Remarks by Minister Silberberg on Resolution “Effects of Atomic Radiation” in the Plenary of the 4th Committee

Nov 10, 2011

(as delivered)

Madame Chair, 

I have the honor to transmit for action by the plenary of the FourthCommittee the draft resolution contained in document A/C.4/66/L.7of November 4th, 2011, on Agenda item 50 entitled “Effects of atomic radiation”. Since the establishment of the Scientific Committee in 1955, this resolution has always been adopted by consensus. 

The resolution deals with the important work of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR). The Committee had heard the presentation by the chair of UNSCEAR about the committee´s work during its general debate of this agenda item on October 21. 

The importance of the Scientific Committee´s work can not be overestimated in light of the effects of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. There is broad consensus on the need for a high quality Scientific expert body within the United Nations dealing with the effects of atomic radiation, responding to the needs of member states and disseminating relevant information. 

During the informal consultations on the draft we were able to find a solution to the issue of membership for the six countries, which had been invited by the GA in 2007 to participate in the work of the Committee as observers in accordance with GA-Res 61/109. If this resolution is adopted, the six observer countries will be invited to become full members of the Committee. This will not only allow the Committee to re-focus and concentrate its work on the important and highly relevant scientific challenges ahead, but also enhance its scientific capacity. 

In the informal consultations we were also able to agree on a review mechanism which in the near future might lead to a possible further expansion of the membership of the committee, taking into account, inter alia, the important principle of equitable geographical distribution as well as the need to ensure effectiveness and quality of the work of the committee.  

I wish to thank all delegations for the very constructive spirit in which they approached the informal consultations. It was that spirit that had allowed us to reach consensus on all elements of the text before us in the informal consultations. 

Let me finally express my thanks to the so far 33 co-sponsors of the resolution, which are covering a broad range of countries from different regional and political groups. This also demonstrates, that the text is the well balanced result of different interests and a good compromise.  The adoption of this draft resolution by consensus would sent a strong signal of support to the important work of the Scientific Committee. 

Thank you!

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