Statement by Ambassador HIKIHARA Takeshi at the IAEA Board of Governors Meeting starting on Monday, 14 September 2020: Item 3: Zoonotic Disease Integrated Action (ZODIAC) Project

Thank you, Madam Chair,

Japan highly appreciates Director General Grossi’s new ZODIAC initiative as a means to strengthen the capacity of the Agency and Member States to tackle zoonotic diseases. Japan will continue to strongly support the IAEA and Member States in this field, including our on-going fight against the COVID-19.

The proposed project aims to meet the essential needs of Member States in addressing various infectious diseases including COVID-19, by integrating the technologies and capabilities which the IAEA has fostered. In order to promote such efforts, and to increase both efficiency and effectiveness, it is important to connect functionally existing IAEA projects with this new ZODIAC project.

In addition, since other international organizations such as the WHO are already developing various activities in this field, it is essential to further strengthen cooperation with them in order to enhance synergies. We need to identify roles the IAEA should play
by mobilizing its unique strengths, in order to effectively complement the existing work of other international organizations while avoiding duplication.

Madame Chair,

The Japan would like to make ZODIAC a truly value-added project by making the best use of the potential of the IAEA, through thorough examination of proposed activities under this project. Furthermore, it will be also important to ensure transparency and accountability by providing all relevant information on the status of the implementation of the project and its budget.

Japan is looking forward to deepen our evaluation on this important project through further exchange with the other Member States and the Secretariat.

With these comments, Japan takes note of the proposed TC project contained in GOV/2020/37.

Thank you, Madam Chair.