Statement delivered by the Permanent Representative of the Argentine Republic, Ambassador Maria del Carmen Squeff
In first place, allow me to thank Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi for the complete presentation of the Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency, as well as the Delegation of Canada for presenting draft resolution L.9, which Argentina is co-sponsoring and through which it is General Assembly to analyze and take note of the aforementioned Report.
Argentina recently celebrated 70 years since it began its nuclear activities. Throughout these seven decades, the country has developed a nuclear program dominating the different instances of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle and consolidating itself as a reliable exporter that bets on research, development and innovation of nuclear technology for peaceful uses, as a state policy regarding nuclear energy and its applications.
We celebrate the professionalism with which the Secretariat, inspectors and all the staff that make up the Agency, under the leadership of Mr. Rafael Mariano Grossi as Director General (DG), have carried out their functions in face of the current COVID-19 pandemic. This commitment has allowed the Agency to continue to fulfill its main statutory responsibilities, despite the difficulties imposed by the context.
At the same time, thanks the IAEA for the assistance provided in the field of equipment and protection kits for the rapid detection of COVID-19. This aid has contributed significantly to strengthening national capacities in response to the current pandemic that affects all of us.
The Agency plays a fundamental role in promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear technology, a path that has been chosen by Argentina as a form of national scientific-technological development.
Nuclear energy is essential to achieve a future of sustainability and energy, and in this sense the work of the IAEA must be weighed and valued by the international community. Argentina aspires to be, with its various technological and nuclear power projects underway, a relevant actor in this process.
Our nuclear industry attaches vital importance to the application of the international safeguards system. The effectiveness of the IAEA's verification system for nuclear activities is essential to prevent nuclear proliferation and is a central pillar on which the international community has worked for decades to prevent the misuse of nuclear materials and technologies. We reiterate the importance that safeguards implementation activities are efficient, effective and supported by a solid technical base, guaranteeing their non-discriminatory nature.
Likewise, the Argentine Republic insists on the need for the safeguards regime and its guarantees to be developed in an atmosphere of cooperation and dialogue. We highlight the importance of the Quadripartite Agreement that Argentina has with the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC), which will commemorate in 2021, 30 years of its creation.
Argentina highlights once again the constructive role and relevance of ABACC and the bilateral inspection system both in the implementation of safeguards as well as in building trust with Brazil on this matter and, in the current context of pandemic, the Argentina congratulates ABACC for the additional effort made to comply with the inspection scheme, and the degree of maturity of the cooperation between ABACC and the IAEA.
Argentina's commitment to the highest standards of nuclear technological safety continues to be one of the pillars of our nuclear policy, and the Nuclear Regulatory Authority is the technical and independent regulatory body designated by law to oversee the activity, including adequate control of the construction of nuclear reactors.
Argentina seeks to continue expanding its nuclear power generation park, complying with the maximum safety standards and the parameters of the "Vienna Declaration on Nuclear Safety", and is working to receive a mission from the Integrated Service for the Examination of the Regulatory Situation (IRRS) over the course of 2021.
The Argentine nuclear sector continues to work towards the Seventh Review Conference of the Joint Convention on safety in the management of spent fuel and on safety in the management of radioactive waste, and the Eighth Review Conference of the Convention on Nuclear Safety, both rescheduled for 2021.
The Argentine Republic reiterates once again its support for the Agency's central role in strengthening the nuclear security framework at the global level and for the guidelines provided in the Ministerial Declaration of the International Conference on Nuclear Security (ICONS 2020), which takes place in February of this year.
We recognize the importance of the entry into force of the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials (CPPNM), and of the ongoing review process that will culminate in the 2021 Review Conference.
We emphasize that nuclear security is a sovereign power of each State, on that basis, we uphold the need to harmonize measures of a binding and non-binding nature so that they advance harmoniously, gradually and permanently.
Argentina understands that international cooperation is essential to expand the benefits of nuclear energy and its peaceful applications, and a key tool to meet development objectives for the benefit of the people. Attentive to this, it actively participates and aspires to become a focal point for carrying out training activities in the region. Our country is a frequent venue for training activities, education and training of human resources sponsored by the IAEA in the field of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
We will continue working and contributing resources to the Agency's Technical Cooperation Fund, to which we offer our experience and training and capacity-building facilities, from which technicians and professionals from our region and from other parts of the world have already benefited. In this sense, we celebrate the renewal of the "Cooperation Agreement for the Promotion of Nuclear Science and Technology in Latin America and the Caribbean", known as ARCAL, which has proven to be a valuable instrument to improve the quality of life of the countries in the region.