implications of resolutions introduced for consideration by
the Board or General Conference. Such reporting conforms
with IAEA rules that are already in place but not
implemented. Geneva Group Members view the implementation of
these rules as a component of good governance, and hope that
a short summary of the costs involved might focus Member
States, attention on resolutions that actually add value
rather than promote politics. Mission has considered the
possibility that some Member States could use written cost
estimates to complicate important safeguards verification
resolutions by complaining about or diverting attention to
the costs involved. Notwithstanding this concern, post
recommends joining Geneva Group consensus and conveying a
paper requesting the implementation of the rules (together
with the UK as Geneva Group co-chair) to Deputy Director
General Waller. End Summary.

2. (SBU) The 16 members of the Geneva Group have agreed in
principle to send a letter to the IAEA Secretariat requesting
the implementation of Rule 34 of the &Rules of Procedure of
the Board of Governors8 and Rule 67 of the &Rules of
Procedure of the General Conference.8 The Rules state that
all proposals involving expenditure by the Agency &shall not
be voted upon in the absence of a report from the Director
General on the administrative and financial implications of
the proposal.8

3. (SBU) In practical terms, implementing Rules 34 and 67
would require the Secretariat to provide a short report
outlining the approximate costs of any resolution heading for
a vote or decision. Currently, the Secretariat makes no
reports, but rather keeps a budget representative on hand in
the Board Room or General Conference to answer questions
orally.

4. (SBU) Post does not know why Rules 34 and 67 have never
been implemented (though most General Conference resolutions
now include a sentence affirming that implementation of the
resolution &be subject to the availability of resources8).
Similar rules regarding written cost estimates apply at the
UN in New York and are known as Program and Budget
Implication reports (PBIs). According to Geneva Group
members, similar reports are also employed at other
international organizations.

5. (SBU) The Swiss have attempted to encourage this type of
financial reporting at the IAEA for the better part of a
year, most recently by informally floating the proposal on
the margins of the September Board of Governors meeting (the
U.S. and other like-minded Member States indicated general
support for the so-called &Swiss proposal8). The
Secretariat resisted, however, and the Swiss reluctantly
opted against raising the issue in the Board plenary and risk
engaging in a last-minute and doomed battle with the Director
General. Since then, the Geneva Group has taken up the issue
and concluded that the application of Rules 34 and 67 would
not be overly time-consuming or bureaucratic, and could
accomplish the following goals:

- Improve the quality and transparency of debate while
reducing the number of resolutions that are frivolous and/or
overly politicized.

- Give the Secretariat an opportunity to explain the
consequences of Member States, actions.

- Enhance the accountability of the Secretariat in its
implementation of program and budgeting decisions.

6. (SBU) More privately, Post is concerned that Board Rule 34
in particular could be used to hold up safeguards
verification resolutions in the Board of Governors.
Emphasizing costs is an effective way to reduce enthusiasm
for any proposal, and Rule 34 would make for a convenient
tool. A Secretariat financial projection on a resolution
requiring the continuation or expansion of investigative
efforts could conceivably contain grist for resolution
opponents to pick it apart or misdirect the debate. For
example, Iran, Syria and their NAM supporters would very

likely adopt such tactics relative to any proposed resolution
on their portfolios. Because Rules 34 and 67 are identical,
it is intellectually problematic to implement General
Conference Rule 67, imposing a documentary requirement on the
Secretariat, without doing the same on Board Rule 34.

7. (SBU) Comment and Recommendation: Mission views the
implementation of Rules 34 and 67 as contributing to our long
term goals of transparency in international organizations.
Despite concerns that Rule 34 could be used against us in
certain contexts, Mission recommends joining Geneva Group
consensus and conveying a letter to the Secretariat by
December 24 requesting the implementation of Rules 34 and 67.
Mission requests guidance to do so.

SCHULTE

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