Statement by Ambassador HIKIHARA Takeshi at the IAEA Board of Governors Meeting starting on Monday, 7 March 2022: Item 6: The safety, security and safeguards implications of the situation in Ukraine

Thank you, Mr. Chair,

In the Introductory Statement to the Board, the Director General Rafael Grossi reported that the military operations at nuclear facilities of Ukraine have caused unprecedented danger of a nuclear accident, risking the lives of people living in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries. Japan condemns in the strongest terms this reckless and unacceptable action and the continuing aggression by the Russian Federation and strongly urges the Russian Federation to immediately cease all attacks, especially in the direct vicinity of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities.

This is the time we should all recall the resolution and the decision we unanimously adopted, at the 34th and the 53rd General Conferences respectively, which state “any armed attack on and threat against nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful purposes constitutes a violation of the principles of the United Nations Charter, international law and the Statute of the Agency”.

The Director General stated in his Statement on Situation in Ukraine on 7 March, “we have already had several episodes compromising safety at Ukraine’s nuclear sites”. Major pillars for maintaining nuclear safety identified by Director General Rafael Grossi during the last week's Board meeting have been jeopardized. We are seriously concerned about this situation. It must be remedied immediately. As the pillars state; the physical integrity of the facilities must be maintained; the operating staff must be able to fulfil their safety and security duties and have the capacity to make decisions free of undue pressures; and there must be reliable communications between the regulators and operators.

Japan highly appreciates the Director General’s initiative to ensure the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities and strongly supports the continuous and tireless efforts of Director General himself and the Secretariat, including the frequent provision of updates on the situation in Ukraine. We would also welcome technical briefings from the secretariat when appropriate.

We also reiterate our appreciation for the initiative of the Delegations of Poland and Canada to co-sponsor the draft resolution, which the Board adopted by a very large majority last week. And we support the Poish proposal to make this resolution public.

Let me conclude my statement by once again commending Ukraine’s nuclear regulator and operators for their vigilance and courage in ensuring nuclear safety and security during this extremely difficult situation.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.