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08. September 2015

STATEMENT DELIVERED BY AMBASSADOR TEBOGO SEOKOLO, GOVERNOR/RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE OF SOUTH AFRICA TO THE IAEA, BOARD OF GOVERNORS, 7-11 SEPTEMBER 2015, VIENNA, AUSTRIA

AGENDA ITEM 4: NUCLEAR SECURITY REPORT

Madam Chairperson,

The South African delegation associates itself with the statement delivered on behalf of the G77 and China by the Permanent Representative of Chile.

My delegation would like to thank the Director General and the Secretariat for the preparation of the Nuclear Security Report, Equally we would like to express our gratitude to the DDG Flory for his contribution to the work of the IAEA and the informative technical briefing on the report held in August 2015.

Madam Chairperson,

It is South Africa’s view that nuclear security must be tackled within the international community’s broader efforts to promote nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and the advancement of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In promoting nuclear security, it is our strong conviction that the fundamental question of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences and risks of a nuclear weapons detonation should guide our efforts in this regard.

While South Africa believes that it is the fundamental responsibility of States, in accordance with their respective obligations, to maintain effective security over all their nuclear and other radioactive materials, including materials used in nuclear weapons, and nuclear facilities under their control the IAEA has a central role to play in strengthening the and coordinating international activities and in avoiding overlap and duplication in this regard. In so doing, we emphasize the principle of multilateralism in promoting these efforts and thus look forward to the Agency’s International Conference on Nuclear Security scheduled for December 2016.

Madam Chairperson,

In turning to the substance of the report, South Africa applauds the Agency’s efforts to promote nuclear security during the period under review.  However, in so doing, it is important that due consideration be taken in ensuring an adequate balance between the Agency’s activities in the promotional and non-promotional arena.

Further, South Africa is encouraged that the Agency, during the reporting period, continued to facilitate adherence to international instruments relating to nuclear security, in particular the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM), which is aimed at strengthening the international norm governing the protection of nuclear material. We note that there has been a general increase in the number of Member States that have acceded to the 2005 Amendment to this Convention and can report that South Africa is at an advanced stage of the ratification process.

Madam Chairperson,

In conclusion allow to highlight some of the activities which took place in South Africa in collaboration with the Agency:

The IAEA INSSERVE mission was hosted by South Africa in July 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. The purpose was to further the discussions related to border monitoring  of nuclear and other radioactive material out of regulatory control with the aim of determining South Africa's needs in relation to the Detection at ports of entry.
The Mission assessed South Africa's needs around border monitoring as well as the IAEA approach and how it could be useful to South Africa.

The importance of a threat assessment and detection strategy was highlighted. A Draft Action Plan highlighting  SA needs in both short and long term,  taking into account elements such as training, response during detection, provision of both fixed and portable handheld equipment, maintenance and repair, communications, threat and risk assessment.

Further South Africa hosted an International Training Course on Nuclear Material Accounting in March this year, which raised awareness on a need for a system of nuclear material accounting and control at nuclear facilities that is effective in detecting and deterring theft or unauthorized removal of nuclear material. South Africa together with the IAEA hosted an interregional training course in conditioning Category 1 and 2 disused sealed radioactive sources in September 2014, with participants from 11 countries across the globe.

In addition, South Africa participated in a various meetings and activities hosted by the Agency in its efforts to enhance nuclear security. South Africa is engaged in a project to integrate the direct borehole disposal of sealed radioactive sources in conjunction with the IAEA, which will provide Member States with a one stop waste management solution to enhance the safety and security of disposal of sealed radioactive sources. We are also engaged in a nuclear forensic project in conjunction with the IAEA and other international organisations, which is progressing well.  

South Africa takes note of the 2015 Nuclear Security Report and recommended action.

I thank you.

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