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  Library Treaties Non-Proliferation Treaty, Cluster 3 Canada, May 14, 1999

Cluster 3

Implementation of the Provisions of the Treaty Relating to the Inalienable Right of all Parties to the Treaty to Develop Research, Production and Use of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Purposes

Mr. Chairman,

The Canadian delegation welcomes this opportunity to make a statement on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

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Canada's statement during the general exchange of views, clearly stated our continued and strong commitment to the NPT as the basis for international efforts to promote nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful nuclear cooperation. This commitment to the NPT is the very foundation of Canada's most recent comprehensive policy statement on the nuclear challenge. This policy statement confirms that a primary objective of Canadian policy continues to be our engagement in international cooperation to promote the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Canada firmly believes that this objective can only be achieved by the preservation and the enhancement of the authority and the integrity of the NPT. This, in turn, is the object of the Strengthened Review Process. It is Canada's position that a central element of a Strengthened Review process must be a Principles and Objectives 2000 document which incorporates those elements identified in the Canadian Working Paper No.PC.III/2. Many of the Principles and Objectives identified in this document relate directly to the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.

Canada has a well established nuclear industry; we are a major nuclear supplier and exporter, providing a wide range of nuclear-related goods from uranium to CANDU nuclear power plants to radioisotopes for medical and industrial uses. The significant mutual benefits of our extensive bilateral nuclear cooperation have been possible because of Canada's and its nuclear partners' demonstrated commitment to the NPT. Quite simply, the NPT provides a vital base for such cooperation and the many benefits thereby obtained.

As well as our bilateral nuclear cooperation, on a multilateral basis Canada remains a strong supporter of the IAEA. We firmly believe that the IAEA has a central role to play in the promotion of the safe use of nuclear technology, in ensuring that undertakings related to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy are implemented, and in assisting its Member States, particularly its developing Member States, in the peaceful uses of nuclear technology.

In our view, the IAEA has done a commendable job in its response to these objectives. For example, advances have been made in the application of safeguards to the point where we are about to enter into a new safeguards era where the focus will be on ensuring that there is credible assurance of no undeclared activities; technical cooperation and assistance is now being more sharply focused on responding to developing Member States needs mainly through the introduction and implementation of Model Projects; and, the Agency played a vital role in facilitating the international convention on nuclear safety and the first peer review meeting which was held in Vienna just last month.

However, the current reality is that more needs to be done. New priorities need to be set; priorities that relate to the issues that we are now or will soon be facing.

Mr. Chairman,

In this regard, the Canadian delegation wishes to highlight the following issues which, in Canada's view, are highly relevant and timely:

Physical Protection of Nuclear Material: Canada believes that the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material is in need of strengthening in a manner which takes into account various country site-specific considerations.

Radioactive Waste: The safe and effective management of spent fliel and radioactive waste is becoming an increasing priority, especially if issues related to public acceptance are to be successfully addressed.

Illicit Trafficking of Nuclear Material: The potential consequences of not continuing to address this issue are unthinkable. In Canada's view, this issue must be addressed continuously on a priority basis.

Nuclear Safety: Canada encourages all countries and particularly those with nuclear power programs to join the convention on nuclear safety.

Mr. Chairman,

Canada believes that the above issues, as well as several other valuable concepts, need to be reflected in a new Principles and Objectives document for 2000 and they are included as such in our proposal that is contained in document PC.11112. In our view, agreement on these new Principles and Objectives will demonstrate a strong desire to enhance the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Our collective will to respond to these in a meaningful way will yield benefits to all.

Thank you.