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10. September 2015

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

AGENDA ITEM (8A): APPLICATION OF IAEA SAFEGUARDS IN THE MIDDLE EAST

My delegation would like to thank the Director General for his report contained in document GOV/2015/45 and associates itself with the statement delivered by the Permanent Representative of Iran, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Madame Chairperson

During the recent Special Board of Governors held on 25 August 2015, an overwhelming majority of Member States welcomed the agreement reached by the Islamic Republic of Iran and the E3/EU+3 on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Indeed, the agreement was applauded as an important milestone in strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime in the Middle East region. However, the goal of creating a region free of nuclear weapons remains elusive for as long as the 1995 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) resolution on the establishment of the Middle East Zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction is not implemented.

Madame Chairperson

South Africa has consistently reiterated its full support for the centrality of the objectives of the NPT, particularly the balance between its three pillars of nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. South Africa continues to be a strong advocate for the universalization of the NPT towards the achievement and maintenance of a world free of nuclear weapons, and has on several occasions called upon States that are not party to the NPT, including Israel, to join the Treaty. Along with this, South Africa has also expressed support for the establishment of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East and has called upon Israel to accede to the NPT and to place all its nuclear facilities under IAEA full-scope safeguards without delay. This in South Africa’s view would contribute towards achieving peace and security in the region.

I thank you.

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