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H.E. Ambassador Erfani Delivers Statement to the IAEA 59th General Conference

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Vienna, 16.09.2015

On September 16th, H.E. Ambassador Erfani delivered a statement to the 59th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He began by welcoming the newest members of the IAEA family, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, and Turkmenistan. Ambassador Erfani noted the importance of the General Conference for sharing information and evaluating opportunities to address issues of international peace and nuclear safety and security. He noted the importance of nuclear science and technology to the development of Afghanistan and for achieving the goals of the National Unity Government under the Country Program Framework (2012-2016). Ambassador Erfani was pleased to report that the Parliament of Afghanistan has ratified Afghanistan’s Nuclear Act, drafted by the Afghanistan Atomic Energy High Commission (AAEHC) with the IAEA’s assistance on 10 September 2015.

Ambassador Erfani noted the importance of the relationship and technical cooperation between the IAEA and Afghanistan and said that, “Recent technical cooperation projects between Afghanistan and the IAEA revolved around three key projects: The establishment of a Radiation Oncology Centre; a Radiology Diagnostic Centre; and Radiotherapy and Radiology Services in Kabul. Afghanistan appreciates the support that has been received from the IAEA technical cooperation projects and looks forward to the expansion of such cooperation in future projects.” Ambassador Erfani reaffirmed Afghanistan’s commitment to continued efforts to further develop the institutional and regulatory framework required for peaceful nuclear technology applications. He reaffirmed that, “Afghanistan continues to fully support the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free-zone in the Middle East and respective consultations to achieve this goal. We emphasize the central role of the IAEA in this process. The Government of Afghanistan welcomes any confidence and security building measures in this region, as well as any similar positive steps towards elimination of WMD arsenals.” Ambassador Erfani concluded by welcoming the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed between the IR of Iran and EU3+3  on 14 July 2015 and added that, “We congratulate the IR of Iran, the United States and the other negotiating partners on the historic outcome, and we encourage all sides to take every effort for the implementation of this agreement.”

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Statement by H.E. Ayoob M. Erfani Resident Representative and Head of Delegation at the IAEA 59th General Conference

Mr. President,

Director General,

Excellencies,

Let me start by congratulating your Excellency, Ambassador Filippo Formica on your election as President of this year’s General Conference. Also, I wish to thank Ambassador Aliyar Lebbe Abdul Azeez for presiding in such a great manner over last year’s General Conference and I wish him every success in his future endeavors. I thank H.E. Director General Yukiya Amano for his statement and for the Annual Report 2014 and congratulate him on his outstanding leadership. My delegation also commends the strong efforts of the IAEA Secretariat.

The delegation of Afghanistan welcomes Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados and Turkmenistan to the IAEA family. We are confident that the new members will have a mutually beneficial relationship with the organization.

Mr. President,

The annual General Conference provides a fresh opportunity for all of us to learn from the past developments, evaluate our opportunities and address the evolving and protracted challenges we are facing in international peace and nuclear safety and security, which remain vital for the security of our global village.

Afghanistan, a founding member of the IAEA, started to benefit from IAEA’s excellent co-operation as early as 1959, and we continue to do so in our ongoing joint efforts in developing nuclear applications and technology in the country. Therefore, today I will focus on further expansion of nuclear applications in Afghanistan through strengthening the technical cooperation between Afghanistan and the Agency.

As Afghanistan completed the transition and has entered its Decade of Transformation (2015-2024) towards a self-reliant economy, nuclear science and technology will have a crucial role in achieving the National Priority Programs of the Government of National Unity of Afghanistan, during the coming years of transformation. The Country Program Framework (CPF) 2012-2016 has already enabled cooperation between Afghanistan and the Agency in seven key areas, namely:

1) Legislative and regulatory framework; 2) human health; 3) agriculture and food; 4) water resources management; 5) energy planning; 6) nuclear analytical capability; and 7) human capacity building.

These policy issues remain vital in achieving our goals as set out in our national development agenda and NPPs throughout the Decade of Transformation. I can also report that the Parliament of Afghanistan has ratified Afghanistan’s Nuclear Act, drafted by the Afghanistan Atomic Energy High Commission (AAEHC) with the IAEA’s assistance on 10 September 2015. Afghanistan with the IAEA’s support is about to finalize draft regulations for radiation safety in the areas of 1) waste management and 2) the transport of radioactive materials.

