Australian Embassy and Permanent Mission to the United Nations
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia

IAEA 66th General Conference: Joint Statement on the safety, security and safeguards implications of the situation in Ukraine

66th Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference

Joint statement on the safety, security and safeguards implications of the situation in Ukraine

Delivered by H.E Ambassador Troy Lulashynk, Governor and Resident Representative of Canada to the IAEA

29 September 2022


Canada would like to deliver the following joint statement on behalf of 50 delegations. The delegations associating with this statement are Albania, Austria, Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States and Uruguay as well as EURATOM.  

The delegations associating with this statement underline their grave concern with the safety, security, and safeguards implications of the situation in Ukraine that have resulted from the Russian Federation’s invasion. We reaffirm the 2009 General Conference unanimous decision (GC (53)/13) which recognized the importance attached to safety, security, and physical protection of nuclear material and nuclear facilities and note General Conference resolutions GC(XXIV)/RES/444 and GC (XXXIV)/RES/533. We also recall the resolutions on the safety, security, and safeguards implications of the situation in Ukraine adopted by the Board of Governors in March and September of this year respectively.

Our delegations deplore the Russian Federation’s persistent violent actions against nuclear facilities in Ukraine and we emphasize that the Russian Federation’s seizure of the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) is the root cause of the current threats to nuclear safety and security there. We recall that the risks of nuclear incidents will remain dangerously high as long as the Russian Federation remains present at the ZNPP site. The ZNPP must remain connected to the Ukrainian electricity grid as an integral part of the Ukranian energy system. We reiterate that any sham referenda conducted by the Russian Federation within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders has no legal or political effect on the status of ZNPP or the areas surrounding the facility.

We express our firm support for the efforts of the IAEA Director General and the Secretariat in regard to nuclear safety, security, and safeguards in Ukraine under extremely challenging circumstances. We welcome the Director General’s work to follow up on his visits to Ukraine based on his two Summary Reports issued on 28 April and 6 September. We also welcome the three DG-led IAEA expert missions to Ukraine, including the most recent IAEA Support and Assistance Mission to Zaporizhzhya (ISAMZ). We express our support for the continued physical presence of Agency technical experts at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant in order to support Ukraine and stress the importance of their continued safety and well-being.

Our delegations emphasize the importance of nuclear safety and security regarding peaceful nuclear facilities and materials in all circumstances, including in armed conflict. In this context, we recognize the importance of the IAEA Director General’s ‘seven indispensable pillars on nuclear safety and security’ as derived from IAEA safety standards and nuclear security guidance.  We intend to continue to support the IAEA action in helping to facilitate the implementation of these principles in Ukraine while fully respecting Ukrainian sovereignty.

We look forward to further elaboration of the Director General’s proposal to establish a nuclear safety and security protection zone at and around the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant in a way that protects Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity.

We once again call on the Russian Federation to immediately cease all actions against and at nuclear facilities in Ukraine in order for the competent Ukrainian authorities to regain full control over all nuclear facilities within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders to ensure their safe and secure operation, and in order for the IAEA to fully and safely conduct its safeguards verification activities in Ukraine.