Chinese Statement on item 8: Creation of a Special Committee on Safeguards and Verification
The Chinese delegation wishes to thank the Secretariat for circulating the document GOV/2005/11 on the creation of a special committee on safeguards and verification. Due to the late distribution of the document, we, like many other Board members, still need more time for an in-depth study of it. Here, I would like to express some preliminary views.
China supports all efforts aimed at strengthening international regime against nuclear proliferation, including adoption of necessary measures to improve existing mechanisms to make the Agency’s safeguards more effective. We are open to the relevant ideas and proposals and willing to participate actively in the relevant discussions. At the same time, we are of the opinion that, in discussing the proposal for the creation of a special committee on safeguards and verification, the following elements should be taken into careful account and addressed appropriately:
1) Creation of this committee is complex work, having implications on a number of issues ranging from the Agency’s Statute to the existing mechanisms operating in the Agency and relationship with member states, etc. Therefore, the work should be pursued in an open and transparent manner, views of all sides should be fully taken into account, equal participation of all sides should be ensured and maximum representation should be achieved.
2) The Board of Governors is the main policy-making body of the Agency. The proposed special committee should be a meaningful supplement to the Board, the main mandate of it should be providing advice and recommendations to the Board. It should notr interfere with, or weaken, the role and the status of the Board.
3) For a long period of time, the Safeguards Department and SAGSI of the Agency have done tremendous effective work in preventing nuclear proliferation and played an important role in the maintenance of international and regional security. We are of the view that creation of any new institution should fully address and properly handle its relations vis-à-vis the existing mechanisms. Any reform of the Agency’s work should be carried out within the framework of the Statute. Duplication of mandate in relation to the existing mechanisms of the Agency should be avoided.
4) Prevention of proliferation of nuclear weapons and promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear energy are two major objectives clearly established in the Agency’s Statute and the two are mutually complementary. Creation of the special committee should not be done at the expense of the balance between the two major objectives of the Agency, namely, prevention of proliferation and promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Consequential diversion of resources for promotional activities should be avoided.
Since this is the first time that the Board of Governors is formally discussing the issue of creating a special committee on safeguards and verification, the conducive views of various sides expressed in the discussion should be noted with due attention. We hope that, through broad consultations, the Board of Governors will achieve agreement on the specifics in relation to the special committee at an early date.
Thank you, Madam Chairman.