Topnews, Statements

11. September 2018


AGENDA ITEM 5: Strengthening the Agency’s Activities Related to Nuclear Science, Technology and Applications  


My delegation associates itself with the statements delivered on behalf of the G77 and China and the African Group respectively and I would like to make the following remarks in my national capacity.

We also associate ourselves with the statement delivered by the Governor of Germany on behalf of the Co-chairs of the Friends of ReNuAL.


South Africa welcomes the on-going support provided by the Agency to African Member States under the AU-PATTEC initiative.

Similarly, my delegation further welcomes the support provided for the planning and implementation of Sterile Insect Technology (SIT) activities in several African countries since the last General Conference. It is important for collaboration to be fostered through AU-PATTEC in eliminating or controlling tsetse-transmitted trypanosomosis in African countries.


The African Animal Trypanosomosis continues to affect livestock and continues to pose a major constraint to socio-economic development in many countries of sub-Saharan Africa, especially in the rural areas where poverty and lack of infrastructure are most acute. To continue to address this problem, my delegation appeals to Member States to continue to provide technical, financial and material support to the AU-PATTEC initiative.


South Africa is proud to inform the Board of its newly approved project: “Supporting the control of Nagana in South Africa using an Area-Wide Integrated Pest Management approach with a SIT Component – Phase I”.

Nagana is an animal disease transmitted by the Tsetse fly that affects cattle livestock in communal farming areas in large parts of the KwaZulu-Natal region in South Africa. The SIT has been successful at controlling Tsetse flies in other parts of the world, and it is envisaged that this initial phase of the project will be pivotal in assessing its feasibility on controlling the Tsetse fly population in KwaZulu-Natal.

As a developing country, South Africa knows the value of using atoms for our development and we are slowly changing the narrative around the use of nuclear for peaceful uses and encompassing both nuclear power and non-nuclear power applications.  During the World Malaria week held in April this year, information on malaria transmission and control including the potential use of SIT was disseminated to the greater Jozini community in Kwa-Zulu Natal, using various media platforms.


South Africa is proud to be associated with the ReNuAL Project and together with Germany co-Chair the Friends of ReNuAL.  Since the inception of this project, we have been pleased to witness the support provided by Member States to this landmark project which, once completed, will transform the nuclear application laboratories in Seibersdorf to world class facilities.

Significant milestones have been achieved over the past year towards the completion of this project.  As we advance towards the completion of the projects (both ReNuAL and ReNuAL +), it would be remiss of us not to acknowledge the important role played by Deputy-Director General Malavasi and his team for their tireless efforts in ensuring the successful implementation of this project. 

We also wish to thank all Member States and donors who made contributions towards these projects, to date to the tune of Euro 32 Million as extra-budgetary support.  However, more resources are required to finalise the projects by the end of 2019.  We therefore call on all Member States, in a position to do so, to make financial contributions towards this goal.


South Africa hopes that the Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology will generate robust discussions on nuclear science, technology and applications for peaceful uses and their delivery to Member States mainly through the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation programme and that the Conference will yield tangible outcomes. We thank the Co-Chairs – Costa Rica and Japan - for their efforts in preparing a draft programme as well as in convening four informal consultations so far.


South Africa is pleased that the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Network (VETLAB) is commemorating 6 years this year and that it has now been successfully extended to 44 African and 19 Asian Member States.  This expansion reaffirms the need expressed by Member States for the Agency’s services in the utilization of nuclear techniques to the improvement of human and animal health, food safety, food security and enhancing the quality of food production. The VETLAB project is another illustration of how working together as Member States, in close collaboration with the Agency, we can harness the peaceful uses of the atom in the interest of human progress. This network of laboratories has greatly contributed to capacitating   Member States in their emergency preparedness to effectively deal with trans-boundary animal and zoonotic diseases.

As one of the countries, together with Japan and the United States, which provided the initial funding for the establishment of the Network project in 2012, South Africa is pleased that the Network has achieved tremendous progress and its impact is felt across regions, including the African continent. Therefore, South Africa welcomes the Agency’s continued contributions to strengthening regional capacities using the VETLAB network. The importance of resource mobilization in support of this network cannot be overemphasised. In this regard, we call upon Member States and donors in a position to do so, to make financial contributions.


With these remarks, my delegation takes notes of the Strengthening the Agency’s activities related to Nuclear Science, Technology and Applications Report as contained in document GOV/2018/29-GC(62)/4.

Thank you, Chairperson.

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