Mr. President,

The Agency’s technical cooperation activities are of great importance for Afghanistan and our entire region, and Afghanistan therefore considers it essential that the resources of the Technical Cooperation Fund be sufficient, assured and predictable. Recent technical cooperation projects between Afghanistan and the IAEA revolved around three key projects: The establishment of a Radiation Oncology Centre; a Radiology Diagnostic Centre; and Radiotherapy and Radiology Services in Kabul.  Afghanistan appreciates the support that has been received from the IAEA technical cooperation projects and looks forward to the expansion of such cooperation in future projects.

On our part, we are committed to continuing our efforts to further develop the institutional and regulatory framework required for peaceful nuclear technology applications, through leading role of the AAEHC in the country. Training and capacity building remains a key component of the efforts being made by the AAEHC. The IAEA has provided considerable capacity building opportunities to the AAEHC in the form of fellowships and training courses. However, still a lack of funds indicates the need for further cooperation and support by the IAEA and the international community at large and we hope that donors are able to contribute sufficient funds for these important programmes.

I wish to reemphasize that Afghanistan attaches great importance to the IAEA’s technical cooperation projects under the CPF and remains confident that more effective use of various activities under the CPF will have greater impact. We wish to encourage increased transfer of know-how and additional capacity-building programmes from countries with advanced nuclear and radiological standards, which could also serve as an important step in shifting from mere assistance to strong cooperation.

We highly commend the efforts of the IAEA in assisting developing countries in gaining further access to nuclear science and technologies and we believe this must be a priority for the post-2015 development agenda, especially on the eve of the UN Sustainable Development Summit (25-27 September 2015) and due to the importance of access to energy in poverty reduction and improving health and livelihoods. As Director General Amano has rightfully stated in his statement on Monday, there are obvious links between the activities of the IAEA and the new goals, including human health, water management, food security, nutrition, protection of the environment, and energy. We cannot overemphasize the importance of technology and science for our development, welfare and progress.

Mr. President,

Afghanistan welcomes the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed between the IR of Iran and EU3+3 in Vienna on 14 July 2015. We congratulate the IR of Iran, the United States and the other negotiating partners on the historic outcome, which will enhance security and stability in our region and beyond, and we encourage all sides to take every effort for the implementation of this agreement. Safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear energy, science and technology will contribute to global peace, security and development.

Afghanistan continues to fully support the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free-zone in the Middle East and respective consultations to achieve this goal. We emphasize the central role of the IAEA in this process. The Government of Afghanistan welcomes any confidence and security building measures in this region, as well as any similar positive steps towards elimination of WMD arsenals.

Afghanistan – a prime victim of international terrorism – strongly supports all efforts towards strengthened global nuclear security. We recognize that the global security framework is constantly changing. The IAEA must have the full support of all member states in order to be able to fulfill its mandate.

Mr. President,

I wish to conclude by reiterating the importance of continued cooperation between Afghanistan and the IAEA and its member states in the future and we are grateful for all the assistance we have received thus far.

Thank you, Mr. President

Ambassador Erfani Delivers Statement at IAEA Board of Governors on E3/EU+3 and Iran Nuclear Agreement

Attachment 1

Vienna, 25.08.2015

H.E. Ambassador Erfani delivered a statement at today’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors on Verification and Monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Ambassador Erfani thanked IAEA Director General Amano for his report and expressed Afghanistan’s support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), aiming at a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue and the essential role of the IAEA in this regard.

Ambassador Erfani applauded the efforts of the negotiators who facilitated the JCPOA and urged member states to fully cooperate with the IAEA for successful implementation of the JCPOA and the road-map signed by the IAEA and Iran.

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Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani to the IAEA Board of Governors on Agenda Item 6 (d): “Implementation of the NPT safeguards agreement and relevant provisions of United Nations Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran”

Madam Chairperson,

Let me start by thanking the Director General, Mr. Yukiya Amano, for his report under the agenda item 6 (d) “Implementation of the NPT safeguards agreement and relevant provisions of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran”, as contained in document GOV/2015/15.

We fully associate ourselves with the statement of the Non-Aligned Movement delivered by the distinguished Ambassador and Resident Representative of the IR of Iran but wish to make the following remarks in our national capacity:

We welcome the continued cooperation between the Agency and our brotherly nation the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the latest meeting that took place between Director General Amano and authorities of the IR of Iran, where it was agreed to continue dialogue with a view to resolving all outstanding issues related to Iran’s nuclear programme.

