27. March 2009

Statement by Ambassador Abdul Samad Minty

Statement by Ambassador Abdul Samad Minty, South Africa’s Governor to the IAEA Board of Governors at the IAEA Board of Governors Meeting, Vienna, 27 March 2009: Appointment of the Director General of the IAEA

Chairperson, At the outset let me thank you, Ambassador Feroukhi, for your impartiality and professionalism in conducting this election process, which has completed its initial stages. Our work in the Board for this year has only just begun, and indeed there are some challenges ahead of us. I look forward to working with you and my colleagues in the Board to deal with these issues.

Chairperson, May I also take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to the African Union and to all others who have given their support and personal encouragement for my candidature in the Board of Governors, the wider Membership of the IAEA and within the Secretariat.
This support will not be forgotten. We will build thereon to ensure that the Agency will continue its unique and independent contribution to humanity.

Chairperson, We were hopeful that those that advocated change and a relationship with the developing world based on trust and partnership would - in this important election process - have implemented these noble ideals, but sadly it appears as this has only remained as good intentions.
In the words of Martin Luther King, which also guided and inspired our own liberation struggle, “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”

Therefore, looking towards the future, South Africa will apply the same commitment as we did with our own freedom struggle and continue to play a leading role in achieving a world free of the threat posed by nuclear weapons. We believe that this is not only in our national interest, but in the interest of the international community as a whole; and we look forward to working and engaging with other Member States, including in dynamic new partnerships and coalitions, to further our common goal to eradicate nuclear weapons.

South Africa will also continue to promote the importance of the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and in this context further enhance the peaceful application of nuclear energy. In this context, we will also be vigilant that developing countries are not denied access to the benefits of nuclear energy and advanced technologies needed for their own development.

In conclusion, Chairperson, South Africa, in consultation with those that supported us, will evaluate the results of this election process to enable a decision as to what course of action we need to take to facilitate the election of a new Director General of the IAEA.
I thank you. (Department of Foreign Affairs, Pretoria)

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