IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
Statement by H. E. Mr Richard Sadleir, Resident Representative of Australia to the IAEA
2 March 2022
Australia joins the international community in condemning the Russian Federation, in the strongest terms, for its unprovoked act of aggression in invading Ukraine. Russia’s action is a flagrant breach of the UN Charter’s prohibition on the use of force. We call on Russia to cease all hostile actions and withdraw immediately from Ukraine.
We reiterate our full support for Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity – the bedrock principles of a rules-based order and the essential foundation for peace and security. We too stand with Ukraine.
Risks to nuclear security are rising. Russia’s nuclear posturing is unprovoked and escalatory and does not support efforts towards a diplomatic solution. Russia must reduce immediately the risk of nuclear miscalculation.
Russia’s unlawful invasion poses grave threats to nuclear safety, security and the safeguarding of nuclear material and facilities in Ukraine. We are alarmed by reports of several missile strikes near radioactive waste disposal facilities and the use of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exclusion zone for military purposes. The risks to nuclear safety and security in Ukraine are not confined to Ukraine but are of serious concern across Europe and indeed throughout the world.
We call on Russia to cease immediately the use of force against, and close to, any nuclear facility in Ukraine. Such actions increase the risk of a nuclear incident that could have devastating consequences for human life and health. This is why Australia will vote in support of resolution GOV/2022/15 and stood ready to do so today for the urgent reasons well-articulated by Canada, Poland and the United States.
We call upon Russia to return immediately to the control of Ukrainian authorities all nuclear facilities in Ukraine. This is essential to ensure that the IAEA and Ukraine carry out their commitments to apply safeguards on all nuclear facilities in Ukraine.
Finally, Chair, we thank the Director General and staff of the IAEA for their ongoing monitoring and reporting of developments and ask that the Director General continue to report to the Board as required.
Thank you Chair.