Afghanistan underscores the inalienable right of all states for access and use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, reiterates its traditional position and expresses its strong support for the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free-zone (NWFZ) in the Middle East, as well as all other steps aimed at elimination of all weapons of mass destruction and global nuclear disarmament.

Afghanistan supports the Agency’s continued efforts to undertake monitoring and verification of the Joint Statement on the Framework for Cooperation and of the Joint Plan of Action, and commends all parties involved in the ongoing negotiation process; we are positive that with continued political and diplomatic means from all sides a sustainable compromise can be reached.

Afghanistan welcomes the achieved progress and remains hopeful that all outstanding issues, past and present, can be solved in the foreseen timeframe, which is essential to fully restore international confidence toward the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme. We encourage all IAEA Member States to contribute positively to diplomacy and dialogue on this and all other matters important for all of us.

Let me also take this opportunity to welcome the application of Turkmenistan for membership of the IAEA. We look forward to welcome our sisters and brothers from Turkmenistan to the IAEA family, and we will closely cooperate with Turkmenistan in the spirit of our excellent neighborly relations.

Thank you, Madam Chairperson

Ambassador Erfani addresses the IAEA’s meeting with National Experts

 Ambassador Erfani addresses the IAEA’s meeting with National Experts 

Ambassador Erfani with IAEA experts and the Afghan Delegation

Ambassador Erfani with IAEA experts and the Afghan Delegation

Vienna, 06/02/2015

Ambassador Erfani addressed the organisers and Afghan delegation in Vienna for the IAEA National Experts Meeting to Design and Formulate Technical Cooperation National Projects of Afghanistan for 2016-2017, at the VIC today. The meetings were held from 2-6 February and it was a great opportunity for the delegates to discuss furthering technical cooperation in Afghanistan. Ambassador Erfani addressed the closing session noting the important achievements Afghanistan has made for the past decade, such as the establishment of the Independent Nuclear Energy Commission and how far Afghanistan has come in terms of capacity building in the country, with the assistance of the IAEA, especially in the areas of safety, agricultures and human health. He mentioned that Afghanistan’s priority of strengthening the quality control of X-Ray equipment; radiological monitoring; energy planning; using atomic energy in water, soil and crop improvement; and the Aliabad teaching hospital telemedicine program, among others, are all of great importance as we moved towards improved capabilities and capacities in the country. We appreciate the active cooperation and partnership of the IAEA with Afghanistan in these fields.

Additionally, this week Ambassador Erfani was kept busy with a number of pressing issues: He met with academic Ms. Edit Schlaffer (Women without Borders, Sisters against Violent Extremism) to discuss empowerment of women in Afghanistan, making reference to the successful women’s employment project in Kunduz. They discussed her organisations and possibilities for cooperation with Afghanistan in the future; and the OSCE’s engagement with Afghanistan and neighbouring countries.

On Tuesday Ambassador Erfani met with Ambassador Launsky, head of the Austrian Foreign Ministry’s Department of Development Cooperation to discuss Austria’s furture possible involvement for development projects in Afghanistan and they also discussed including the issues related to the Kunduz project on womens empowerment.

On Wednesday, Ambassador Erfani attended a brainstorming session at the OSCE to prepare for a Security Days discussion on how the OSCE could enhance its efforts to promote tolerance and non-discrimination, as one way to help to prevent the growing challenge of religious related violence in the OSCE region and expressed Afghanistan’s position. Ambassador Erfani noted the importance of the sensitisation of all people to religious diversity and promotion of tolerance and respect for all people. At the meeting he condemned the brutal killing of the Jordanian pilot this week at the hands of extremists.

On Friday, Ambassador Erfani met with the head of the UNODC Terrorism Prevention Branch (TPB) and his team, to discuss UNODC projects in Afghanistan and how the UNODC can be more actively implement these projects in the country. They exchanged views on the future of cooperation and the mandate of the UNODC and Afghanistan’s National Priority Programs. He thanked the UNODC’s continued participation in  Afghanistan’s stabilisation process.

