1. Mr Chairman, I have the honour to take the floor on behalf of the European Union on the subject of the peacefill uses of nuclear energy. The Central and Eastern European countries associated with the European Union (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia) and the Associated Country Cyprus also align themselves with this statement.
2. Previous interventions made on behalf of the EU at this Prepcom have been guided by the Principles and Objectives decision. This will be no exception, not as a vehicle for the reiteration of old positions but rather to report on a solid record of commitment to the Principles and Objectives as demonstrated by concrete achievements since the last Prepcom.
3. In this context, the European Union reaffirms the importance of the commitment that is expressed in paragraph 14 of the Principles and Objectives decision that "particular importance should be attached to ensuring the exercise of the inalienable right of all Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceflil purposes, without discrimination and in conformity with Article I, II and III of the Treaty". The EU is actively engaged in measures that will indeed facilitate and support the exercise of that inalienable right.
Transparency in Export Controls
4. One of the areas where the European Union has been especially active since the last Prepcom is in the promotion of transparency in nuclear-related export controls in accordance with paragraph 17 of the Principles and Objectives decision.
5. The EU played an important role in the second Nuclear Suppliers Group International Seminar on the Role of Export Controls in Nuclear Non-Proliferation held in New York on 8 and 9 April 1999. This event provided once again an opportunity for dialogue and co-operation. The positive atmosphere and frank and constructive exchanges led to a much deeper understanding of the issues on all sides and in our opinion made a very real contribution to transparency.
6. This Seminar has helped to demonstrate that far from impeding trade, export controls are a necessary tool to enable nuclear trade to take place in line with NPT obligations.
7. One of the outcomes of the Seminar was an identification of the need for flirtlier efforts to promote transparency in nuclear related export controls and of the way they operate.
8. Mr Chairman, paragraph 18 of the Principles and Objectives document calls for the "highest practicable levels of nuclear safety". We welcome the progress achieved in the context of the First Review Meeting of the Contracting Parties of the Convention on Nuclear Safety, 12-23 April 1999 in Vienna. This was a first step that needs fiLrther implementation in the context of the review meetings of the Contracting Parties.
9. The Member States of the European Union welcome the ongoing cooperative work between the G-7, the international financing institutions and Ukraine for the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding for the closure of Chernobyl by the year 2000. The European Community has corrmiffed a contribution of 100 million US$ to the Chernobyl Shelter Fund in addition to individual contributions by EU Member States. The Fund assists Ukraine in transforining, up to 2007, the existing sarcophagus into a safe and environmentally stable system with measures described in the Shelter Implementation Plan. Its total cost is estimated at 760 million US$.
IAEA Funding/Technical Co-operation Funding
10. The European Union subscribes to the view reflected in paragraph 19 of the Principles and Objectives decision that the IAEA should have the financial and human resources necessary to carry out its responsibilities in the areas of technical co-operation, safeguards and nuclear safety. The importance that the European Union attaches to the activities of the IAEA should be apparent from our earlier interventions at this Prepcom.
11. The Member States of the EU collectively provide over one third of the Regular Budget contributions to the IAEA which finances activities in all three areas mentioned in paragraph 19. EU Member States contribute approximately the same proportion of the voluntary contributions to the IAEA's Technical Co-operation Fund.
12. The European Union is confident that the IAEA has the necessary means to enable it to carry out its responsibilities. The European Union supports the efforts that the Agency is making to improve the delivery of TC through such mechanisms as the implementation of its Technical Co-operation Strategy. Furthermore, the EU continues to play a leading role in the Agency's ongoing examination of the financing of TC, looking at possible ways, in accordance with numerous IAEA General Conference resolutions, the IAEA's financial regulations as well as the Principles and Objectives decision, of finding predictable and assured resources for technical co-operation activities.
13. Mr Chairman, this intervention has concentrated on a number of specific activities and achievements that the European Union has either undertaken or contributed to and which can be ascribed to individual objectives under the Principles and Objectives decision. It serves to demonstrate in particular that the EU continues to take seriously the commitments expressed in Article IV of the Treaty and in paragraph 14 of the Principle.