Statement by Ambassador Yukiya Amano
at the Board of Governors Meeting
on 4th March 2009

Agenda Item 5: Appointment of the Director General

Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

At the outset, I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to the Chairperson for her sincere and extensive efforts in facilitating the process of the appointment of the Director General. It is my great honor to have the opportunity today to address the Board and to express my views as a candidate for the post of Director General of the IAEA.

Madam Chairperson,

I would like to start by explaining my basic positions regarding the Agency and the Director General's role. I believe the primary role of a Director General is to serve the fundamental objectives enshrined in the Statute, that is, the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and the promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, including technical cooperation. If elected, I will pursue these objectives in a balanced manner.

Let me elaborate further my views on these objectives.

First, with regard to nuclear non-proliferation, I will stand firm against the spread of nuclear weapons. As I come from a country that has the experience of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I am deeply convinced that a nuclear catastrophe should never be repeated. The safeguards regime should be further strengthened and Additional Protocols be implemented by as many countries as possible. Utmost efforts should be made to address diverse nuclear issues such as those of Iran and the DPRK. If I am entrusted with the role of Director General of the IAEA, my solid commitment to nuclear non-proliferation will be fully reflected in my administration of the Agency.

Second, in the field of technical cooperation, I have been involved in diverse assistance projects across the world over the last 15 years. Allow me to highlight just some of these. In the regional context, I have actively associated myself in the activities of the RCA, by offering a variety of training courses related to nuclear application. I am proud of having contributed to the establishment of the Asian Nuclear Safety Network, a framework to boost nuclear safety through regional co-operation. My experiences though, reach beyond the Asian region. Following the Chernobyl accident, I took the initiative to shut down Unit no. 3 of the facility as the Chairperson of the then G7 Nuclear Safety Group. It was also my pleasure to play a role in the efforts to eradicate the Tsetse Fly both on the Zanzibar island and in the Southern Rift Valley in Ethiopia. Recently, I have been personally involved in the mobilization of both financial and human resources of Japan to the Program of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT). If elected, I will draw upon my experiences to further promote technical cooperation.

Madam Chairperson,

We are now faced with a world economic crisis, and simultaneously, with a rapid increase in demands for the Agency's activities. The next Director General will inevitably need to tackle unprecedented tasks in terms of management. Good management skills are, therefore, all the more necessary at this juncture. Furthermore, I believe that ensuring good management of the Agency is the responsibility of the Director General himself.

Now, how can we optimize the financial situation of the Agency in the years to come? At any rate, it is imperative that the new Director General makes every effort to use the available funds in the most effective and efficient manner. Clear priorities should be set out and pursued using a result-based approach. The Agency should also strengthen partnerships, use voluntary contributions where appropriate, achieve maximum efficiency gains and identify innovative funding mechanisms. By combining all of these measures, I hope an optimal balance can be attained between the needs to be met and capacities of Member States to contribute.

Let me now turn to the question of management. First, in my view, there is room for further improvement in relation to communication between the Secretariat and Member States, and also within the Secretariat itself. Second, the younger generation, women, underrepresented and non-represented states should be given more opportunities. Third, visiting laboratories and nuclear power plants for example, and listening to the views of engineers and scientists are very useful in understanding how best the Agency can serve the interests of Member States.

Madam Chairperson,

In all of these areas that I have briefly touched upon, a better use of science and technology is a key component to success. Technology, if employed properly, can facilitate and advance the Agency's activities in all areas, ranging from technical activities to Verification and even to Management. With its highly qualified staff, the Agency is, beyond doubt, best placed to identify useful technologies in each area. Science and technology will bring about peace and prosperity for human beings, both outside of and within the nuclear field. I will explore further possibilities in this direction by giving high priority to science and technology.

Madam Chairperson,

Though the main objectives remain unchanged, the Agency should constantly reinvigorate itself in order to tackle the new and outstanding challenges it faces. These include the strengthening of the safeguards regime, including the implementation of Additional Protocols by as many countries as possible, diverse nuclear issues such as those of Iran and the DPRK, technical cooperation, both in the power-related area and for the application especially in the fields of health, food, and water management, nuclear renaissance, approaches related to nuclear fuel supply assurance, nuclear terrorism, nuclear safety, and the further improvement of management. I shall address these issues as priority areas, if elected.

Before concluding I would like to add that, if elected, I will not seek to serve a third term.

Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

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