Statement by Ambassador Eve-Külli Kala, Resident Representative to the IAEA at its 2010 General Conference 54th Session in Vienna
September 22, 2010
On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Estonia I would like to congratulate you on your election as President of this 54th General Conference. Let me assure you our full support in your efforts in conducting this conference and making it a success.
With the consensus agreement reached at the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) Review Conference freshly in mind, I dare to expect that the same spirit will last throughout our meeting here in Vienna. While welcoming the success of New York, we must build on the momentum, stay focused, and fully implement the commitments made in the final document and the action plan.
Fully associating with the European Union statement, delivered by the Minister of Climate and Energy of Belgium, Mr. Paul Magnette, I would like to use this opportunity to add and briefly highlight some key points for Estonia.
Estonia acknowledges that promoting nuclear non-proliferation and ensuring the non-diversion of nuclear technologies while advancing the use of nuclear science is indeed a challenging task.
We share the view that the international safeguards system of the IAEA is an essential part of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime. Estonia regards the comprehensive safeguards agreement together with additional protocols as an important confidence-building measure that represents the universal standard for nuclear verification. We have enforced these essential instruments and support the call for universalisation of the additional protocols urging all countries that have not yet done so, to conclude and enforce it.
Estonia attaches great importance to a high level of nuclear safety worldwide. It is important to ensure that any development of nuclear energy takes place under the best possible safety, security and non-proliferation conditions. We remain committed to advocating IAEA safety standards and call on Member States with nuclear activities to become contracting parties to the relevant safety conventions without delay.
The Atoms for Peace mandate affirms our confidence in peace and development. It affirms our confidence that nuclear technology should be developed only for peaceful purposes, and that nuclear safety and security is ensured.
I would like to reiterate Estonia’s support to the further development of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and the right of each country to define its own energy strategy. We believe in responsible, sustainable, environmentally friendly, safe and secure nuclear energy production. Presently we are seriously considering the introduction of nuclear power in Estonia either by participating in regional projects or establishing our own nuclear power plant. It would help to meet our goal of securing our energy needs in a way that responsibly takes into account our climate-related commitments. We comprehend that this is a delicate technical exercise, which, if carried out, has to be done carefully and responsibly, and in full compliance with the Agency’s comprehensive set of safety standards as well as the EU’s nuclear safety directive.
In appreciation of the Agency’s technical cooperation activities, I would like to express Estonia’s gratitude to the Technical Cooperation Fund (TCF) for supporting our national projects addressing radiation therapy and nuclear medicine. Based on this valuable knowledge and experience gained, we are now in a position to provide training courses for the medical experts of a number of countries in close cooperation with the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Department.
I am pleased to note that this cooperation will be further enhanced by signing the Country Programme Framework for 2010-2015 during this General Conference, the content of which will be available for all Member States. I hope this triggers reciprocal steps from other partners as well in order to promote transparency in this field.
We believe that fair access to Technical Cooperation Programme can be an effective contribution to the achievement of Millennium Development Goals. This is the commitment we have made and the responsibility that we share. Estonia has fulfilled its obligations to the IAEA budget in a timely manner and made voluntary pledges to the Technical Cooperation Fund. We encourage our partners to do likewise.
Finally I would like to underline one simple truth: in our ongoing pursuit towards a more peaceful, more stable, and less weaponised world, every single human being must act responsibly. Like Mr. Albert Schweitzer said in his famous Nobel-speech, delivered in 1954: “only when an ideal of peace is born in the minds of the peoples will, the institutions set up to maintain this peace, effectively fulfil the function expected of them.“
Thank you, Mr. President