Statement on the International Atomic Energy Agency Order of Malta - Permanent Observer Mission

19/09/2011

Statement on the International Atomic Energy Agency

By H. E. Ambassador Günther A. Granser

Permanent Observer to the UN, IAEA and CTBTO
at the 55th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency 

Vienna, 19-23 September 2011

* Check against delivery *

Mr. President, Director General, Distinguished Delegates,

At the outset, allow me to convey the congratulations of our delegation to you, Mr. President, on your election as President of the 55th session of the IAEA General Conference. Rest assured that our delegation will support you and the other members of the bureau in your effort to ensure that this General Conference successfully addresses the important items on its agenda.

I wish to express the appreciation of our delegation to Director General Amano for the manner in which he has led the Agency over the past period. The Sovereign Order of Malta is confident that under his able leadership, the Agency will also continue to contribute to sustainable strategies that address the challenges of hunger, disease and poverty which are also the priorities of the Order of Malta.

We would also like to put on records the appreciation for the message of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon which provided valuable guidance to the Conference for the advancement of peaceful applications of nuclear technology.

The Sovereign Order of Malta founded over 950 years ago and being with its unique sovereign status a subject of international law as sovereign States. The Order has diplomatic relations with exchange of Ambassadors with 104 sovereign States, most of which are IAEA Member States. The Order is holding permanent observer status to the United Nations and affiliated organizations. Its official relations at ambassador level with the European Union and numerous international organizations are providing a unique diplomatic humanitarian network which is both prove of its sovereignty and an important instrument for its humanitarian activities. Through its presence in 120 countries, the Sovereign Order of Malta initiates and sustains projects designed to deliver emergency aid, healthcare, as well as training and education. Responses to urgent needs are complemented by long-term relief programs in the fields of reconstruction, health and nutrition, livelihood and disaster preparedness.

Mr. President,

Humanity is faced with critical challenges related to maintaining and enhancing its continued prosperity within the context of ever increasing demands being placed on sustainable food production, health and security. The Agency is well placed to assist Member States in meeting the challenges to foster sustainable development.

Poverty is an excellent breeding ground for world’s collective insecurity and lack of peace; as a result prosperity very much depends on poverty alleviation.

The strategic applications of IAEA nuclear technology in targeted areas such as health, food crop and livestock improvement, water resources management and sanitation can contribute immensely to poverty alleviation which is one of the important agenda items of the Sovereign Order of Malta.

The Order has noted with great appreciation the growing attention given to cancer therapy in developing countries provided under the “Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy  ”PACT”  which seeks to increase the Agency’s capacity to assist Member States in providing cancer treatment and care.

Cancer is a major cause of death, and the number of cases in developing countries is growing rapidly as life expectancy increases. In fact the Sovereign Order of Malta is delighted that our contribution for expanding services for cancer treatment are now being formalized by signing soon a Practical Arrangement with PACT. It is the Order’s aim that this cooperation with the Agency will add a contribution that the PACT project goes a long way to helping save lives of people in developing countries.

Water is the source of life and the link that binds all living beings on this planet. Our indispensable water resources have proven themselves to be greatly resilient, but they are increasingly vulnerable and threatened. Our growing population’s needs for water and food, raw materials and energy is increasingly competing with nature’s own demands for water to sustain already imperilled ecosystems and the services on which we depend. The Order is sending one of its own scientists on water resources management to the Scientific Forum which this year is devoted to “Water Matters” in order to provide a contribution for a cooperation also in this important field which aims to sustainably manage our water for the poor, the vulnerable and for all the life on earth.

In conclusion, the Sovereign Order of Malta remains fully committed to its mission by helping to reduce pain and suffering across the globe in close cooperation with its humanitarian partners and the Agency.

Thank you for the attention, Mr. President