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08. March 2016

JOINT STATEMENT BY THE CO-CHAIRS OF THE FRIENDS OF RENUAL DELIVERED BY AMBASSADOR TEBOGO SEOKOLO, GOVERNOR/RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA TO THE IAEA, BOARD OF GOVERNORS, 7-11 MARCH 2016, VIENNA, AUSTRIA

AGENDA ITEM 3b: RENOVATION OF THE NUCLEAR APPLICATIONS LABORATORIES IN SEIBERSDORF (RENUAL)

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to take this opportunity to address the Board on behalf of the Co-Chairs of the Friends of ReNuAL, South Africa and Germany.

We extend our gratitude to you, Mr. Chairman, for including a substantive item on ReNuAL on the agenda of this Board. This is indeed a positive development, and one that will no doubt continue to raise the profile of this project and give impetus to its completion.

1. The ReNuAL project is of crucial importance to the fulfilment of the Agency’s statutory obligation to facilitate the peaceful application of nuclear technologies and nuclear derived technologies. The Nuclear Applications Laboratories at Seibersdorf are the seat of the development and application of these technologies aiming to tackle a diverse range of challenges facing Members States – from human health to food security.

2. The urgency of achieving full funding for ReNuAL and the implementation of the maximum possible project scope has been highlighted by the outbreaks amongst others, of Ebola and recently the Zika virus. As you are all aware, through the nuclear application laboratories in Seibersdorf, the IAEA plays a pivotal role in supporting Member States’ efforts in stemming the tide against these diseases. However, these laboratories require an urgent upgrade for them to play an even more meaningful role.

Mr. Chairman,

3. As indicated by the Secretariat, the ReNuAL project needs around Euro 31 million to be completed. To date there is a need for Euro 6.5 million to reach our target. There is good and steady progress but we need to keep our eyes on the ball as we progress towards the finishing line.

4. We understand from the Secretariat that the building construction is presently scheduled to start in early June 2016 with the construction of the new Insect Pest Control Laboratory  and we are further pleased to note that the project remains on schedule to deliver this building by the end of 2017.

5. As the Co-Chairs of the Friends of ReNuAL, Ambassador Däuble and I note with appreciation that the number of Member States, that have made concrete contributions, pledges and in kind contributions, has risen to 21. Some countries have donated new equipments that will expand or improve the services of four of the eight NA laboratories.

6. More Member States have indicated that they are seriously considering further contributions and we look forward to hearing from these States as soon as possible. For the construction to commence in June as planned, there is an urgent need to secure the outstanding 6.5 million Euro.

7. We would like to appeal to all countries to lend their support, irrespective of the amount, to this project in order to ensure its successful completion by the end of 2017, as planned.

8. As you are all aware, during the last General Conference, we as Member States passed a resolution to host a “Ministerial Conference in 2018 on nuclear science, technologies and applications for peaceful uses, and their delivery to Member States through the Agency’s TC programme, while highlighting their future contribution to sustainable development”.  It is in this context that we are eager to showcase the refurbished, fit-for-purpose nuclear applications laboratories and the role that they can play to support Member States in using nuclear technologies for peace and development.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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