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Statement of Ambassador Erfani at the IAEA General Conference

Mr. President,

Director General,

Excellencies, 

At the outset, I would like to congratulate your Excellency, Mr. Alyar Lebbe Abdul Azeez of Sri Lanka on your election as President at this year’s General Conference. We thank Director General Amano for his statement and for the Annual Report 2013and congratulate himonthe excellence displayed in his continued leadership of this organization, which has proved a fruitful partnership for developing countries’ socio-economic development, including my country Afghanistan. We also commend the strong efforts of the IAEA Secretariat to this end.

 

The delegation of Afghanistan welcomes the Union of the Comoros, the Republic of Djibouti, The Co-operative Republic of Guyana and the Republic of Vanuatu to the IAEA family. We are confident that the new members will have a mutually beneficial relationship with the organization.

 

Mr. President, 

The IAEA General Conference is a great opportunity for all of us to come together to address the developments of the past year and to discuss the continued challenges we face in international peace and nuclear security. Transparency and cooperation in the areas of nuclear power and security are vital to ensuring that our world remains safe and healthy for future generations. Though, efforts in developing nuclear applications are relatively new in Afghanistan, we have greatly benefited from our co-operation with the IAEA. Therefore in my remarks I will focus on the current status of nuclear applications in Afghanistan in particular the ongoing technical cooperation between Afghanistan and the Agency.

As Afghanistan is preparing for the Decade of Transformation (2015-2024) towards a self-reliant economy, nuclear science and technology will have a crucial role in achievingour national development agenda during this critical decade and beyond. The Country Program Framework has already facilitated cooperation between Afghanistan and the Agency in some of the important areas and sectors such as radiological safety and nuclear security infrastructure; human health in particular cancer control; agriculture and food; water resources management; energy planning and human resources development which remain key to achieving our goals as set out in our national development agenda throughout the Decade of Transformation.

Mr. President,

On our part, we are committed to continuing our efforts to further developthe institutional and regulatory framework required for peaceful nuclear technology applications. Today, I have the pleasure to have with me, Mr Nazifi,Director General of the Afghanistan Atomic Energy High Commission (AAEHC)who has been leading such efforts in the country. Training and capacity building remains a key component of the efforts being made by the AAEHC.The IAEA has provided considerable capacity building opportunities to the High Commission in the form fellowships and training courses.However, still a lack of funds indicates the need for further cooperation and support by the IAEA and the international community at large.

The Agency’s technical cooperation activities are of great importance for Afghanistan and our entire region, and Afghanistan therefore considers it essential that the resources of the Technical Cooperation Fund be sufficient, assured and predictable. Taking this opportunitylet me express Afghanistan’s appreciation for all the contributions pledged to the Technical Cooperation Fund for 2015. Afghanistan greatly appreciates the support and assistance that has been received from the

IAEA under various technical cooperation projects and looks forward to the expansion of such cooperation under future projects.

Over the past year, the main focus of technical cooperation between Afghanistan and the IAEA has been on three key projects, with a number of others in the initial developing stages. The establishment of a Radiation Oncology Centre; a Radiology Diagnostic Centre; and Radiotherapy and Radiology Services in Kabulare extremely important to Afghanistan, as there are no cancer-related diagnostic and therapeutic services anywhere in the country and rare are the patients who can afford to travel abroad for treatment. The IAEA and Afghanistan have been successfully engaged in this project since 2005 which has resulted in the completion of the relevant bankable document in 2013. The project document is now ready for submission to the donor community. Fundraising is therefore crucial for the implementation of this important project. Under this project,

Seven fellowships were recently approved by the IAEA for the Afghan candidates to receive a specialized training in diagnostic radiology. As there is no suitable training platform for specialists in this field in the country, such fellowships and training programs for the Afghan candidates are vital to ensure that the center, when operational, will possessthe requiredspecialists to maintain the standard of the hospital. Also, to ensure that those specialists who have been trained in the past can be kept up to date on new advances in technology, we would appreciate the IAEA’s assistance in facilitating our expert’s attendance at regional conferences and facilitating the donation of

specialist equipment such as for mammography and ultrasounds to ensure the high quality of the services provided at the center.

The second key project is the development of the draft regulations of Afghanistan for the Safety of Radiation Sources. The first draft ‘Nuclear Law of Afghanistan’ is under review and we hope that it soon will be ratified. The relevant Afghan authorities and experts, with close consultation with the IAEA are working to make the regulations more focused on health and agriculture and a working plan has been created to lead the way for the projected completion of the project by the beginning of 2015. However, we continue to need experts from the IAEA to support us throughout this project to improve the regulations from a technical perspective and to assist with further training of the relevant Afghan team and the relevant AAEHC staff in general.

