Statement by the Governor of the Russian Federation Vladimir I. Voronkov at the IAEA Board of Governors session on agenda item “Any other business” in response to the invitation to the Agency to participate in negotiations on the development of a convention to prohibit nuclear weapons Vienna, 12-15 June 2016
The IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano in his opening remarks at this session of the Board of Governors touched upon the issue of supposed participation of the IAEA in negotiations on the development of a convention to prohibit nuclear weapons. In this regard, he referred to the corresponding invitation received from the organizers of these negotiations. A similar invitation was reflected in the statement of the representative of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States earlier today.
We are definitely opposed to embroiling the IAEA in the verification of nuclear disarmament. Nuclear disarmament is not mentioned neither among the objectives, nor among the functions of the Agency specified in Articles II and III of the IAEA Statute. Therefore, attempts to drag the IAEA into negotiations that are contrary to the Statute of the organization, and aimed at setting up some kind of a twilight verification regime are counterproductive. In accordance with the unanimous decision of the 60th session of the IAEA General Conference, nuclear disarmament issues may “be addressed in all relevant fora, consistent with the relevant obligations and commitments of Member States. The IAEA is not the relevant forum.
The Russian side does not accept the initiative embedded in the draft convention on the prohibition of nuclear weapons that would apply the IAEA safeguards system, which is based on the safeguards agreements on the application of safeguards, concluded between the IAEA and individual States, for the purposes inconsistent with such agreements. We note with regret that initiators of the convention challenge the fundamental principles of the IAEA safeguards system functioning, diluting its goal and objectives. The implementation of the aforementioned initiative may open “the Pandora’s box” in the nuclear sphere and would have pernicious consequences for the sustainable work of the Agency in all areas, including the verification.
I would like to once again appeal to the initiators of dragging the IAEA into negotiations on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, our colleagues, partners, and friends. Have you calculated all the supposed negative consequences for the Agency and your own good in such circumstances? In fact, the issue is about the future of the IAEA. Moreover, the undercut of functional and financial capabilities of the Agency may lead to a new dangerous situation in proliferation of nuclear weapons. It is well known that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
In conclusion, I would like to confirm that Russia is fully committed to the goal of building a world free of nuclear weapons. However, we call on all proponents of a nuclear free world to concentrate their efforts on the establishment of such conditions that would be really conducive to considerations of possible further steps in the nuclear weapons sphere.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.