Statement of the Delegation of Ukraine at the UN General Assembly plenary meeting under agenda item 91 “Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency”.

Statement of the Delegation of Ukraine at the UN General Assembly plenary meeting under agenda item 91 “Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency”.

Mr. President,

Ukraine welcomes the IAEA Annual Report for 2020, which provides an overview of Agency’s activities during of the most challenging years in the history of the IAEA.

We applaud the IAEA Secretariat for the excellent adaptation to the emerging and unpredictable circumstances, in terms of both – reorganizing the work of Secretariat’s personnel as well as continuing to carry out its mandatory functions.

A noteworthy example in this regard is the largest technical cooperation project in Agency’s history, successfully delivered by the IAEA in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, despite the challenges caused by the constraints of lockdowns and disrupted international transport, the IAEA demonstrated notable sustainability in implementing safeguards and other verification activities in 2020. We commend the Agency for conducting almost the same level of verification activities in 2020 as in the previous year.

We acknowledge the continued progress shown in enhancing the information sharing capabilities (including social media and other public communication mechanisms), upgrading review and advisory services, as well as updating of online tools for collection and evaluation of nuclear related information, which is absolutely essential in remote working conditions.

It is of outmost importance that this and all subsequent Annual Reports remain in full compliance with the norms of international law, the IAEA Statute and respective safeguards agreements.

Mr. President,

With regard to the Agreement between Ukraine and the IAEA for the application of safeguards in connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), I would like to make the following substantive remarks.

The IAEA was not able to draw the broader conclusion for Ukraine for 2020. The ongoing temporary occupation by Russia of integral parts of Ukraine – the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the Sevastopol city, as well as parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions – is the one and only reason that prevented the IAEA from drawing of the broader conclusion for Ukraine for 2020.

Unlike the comprehensive, transparent and verifiable implementation of safeguards at the territories, controlled by the Government of Ukraine, during 2020 the IAEA was unable to access nuclear material located at the temporarily occupied territories.

That notwithstanding, Ukraine continues to fully comply with its nuclear related obligations and strengthen its non-proliferation track record even more diligently than ever before. The decision of the IAEA not to draw the broader conclusion for Ukraine for 2020 has nothing to do with any proliferation concern on the whole territory of Ukraine or any questions to the safeguards implementation on the territories, controlled by the Government of Ukraine.

I would like to stress that it is an exceptional and unprecedented situation when one Member State prevents the Agency from fulfilling its statutory mandate on the territory of the other Member State. This is a pressing problem that should be properly and promptly addressed within the IAEA framework.

Most importantly, such illegal actions of Russia undermine the effectiveness of the safeguards mechanism and question the ability of the IAEA to provide comprehensive conclusions. Ukraine is highly concerned that in the absence of timely reaction by the international community to such actions, it would jeopardize the credibility of the Agency’s assurances related to safeguards.

Mr. President,

I cannot but mention today that Ukraine, as a party to the NPT and a non-nuclear-weapon State, is gravely concerned that Russia deploys in Crimea means of delivery of nuclear weapons. The occupying Power has also seized the former nuclear weapons storage sites located in Crimea. All these actions clearly jeopardize the NPT regime and present a serious threat to the regional and global security and stability, thus must be properly addressed by the international community.

In closing, let me reaffirm Ukraine’s continued support of the IAEA work and our conviction in the important role the Agency plays in support of international peace and security.

Thank you, Mr. President