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03. Juni 2013

Statement by Ambassador Xolisa Mabhongo, Resident Representative/Governor of the Republic of South Africa, International Atomic Energy Agency, Board of Governors, 3-7 June 2013



My delegation associates itself with the statements delivered by Ambassador Mahmoud Hasan El Amin of Sudan on behalf of the G77 and China and by the Chair of the African Group and thanks the Director General and his staff for the comprehensive overview of IAEA activities as presented in the Annual Report for 2012.


South Africa appreciates the valuable contribution by the Agency in supporting developing countries to use nuclear science and technology to address national development needs. My delegation continues to attach great importance to the promotional role of the Agency, as set out in Article II of the IAEA Statute, aiming to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world.

In this context, the IAEA’s TC programme has provided strategic benefits to developing countries, particularly in the African region, and made a meaningful contribution to sustainable socio-economic development.  The Agency is supporting  South Africa  to build national capacity,  through a project studying the impact of probiotics and people living with HIV/AIDS,to determine anthropometric status as a crucial aspect of monitoring nutritional status and morbidity.  Assessing the Sterile Insect Technique for Malaria Mosquitoes’ is another TC project in South Africa which aims to ascertain the feasibility of using mosquitoes reared under laboratory conditions in prospective SIT suppression programmes against malaria transmitting mosquitoes. The project is part of the Nuclear Technologies in Medicine and the Biosciences Initiative managed by the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) and has made good progress in 2012.

My delegation welcomes the continued efforts made by the Agency to collaborate with other stakeholders through the UNDAFS and to build regional partnerships to maximize the impact of development projects.  The work of the IAEA/FAO Joint Division at the Seibersdorf Nuclear Application Laboratories is fundamental to ensuring the Agency’s unique contribution to development programmes.  My delegation welcomes the progress made towards the modernisation of the nuclear application laboratories at Seibersdorf and calls on all Member States to continue their support for the modernization to ensure that the valuable work of the IAEA/FAO joint division can continue.


The Virtual University for Cancer Control and Regional Training Network (VUCCnet) Africa is an example of how the Agency can build capacity in radiation medicine in a cost effective and sustainable manner through the setting up of a regional cancer training and mentorship network. South Africa is one of the mentor countries and we  congratulates the Agency through PACT on the successes achieved with this pilot programme, which entered its second phase in 2012 with the adoption of a policy harmonization framework by the six participating Member States.  We look forward to the expansion of the project to other countries in Africa and encourage the Agency to duplicate VUCCnet in other regions.

South Africa appreciates the continued support of the Agency under the African Regional Co-operative Agreement for Research, Development and Training (AFRA). South Africa has benefited from its participation in national and regional AFRA projects in this regard.  AFRA will also play a significant role in the implementation of the African Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone treaty, the "Pelindaba Treaty", which will further expand the contribution of nuclear science and technology on the African continent in co-operation with the IAEA.


Global security of energy supply has become one of the key focus areas worldwide, mainly because of decreasing natural resources, global warming, climate change, pollution and rapid global growth. Facing the challenge of increasing energy demands, countries like South Africa are looking towards nuclear in their energy mix. My delegation acknowledges the increasing role the IAEA will be playing in the future in its support for countries who are embarking or expanding their nuclear energy programmes.

South Africa continues to work closely with the Agency in preparation for our nuclear build. An Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) Mission was conducted at the beginning of 2013 upon South Africa’s request. This INIR Mission provided an external assessment of our readiness, and apprised South Africa of all the risks and gaps that need attention in order to ensure a successful nuclear build programme.


My delegation welcomes the activities undertaken by the Agency to increase nuclear safety in 2012 and notes the progress that has been made in several key areas pertaining to nuclear safety since the adoption of the ‘Action Plan’. We support all the Agency’s activities that strengthen global nuclear safety and believe that the purpose of enhancing nuclear safety should be to positively contribute to the development and utilization of nuclear technology for peaceful uses.

We welcome the IAEA International Conference on Nuclear Security to be held in July 2013, where all Member States will have the opportunity to engage on matters that are of global importance. In our efforts to raise the awareness around nuclear security we should remain cognisant of the fact that only the verifiable and irreversible elimination of nuclear weapons will ultimately prevent the use of such weapons.



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