Thirdly, concerning the Radioactive Source Regulatory Infrastructure Development Project (RIDP),the bilateral meeting on the implementation of the RIDP in Afghanistan took place in Vienna, from 26 to 27 May 2014. The discussions in the meeting were focused on different elements of the current status of Afghanistan’s radiation safety regulatory infrastructure with the objective to identify gaps and priority needs, and to develop an initial short term action plan to be implemented accordingly under the RIDP project.

In this regard let me reiterateAfghanistan’s strong commitmentto the implementation of its safeguard agreements with the IAEA. We are following this subject closely and hope to improve cooperation on this subject to a further extent in the coming year.

Mr President,

Afghanistan fully supports the establishment of the Middle East WMD Free Zone and respective regional consultations to achieve this goal. We emphasize the central role of the IAEA in this process. The Government of Afghanistan welcomes any confidence-building measures in this complex region, as well as any similar positive steps towards elimination of WMD arsenals. Afghanistan supports all efforts to convene the Helsinki Conference prior to the 2015 NPT Review Conference, which would contribute to a reliable non-proliferation regime.

Mr President, 

Afghanistan as a prime victim of international terrorism strongly supports all efforts geared at strengthened global nuclear security. We understand that the security framework is constantly changing. Therefore, the IAEA, having a central role in ensuring nuclear security, must have the full support of all member states, in order to be able to fulfil its mandate. Afghanistan looks forward to the Nuclear Security Summit to be held in the United States in early 2016 and to the IAEA International Conference on Nuclear Security to be held in December 2016.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to mention the excellent work of the CTBTO and the VCDNP here in Viennaand call on their continued and possible increased training and capacity building opportunities.

Mr. President,

Before closing, let me reiterate that Afghanistan attaches great importance to the IAEA’s technical cooperation projects under the Country Programme Framework and remains confident that more effective use of various activities under the CPF will have greater impact. We certainly would like to encourage increased transfer of know-how and more capacity-building programmes from countries with advanced nuclear and radiological standards, which could also serve as an important step in shifting from mere assistance to proper cooperation.  We value the efforts of the IAEA in all areas in assisting developing countries in gaining further access to nuclear technologies and we believe this must be a priority for the post-2015 development agenda, due to the important role access to energy plays in poverty reduction and improving health and livelihoods in developing nations.

I wish to conclude by reiterating the importance of continued cooperation between Afghanistan and theIAEA in the future and we are grateful for all the assistance we have received thus far.

Thank you, Mr. President

 

 

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani at the IAEA Board of Governors on Strengthening of the Agency’s technical cooperation activities

 

Mr. Chairman, Mr. Director General Amano

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Firstly, allow me to congratulate you, Mr. Chairman, on your able guidance of this session and I assure you of my delegation’s full support for a successful outcome.

We align ourselves with the statements made by the Non-Aligned Movement and the Group of 77 and China, and would like to make a few brief remarks in our national capacity.

We commend the Co-chairs of the Working Group, the distinguished Ambassadors of France and Kenya, for their effort to prepare the timely repot on Financing the Agency’s Activities (WGFAA).

We highly value the role of the IAEA in promoting development of the peaceful and responsible applications of nuclear technology. We encourage the Agency to further enhance its role in attaining the Millennium Development Goals and in the Sustainable Development Goals framework.

Afghanistan appreciates the efficient and effective management of TC activities and encourages enhanced usage of updated Results-based Management techniques. Accountability and transparency are vital for the successful implementation of TC activities and we would like to advocate for greater participation of LDCs in the Agency’s TC programmes.

We would also like to highlight the importance of proper assessment of national requirements, while fostering cross-border and regional cooperation activities, also in cooperation with other international and regional organizations.

We are aware of the fact that many donor countries are facing challenging times in terms of budget constraints, yet we would like to recall the importance of timely payments. Afghanistan is committed to implement its TC projects.

Finally, let me express once again our appreciation for the technical cooperation activities of the IAEA, in particular the excellent work of Asia Pacific Division with Afghanistan, and we remain dedicated to our excellent cooperation with the Agency’s Secretariat.

 

Thank you

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani at the IAEA Board of Governors on Agenda item 6.

