Speech: UK national statement to the 62nd International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference

first_imgMadame President,On behalf of the UK, I congratulate you on your election as President of the 62nd General Conference. May I say at the outset that we fully align ourselves with the statement, which has just been made on behalf of the European Union.This year, of all years, my Government wanted to send a strong signal of support for the Agency. That is why, as the responsible Minister at the Foreign Office, I have the honour to represent the United Kingdom today.We live in an increasingly uncertain and dangerous world. We have seen the destabilising consequences when States pursue nuclear weapons. And we have worked together to prevent terrorists acquiring nuclear material.This Agency plays a vital role in addressing such threats. It also helps States reap the enormous benefits of civil nuclear technologies.One of the most important moments of diplomatic success was the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. It stands to achieve lasting advances for international security. The crucial work of monitoring and verifying the deal is a clear example of the Agency’s role. The United Kingdom remains committed to the Iran deal. We welcome and applaud the Director-General’s report confirming Iran’s compliance with its nuclear commitments.It is important that all remaining parties continue to implement the agreement in full, and that Iran continues to cooperate fully with the Agency.With regard to North Korea, the United Kingdom welcomes progress made at the Singapore Summit, but we are clear that existing sanctions should remain until North Korea takes concrete steps towards the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and the removal of its ballistic missile capability.Meanwhile Syria has failed to meet its safeguards obligations since 2011. We call on both Syria and North Korea to resume full compliance and cooperation with the Agency.The UK supports the Agency’s efforts to strengthen and develop its safeguards work including with the help of UK expertise and resource. Especially in monitoring and auditing a country’s stocks and use of nuclear materials. This underpins the objectives of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.We call on all States to ratify an Additional Protocol, which is the gold standard of safeguards.Madame President,The United Kingdom is grateful to the Agency team and the Board of Governors for their support in our preparations for leaving the EU and Euratom. In June, the UK signed an agreement, the Voluntary Offer Agreement and an Additional Protocol with the Agency, which will maintain a cooperative framework within which we will meet our obligations as a responsible nuclear state when we are no longer a member of the EU.We would like to build on the IAEA’s valuable work to support the civil nuclear sector. This is the aim of the UK’s Nuclear Sector Deal launched this summer, to make the construction and decommissioning of nuclear power stations more straightforward and less expensive.The construction of Hinkley Point C will be the first of our next generation of nuclear power plants. Construction is underway and we continue to engage with sponsors of other new projects.Madame President,Safety, security and non-proliferation go hand in hand with the peaceful use of nuclear technology. We cannot responsibly promote access to nuclear technologies without ensuring that they are safe, secure, and used for the right purpose.Because this matters so much we are proud to remain one of the biggest contributors of financial and technical support, to the Agency across all of its programmes.This week, it is my pleasure to pledge the UK’s contribution of €3.7 million to the Technical Cooperation Fund for 2019. We will continue to pay on time and in full. We call on all Member States to do the same.The UK has already contributed £4.1 million this year to the Nuclear Security Fund. I urge you all to support the Agency’s work to help Member States implement robust nuclear security regimes. We will also continue our financial and technical support to nuclear safety and safeguards activities.If something goes wrong, we have a duty to protect the public, and our neighbours. Effective emergency response must remain a global priority. We urge all Member States to use the information sharing channels between countries and the Agency on a regular basis, as well as in the event of an incident.To conclude, Madame President,The United Kingdom is a committed supporter of the IAEA. We want it to continue to meet its growing challenges, and the growing demands on its resources. We also want it to properly reflect the world it serves. For that to happen, we urge the Secretariat to ensure that the Agency is managed effectively and efficiently within existing resources and as always, we stand ready to help with this.I thank the Director General for his leadership, and the Agency for its impartial work, which undoubtedly makes the world above all more safe and more secure.last_img read more

Democrats prep Biden’s virus aid package with or without GOP

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats are preparing to push ahead with President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told senators Tuesday to be ready to vote as soon as next week on a budget reconciliation package that would lay the groundwork for swift passage. The action provides a first test of Republican opposition to the White House priorities as well as to the new president’s promise of a “unity” agenda. It’s the first time in a decade that Democrats have controlled Washington, and the party says it has no time to waste trying to broker compromises with Republicans that may, or may not, happen.last_img

Buckinghamshire end on a high to deny champions a five-star finish

first_img Champions Gloucestershire got their hands on the silverware – but only after Buckinghamshire ended their chances of a clean sweep at the Women’s County Finals.Gloucestershire ensured they would retain their title with a 5 ½ – 3 ½ triumph over Yorkshire on Thursday  – their fourth straight win of the week.However, on another glorious day at Delamere Forest in Cheshire,  they were not able to make it five out of five after narrowly losing out to a determined Buckinghamshire team by a slender 5-4 margin.Buckinghamshire began the morning by taking a 2-1 lead after the foursomes. Olivia Lee and Rosie Bee Kim were the first pair to put a point on the board for Buckinghamshire when they beat Grace Connelly and Claudia Ovens 5 & 3. They doubled their advantage when Georgina Bowers and Daisy Kennedy secured a one-hole victory over Jess Brown and Sam Round before Gloucestershire got themselves back into it when Megan Bartlett and Alex Saunders defeated Susanna Mitterer and Ella Betteriss 3 & 2.Buckinghamshire started the singles with two further victories by Alice Kozlowski and Amelia Curtis over Bartlett and Issy Hopkins but Hannah Cash, Jessica Pilgrim and Grace Rigby-Walden lost against Jess Brown, Connelly and Ffion Tynan before Thalia Kirby secured an emotional win for her team with a 2 & I victory over Alex Saunders.“It’s a fantastic result,” said Buckinghamshire captain, Gail Sharp. “We were hopeful we might do something today, but we decided we’d play all 12 of our players, so I think it was just a case of waiting to see what the results might bring.“It proved to be a good decision because one or two of the girls brought in wins we weren’t necessarily expecting.“It’s been a great week,” she added. “We beat Lincolnshire 7-2 in the first match and had some really good matches yesterday in our draw with Surrey but it’s just nice to finish the week with a win against the champions. That makes it all a bit more special.”Gloucestershire had won all four of their matches on their way to clinching their third title in four years but they came up just short against Buckinghamshire after also electing to bring in some of their less experienced players.“Today we were able to play all of our team which was just lovely,” said Gloucestershire captain, Su Mallon. “In fact, they (the less used players) won and the ones we’d worn out earlier in the week didn’t. So, yes, it was a brilliant day, actually. They played to really enjoy it, which was good.“We’re still up there, we’re high and enjoying it all. They (the team) just keep giving. They’re such a nice group of people. I’ve just loved being their captain.”The final day of this year’s championship was all about the battle to finish second behind Gloucestershire and in the end it was Lincolnshire who were to claim that spot after a 5 ½ – 3 ½ victory over Yorkshire. Lincolnshire went into lunch 2-1 up in the foursomes and wins from India Clyburn, Ellise Rymer and Tilly Garfoot plus a half point from Sophie Beardsall was enough to see them over the line.Surrey moved up to third with a 5 ½ – 3 ½ win over Norfolk while Buckinghamshire’s last day heroics saw them climb to fourth ahead of Yorkshire and Norfolk.Photograph credit: Leaderboard 20 Sep 2019 Buckinghamshire end on a high to deny champions a five-star finish Tags: Buckinghamshire, Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Surrey, Yorkshirelast_img read more