Statetement by the Delegation of the Republic of Azerbaijan on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement at the 1536th meeting of the Board of Governors of IAEA, 10 March 2020

Mr. Chairman,

  1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Vienna Chapter of the Non-Aligned Movement. NAM has carefully listened to the Director General's Opening Statement in which he -inter alia- briefed the Member States on the status of the Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic.
  2. At the very outset, NAM would like to reiterate the view that, while considering this issue, it is essential not to lose sight of the manner in which it was initially brought to the attention of the Agency. NAM wishes to recall the position expressed in this regard in the Final Declaration adopted by the previous Summits of NAM Heads of State and Government and reaffirmed by the Summit of NAM Heads of State and Government held in Baku, Azerbaijan in October 2019 that I now quote:

 “The Heads of State and Government underscored the Movement’s principled position concerning non-use or threat of use of force against the territorial integrity of any State.  In this regard, they condemned the Israeli attack against a Syrian facility on September 6, 2007, which constitutes a flagrant violation of the UN Charter and welcomed Syria’s cooperation with the IAEA in this regard.”

  1. As it was recognized in the Director General’s Report to the November 2008 Board, the Agency was severely hampered in discharging its responsibilities under Syria’s NPT Safeguards Agreement by the unilateral use of force by Israel and by the late provision of information by some Member States concerning the building at the Dair Alzour site.
  2. Bearing in mind the serious consequences of such acts, NAM deeply regrets that the Board has not expressed itself clearly in this regard.
  3. NAM welcomes Syria’s resolve to continue cooperating with the Agency, in particular, its readiness to fully cooperate with the Agency to resolve all outstanding issues related to the Dair Alzour site in accordance with its commitments under the Agency's Statute, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and Syria's Safeguards Agreement, and to agree on an action plan in this regard.
  4. NAM stresses that during the conduct of safeguards activities, access to information, activities and locations must be provided in accordance with the letter of the comprehensive Safeguards Agreement concluded between the Agency and Syria.
  5. NAM encourages Syria and the Secretariat to continue cooperating with a view to resolving any remaining issues that relate to information, activities and locations that are in accordance with the provisions of Syria’s comprehensive safeguards agreement with the Agency.
  6. NAM reaffirms that a clear distinction has to be made between legal obligations of Member States under their respective safeguards agreements and their voluntary undertakings, in order to ensure that such voluntary undertakings are not turned into legal safeguards obligations.
  7. NAM wishes to stress once again that all Member States should avoid any undue pressure or interference in the Agency’s activities, especially in its verification process, which would jeopardize the efficiency and credibility of the Agency.
  8. In this regard, NAM supports the Acting Director General’s previous call on other States, including Israel, which may possess information relevant to the Agency’s verification, to make such information available to the Agency, and to authorize the Agency to share it with Syria.
  9. NAM also calls on Israel to cooperate fully with the Agency in providing it with comprehensive information on the nature of the materials used by Israel in its attack on the Dair Alzour site.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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