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani at the IAEA Board of Governors on  Agenda item 6. (e) Implementation of the NPT safeguards agreement and relevant provisions of United Nations Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran

H.E. Director General Yukiya Amano,

Mr. Chairman,

Excellencies,

We thank Director General Amano for his report on the “Implementation of the NPT safeguards agreement and relevant provisions of United Nations Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran” as contained in document GOV/2014/28. We are pleased on the ongoing  further ecouraging  progress contained in DG’s report,  and reitrate our full  support to the Agency’s monitoring and verifying role on the implementation of JPA between the I. R. of Iran and the Agency  on I.R of Iran’s nuclear Programme.

The Government of Afghanistan welcomes the substantive cooperation between the Agency and the I.R. of Iran, as well as the agreement by the I.R. of Iran to implement five additional practical measures, as a sign of renewed collaboration. Afghanistan congratulates the IAEA for its successful work in this regard, and we look forward to the Agency’s assessment. We also welcome the useful meetings of the I.R. of Iran with the Group of 5+1 and several rounds of talks with EU delegations. We encourage persisting gaps to be bridged and open discussions to be pro-actively continued.

Afghanistan supports a mutually-agreed long-term comprehensive solution, achieved through diplomacy, dialogue and substantive negotiations. In this context, we welcome all efforts towards resolving all outstanding issues.

 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

 

 

 

 

Ambassador Ayoob Erfani addresses IAEA General Conference

H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani, Permanent Rep to the UN and Resident Representative of Afghanistan to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is heading the delegation of Afghanistan to the IAEA’s 57th annual regular session of the General Conference, held in Vienna from 16 to 20 September, 2013.

In his address, Mr. Ambassador Erfani stressed the importance of the IAEA General Conference as both key international forum to reflect on today’s challenges, and venue for dialogue on secure and peaceful uses of nuclear applications and technologies, and he added that “Afghanistan, on the basis of its policy of multilateralism through strong regional and international cooperation, is ready to do its part for the success of the IAEA mandate”. Furthermore, Mr. Ambassador outlined future priorities of the Government of Afghanistan in its cooperation with the Agency, ranging from technical cooperation, in particular in the area of human health, capacity-building, and nuclear and isotopic applications in the fields of agriculture and water resource management.

Also, Mr. Ambassador emphasized that Afghanistan will remain a strong advocate of strengthened nuclear safety regimes: “Potential trans-boundary impacts of nuclear accidents remind us of the universal nature of the issue of nuclear safety.” At the same time, Afghanistan recognizes the danger of nuclear or similar radioactive materials being used in terrorist attacks and therefore supports all measures geared at reinforced global nuclear security. Ambassador Erfani also noted that robust safeguards and verification mechanisms are a prerequisite for nuclear disarmament and invites all concerned IAEA Member States to “take further steps towards nuclear disarmament”, while pledging Afghanistan’s continued commitment towards regional and international cooperation. In closing, Mr. Ambassador Erfani extended his appreciation to all those IAEA Member States which have generously contributed to the technical cooperation fund, thereby enabling implementation of vital projects in Afghanistan.

Links:
www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/2013/gc57convenes.html
www.afghanistan-vienna.org                                                                                        -END-

The International Conference on Nuclear Security “Enhancing Global Efforts”

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani, Permanent Representative to the IAEA and Head of the Delegation of Afghanistan, at the IAEA’s International Conference on Nuclear Security: Enhancing Global Efforts.

Please check against delivery

Your Excellency Dr. János Martonyi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary,

H.E. Yukiya Amano, Director General of IAEA,

Excellencies and Ministers,

Dear colleagues,

At the outset I would like to congratulate you Mr. President, for assuming the chairmanship of this Ministerial Conference and assure you of my delegation’s full support for a successful outcome of this session.

I wish to extend my appreciation to the IAEA Director General H.E. Yukiya Amano and his team for organizing this first International Conference for enhancing global efforts on Nuclear Security.

Furthermore, let me commend the hard work of our two dear colleagues and their team for coordinating the preparatory process of this Conference, Ambassador Balázs Csuday of Hungary and Ambassador Laércio Antonio Vinhas of the Federative Republic of Brazil.

