The Department of Energy briefed the Committee on the amendments to Article VI and Article XIV.A of the statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The briefing covered the background to the IAEA statute, the mandate of the Department and the powers of the Minister in terms of the Nuclear Energy Act, the status of
The amendments to the statute were originally proposed in 1999. Ratification by two-thirds of the member states was required before the amended statute was adopted. The amendment to Article VI expanded the composition of the IAEA Board of Governors from the 35 to 43 members. The amendment to Article XIV.A changed the IAEA programme and budget process from an annual process to a biennial process and required the alignment of the IAEA budgeting process with the practices applied by all United Nations organisations. The Department recommended that
The Members of the Committee asked questions about the standing of South Africa at the IAEA; the meaning of “biennial”; the election and term of office of members of the Board of Governors of the IAEA; the application of solutions for the eradication of fruit fly and tsetse fly; the consequence of the failure of member states to ratify the amendments; the position of the USA as the Depository Government of the IAEA and the utilisation of the assistance of $ US 1 million p.a. received by South Africa.
The Committee approved the ratification of the amendments to the statute of the IAEA.
Mr Mthethwa Mkhize, Acting Unit Manager, Parliamentary Services, introduced the new Committee Secretary, Mr Pilate Gwebu. He explained the Rules of Parliament applicable to the election of an Acting Chairperson and Ms Linda Moss (ANC) was duly elected by the Committee.
Briefing by the Department of Energy (DOE)
Ms Ditebogo Kgomo, Chief Director: Nuclear, Department of Energy presented the briefing to the Committee (see attached document). The presentation document included an introduction, the mandate of the Department, the status of
The statute of the IAEA was approved on 23 October 1956 and came into force on 29 July 1957. The statute established the IAEA, which was a United Nations body tasked to assist countries worldwide to promote and disseminate information for the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes and to develop a system of controls to prevent the diversion of atomic materials for military use.
The mission of the IAEA was guided by the interests and needs of the 151 member states. The three main areas of work were Nuclear Safety and Security, Science and Technology and Safeguards and Verification.
The policy making bodies were the IAEA Board of Governors and the Annual General Conference, which would convene on 24 September 2010. The policy making bodies determined the work programmes and budget of the IAEA.
The Department was mandated to deal with the administration of all matters related to nuclear energy as required by legislation and international agreements, as stipulated in the Nuclear Energy Act No 46 of 1999. The Minister of Energy was responsible for
The statute had been amended in 1963, 1973 and 1989. Proposals were made in 1999 to further amend Article VI and Article XIV.A of the statute. The amendment to Article VI expanded the composition of the IAEA Board of Governors from the 35 to 43 members. The Article set out a list of the criteria that had to be taken into account when the Board designated members. The Article provided for each member state to be included in the regional or aerial group determined by the Agency and resulted in the implementation of a carefully crafted, long sought solution to issues associated with representation of members on the Board of Governors as well as contributing to enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the IAEA.
The amendment to Article XIV.A changed the IAEA programme and budget process from an annual process to a biennial process. The Article required the alignment of the IAEA budgeting process with the practices applied by all United Nations (UN) organisations. The Article also called for a single programme and budget document and one appropriate resolution covering the entire biennium. The Article allowed for improved programme planning and increased flexibility in programme implementation, thereby enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of programme delivery.
As at 17 August 2010, 51 member states ratified Article VI. A further 50 ratifications were required. Only five African member states had ratified the amendments to Article VI (
The Department recommended that the Portfolio Committee and the Select Committee supported and recommended the ratification of the two amendments of the IAEA Statute by
Mr S Motau (DA) asked if
Ms Kgomo answered that
Ms N Mathibela (ANC) asked if the solutions found for the problems associated with tsetse fly and fruit fly were available for use by private households. She noted that only 5 African member states had ratified the amendments and asked what would happen if the remaining member states failed to ratify the amendments.
Ms Kgomo explained that the solution for eradicating fruit fly was mainly intended for large scale purposes on fruit farms in the
Mr S Radebe (ANC) asked why the
Ms Kgomo replied that the
Mr Motau asked if it was advisable and beneficial for
Ms Kgomo replied that it would beneficial for
Mr Motau proposed that the Committee ratified the amendments as recommended by the Department of Energy. The Committee agreed to ratify the amendments.
The meeting was adjourned.
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