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General Debate: Effects of Atomic Radiation (25th October)

Mr. Chairman,

Argentina associates itself with the statement made by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on behalf of the States Parties of MERCOSUR and Associated States and will hence limit this intervention to highlight some concepts in its national capacity.

Argentina wishes to renew its full appreciation for the work of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) under the chairmanship of Dr. Carl-Magnus Larsson, whose opening presentation we gratefully acknowledge and performance we value, as well as the work done by the Secretariat.

Argentina has been a dynamic Member State of the Scientific Committee since its establishment in 1955 by General Assembly resolution 913 (X), having actively collaborated with the work of this unique Scientific Committee. We believe that that resolution was one of the most important resolutions adopted by the General Assembly on scientific research since it supported international independent research on the global levels and effects of ionizing radiation. In this sense, we must remember that the Scientific Committee has had and continues to have a major role in the scientific support of the suspension of nuclear weapons tests.

Mr. Chairman,

We are grateful for the report of the 60th session of the Scientific Committee held in Vienna from 27 to 31 May 2013, and contained in document A/68/46, which we have studied carefully. Argentina supports the contents of the report and is a cosponsor the draft resolution to be considered by this General Assembly on this issue of great importance to our country.

This new report of the Scientific Committee under consideration of the General Assembly follows the tradition of high scientific level of the Committee's work. My Delegation fully supports this report and would like to underline some particular issues considered in the report.

First, the Argentine Government wishes to highlight the reference contained in the draft resolution to the studies conducted by the Scientific Committee on the levels and effects of the nuclear accident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station and the effects of radiation exposure on children. Argentina considers that these developments are really meaningful and contribute, from a technical viewpoint, to shed light on these issues which were identified as priorities in 2012.

In this sense, my Delegation would like to draw the attention to the preliminary nature of the results obtained by the Committee in its studies on the subjects mentioned, a nature highlighted by the reports themselves. We hope that the Scientific Committee will continue its efforts to complete such studies and achieve a comprehensive understanding of the important issues under consideration.

On the other hand, we positively note the fact that the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency, through its resolution GC (57)/RES/9 adopted in 2013, has renewed the request to the Director General of the IAEA to complete a comprehensive report on the Fukushima Daiichi accident, urging him to take into account the findings of the Scientific Committee. We are of the view that the Committee should continue its work on this issue and bring it to the attention of the IAEA to contribute to the completeness and quality of the report in question.

We noted with particular interest the information contained in the Report on the work on radiation exposures from electricity generation. The Scientific Committee reports to the General Assembly that it examined the progress made on this issue and that it learned that significant progress had been made in the review and update of the existing assessment methodologies, as well as that electronic spreadsheets were being developed to implement the methodology used with a view to assessing radiation exposures of different groups of populations from electricity generation.

We would like to reiterate that we believe that the work of the Scientific Committee on this project should be given priority. We hope that the final document will be ready to be analyzed at the 61st session of the Committee so that it can be submitted to the next session of the General Assembly.

To conclude, Mr. Chairman, allow me to reiterate, once again, Argentina’s strong commitment with the work of the Scientific Committee and the high scientific level of its work.

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Fondo argentino de cooperación sur-sur y triangular