Mr. President,

After decade of International Community’s joint efforts to combat terrorism, Afghanistan, as a frontline fighter against, and prime victim of this menace, believes that terrorism remains a challenge and that possible terrorist activities utilizing nuclear and radiological technologies constitute a major threat and causes growing concern.  The terrorist elements will not stop their crimes against humanity, including the use of weapon of mass destruction, if they were to acquire these weapons.

Afghanistan attaches particular importance to a multilateral approach, with the central supporting and facilitating role of the IAEA toward all matters concerning nuclear security, with a view to reinforcing security of nuclear sites around the globe and to invigorating national security regimes in order to prevent illicit acquisition of nuclear and other radioactive material.  The Government of Afghanistan welcomes the progress that has been made in recent years in this regard, including the implementation of international instruments.  Nonetheless, we are still facing a number of tremendous challenges that urgently need to be addressed, including physical protection of facilities, material, and means of transportation.

Therefore, we consider this first ministerial segment, in the wake of Washington and Seoul Summits and on the eve of next year’s summit in The Hague, as a very timely initiative to build on the progress achieved, study the remaining challenges, and make specific recommendations to enhance the international cooperation on nuclear safety and security.  These efforts remain vital for the peace, security and stability of all nations.

Afghanistan expects that the Nuclear Security Plan for 2014 to 2017 will comprise a broad spectrum of robust norms and practices to secure nuclear materials.  The IAEA shall play a major role in setting security standards and developing an international framework for nuclear security.  We would also like to encourage the allocation of larger resources for the Agency’s Nuclear Security Fund and increased coordination between the IAEA and the United Nations and Interpol’s Nuclear Terrorism Prevention Unit, while avoiding overlap and duplication.

Mr. President,

Afghanistan has taken specific measures at the national, regional and international levels to be an active part of International Community against terrorism, including the IAEA’s activities on the areas of nuclear security framework.

Afghanistan has joined all regional and international protocols, conventions and instruments against intentional terrorism, implementing relevant UNSC resolutions in this regard as well as the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy.

The Government of Afghanistan calls upon all countries, and specifically those in our region, to join and implement all anti-terrorism international instruments, to maintain the most effective, meticulous security of all nuclear material under their control.  All disposable measures must be taken to prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear and radiological weapons.  We recognize the ongoing work of the IAEA to assist all efforts to implement national nuclear security regimes and encourage all States to make use of such assistance offered.

Afghanistan also wishes to emphasize the importance of aligning nuclear security and safety measures, in order to establish a holistic approach, in due consideration of the growing threat of cyber-attacks, towards protection of human health and the environment.

Each State has the responsibility to ensure that an effective national nuclear security regime is in place, and that rapid and effective incident response is guaranteed. Operators and response forces must make sure that their mechanisms work as intended.  In order to achieve sustained momentum to reinforce nuclear security, we must create a clear and consistent framework of structured agreements, mechanisms, guidelines and best practices. Afghanistan supports all activities aimed at the promotion of confidence among IAEA Member States.

Mr. President,

Afghanistan has not developed a nuclear power industry, yet derives considerable benefits from its IAEA membership. In recent years, officials from the Afghan Atomic Energy High Commission (AAEHC) and other government bodies including the Ministries of Agriculture, Public Health, Water and Energy, Mines as well as the National Environmental Protection Authority (NEPA) and the Academy of Sciences, participated in consultation and technical meetings hosted by the Agency.

Afghanistan, from its daily experience as a Landlocked, Least Developed Country and War Stricken country, remains confident that with enhanced technical assistance provided by the IAEA, we shall be able to build our necessary capacity and attain full implementation of our prioritized technical cooperation programmes.  We must ensure that nuclear and radiological technologies both satisfy our needs and meet the highest safety and security standards.

Mr. President,

Afghanistan has adopted national laws, established national institutions, created law informant agencies/units and still needs technology and technical assistance to build its capacities in the field of nuclear security infrastructure. The IAEA trains personnel from our regulatory authority, assists with development and implementation of revised legislation, regulations and guidelines, accession to international legal instruments, adoption of codes of good practice, a system of authorization, review and assessment, as well as inspection for facilities and activities using ionizing radiation. Afghanistan strongly believes that effective nuclear security regimes also require, enhanced regional and international cooperation, including sharing of information and know-how and technology transfer.

In conclusion Mr. President, I would like to reiterate Afghanistan’s strong commitment to be an active part of international community’s joint efforts in the field of nuclear safety and security for the cause of a more peaceful and stable world.

Thank you.