The Philippines welcomes the adoption by consensus of the resolution on the Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which was facilitated by Sweden.
As a strong partner of the IAEA, the Philippines is pleased to have co-sponsored the said resolution. The resolution is consistent with the partnership between the Philippines and the IAEA, which has contributed to addressing outstanding issues on nuclear safety, security, and safeguards.
The Philippines has been active in supporting the IAEA by bringing together national and international experts in the nuclear field to share ideas and expertise on nuclear applications in food and agriculture, health and medicine, industry and the environment. Likewise, the Philippines strongly supports the efforts of the Agency at gender equality and balanced geographic representation in all levels of the organization. The Philippines encourages the IAEA to maintain the balance between the promotional and non-promotional aspects of its work in line with its Statute. The Philippines believes that a balanced approach across the six major programmes will serve to strengthen the Agency and help raise its relevance to the citizens of all its Member States.
The relevance of the IAEA becomes all the more pronounced given the increased importance of also dealing with nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament issues from a technical and scientific perspective. We are pleased that resolutions were adopted on the implementation of the safeguards agreement between the Agency and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and on the application of IAEA safeguards in the Middle East. We recognize the challenges faced by the Agency, including the steady increase in the amount of nuclear material in circulation, the number of nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards, and the continuing pressure on the Agency’s budget.
The Philippines takes this opportunity to acknowledge the distinguished and remarkable leadership of the late Director General Yukiya Amano of Japan in maintaining high-quality programmes and delivering concrete results for Member States. We pay tribute to Director General Amano for his contributions particularly on the initiative on the “Atoms for Peace and Development,” which he actively promoted during his incumbency. He guided the Secretariat in its mandate to provide necessary assistance to Member States towards the attainment of their development goals through the application of nuclear science and technology.
Director General Amano made several high-level visits to the Philippines during his tenure. His last visit to the Philippines was undertaken in February of 2018 in support of several projects implemented under the Philippines’ partnership with the IAEA. The Philippines extends its gratitude to the IAEA for delivering last October its final report on its Mission that reviewed the development of an infrastructure for a nuclear power programme.
The Philippine delegation also appreciates the work of Acting Director Cornel Feruta, and congratulates Ambassador Rafael Grossi of Argentina on his appointment as Director General of the IAEA. The Philippines shall continue its close relationship with the IAEA, and we look forward to our full support for the leadership of Director General Grossi.
Thank you, Mr. President.