The countries of MERCOSUR, -Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay- and Bolivia and Chile underline the importance given to the inalienable right of all Parties to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without dissemination. We believe the NPT is an instrument that guarantees the economic and technological development of its Parties through international cooperation in the area of peaceful nuclear activities, including the international exchange of equipment and materials for treatment, use or production of nuclear materials for peaceful purposes.
In that sense, the countries of MERCOSUR, Bolivia and Chile give particular importance to the Technical Cooperation Program of the International Atomic Energy Agency -IAEA. Such program not only implements one of the main objectives established in the Agency's Statute, but also put into practice one of the most serious undertakings contained in the NPT, basically the right of all parties to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
Taking into account our experience as recipiendary countries and, in some cases also as exporters of nuclear material and technologies, we support actions towards granting the exchange of materials, equipments and technologies for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
The IAEA has special responsibilities regarding the promotion of technical cooperation, as well as in safeguards and nuclear safety, and for all of which it needs to allocate human and financial resources showing an adequate balance between its promotional activities and its regulatory ones. For that reason, it is important that this Conference transmits to the negotiations on the financing of the Technical Cooperation Program for the period 2000-2005 that are taking place in Vienna, a clear signal of the necessity to give adequate financial resources to those activities.
We understand that the guidelines of the nuclear export control regimes were established in a broad fashion with the purpose to assure that nuclear energy is only used for peaceful purposes. Those regimes play an important role in favoring nuclear cooperation.
The countries of MERCOSUR, Bolivia and Chile believe that peaceful nuclear activities should be developed on the basis of transparency and the fulfillment of internationally accepted levels of nuclear safety and physical protection of nuclear materials. Nuclear safety has also a special importance regarding the acceptance and promotion of nuclear energy among the public opinion in our countries. We think that the use of nuclear energy in our region is closely linked with the adoption and implementation of adequate safety measures intended to increase the reliability and respect for the environment of this kind of energy granting its better acceptance by our populations.
Finally, and still within the area of nuclear safety, the countries of MERCOSUR, Bolivia and Chile wish to express that the maritime transport of radioactive waste is a permanent concern that we share all in our region. In this instance, and without precluding to go back to this point later during the deliberations, we want to underline the necessity to cooperate on this subject and to continue working in the competent fora with the objective of strengthening the guidelines that regulate this kind of transport.