UK Statement to the 64th International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference

Nadhim Zahawi MP

Mr President,

Congratulations on your appointment as President of this Conference.

The UK commends the Agency’s efforts to continue its critical work throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and we were pleased to contribute £500,000 to the Agency’s provision of testing equipment to member states in real need.

The IAEA plays a key role in implementing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty – a cornerstone of international peace and security.

Having left the EU, the UK remains committed to robust nuclear safeguards and our new bilateral agreement with the Agency ensures this. The UK supports strengthening the global safeguards regime, ensuring it adapts to new challenges. I urge all states to ratify the Additional Protocol.

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The UK strongly supports the JCPOA and is working hard to preserve the agreement given its importance to non-proliferation and security. The UK calls on Iran to come back into compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA, and we are grateful to the Director General for his dedication in monitoring this agreement.

Mr President,

The IAEA’s role supporting member states implement the highest standards of nuclear safety and security is vital. I was delighted to attend this year’s International Conference on Nuclear Security. We must continue working together to realise the commitments in the Ministerial Declaration.

The UK champions access to peaceful uses of nuclear technologies, and I am proud to pledge our contribution of €3.9 million to the Agency’s 2021 Technical Cooperation Fund. We encourage the IAEA to help Least Developed Countries benefit from this Programme and to ensure that the Agency’s work is coordinated with the wider UN family, focussing on the Agency’s comparative advantage, and attracts new, non-traditional donors too.

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As we look toward COP26 in Glasgow next year, we must put climate at the heart of the recovery from COVID-19. That is why the UK has legislated for achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, recognising the key role of nuclear in achieving this ambitious goal.

We have committed £100 million to the development of small and advanced modular nuclear reactors and technologies, unlocking thousands of green jobs. The UK commends DG Grossi for his leadership on climate change and I am pleased to announce that we will provide funding for the IAEA’s research into the scourge of marine plastics.

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We thank the DG for his commitment to improving gender diversity in nuclear and are pleased to support the Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellowship Programme.

The UK will continue to give the Secretariat, and the Director General, our full and wholehearted, support.

Thank you very much indeed.


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