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Foreign Minister Dr. Logar: The IAEA is to be commended for having managed to continue all of its operations during this unprecedented crisis, including verification and monitoring activities in Iran

Statement by H.E. Dr. Anže Logar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, at the Sixty-fourth Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference, Vienna, 21 September 2020

Mr. President,

Let me start by congratulating you, Ambassador of Morocco, for assuming the role of the President of the 64th Session of the IAEA General Conference. I wish you every success in discharging your duties.

Mr. President,

The COVID-19 pandemic made an immense impact on the international community.  In addition to the statement delivered on behalf of the European Union, I would therefore like to make several remarks in my national capacity.

First of all, I would like to emphasize how pleased I am that the Agency provided equipment for the detection and diagnosis of the virus to Member States.  Slovenia was one of those that benefited from this assistance. In this connection, I also cannot but acknowledge the extra-budgetary and in-kind contributions by a number of countries.  I would especially like to thank the United States, which was one of the first and major sponsors of these activities.

Let me also commend the Agency for having managed to continue all of its operations during this unprecedented crisis, including verification and monitoring activities in Iran.  Slovenia has repeatedly expressed its support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as well as concerns regarding Iran's reduction of its commitments.  In our view, the nuclear deal is a vital part of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and needs to be preserved.  I therefore call on Iran to return to full compliance with its commitments under the JCPoA without delay.  I also urge all the parties to put serious efforts in further implementation of this vital international agreement.

Turning to the comprehensive safeguards agreements under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, I would like to underline their importance for the maintenance of international peace and security.  Slovenia therefore calls on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and return to the system of IAEA inspections.  This could be the first step on the way to fully denuclearising the Korean Peninsula.  I therefore welcome continued readiness of the Agency to play essential role in verifying the DPRK's nuclear program.

Finally, let me underline that Slovenia regards the NPT as the cornerstone of global nuclear non-proliferation regime.  As one of thirty states with a fully-fledged civilian nuclear program, Slovenia attaches the utmost importance to the vital contribution of the Agency in the implementation of the NPT.  Let me also say, that we have high expectations regarding the outcome of the upcoming NPT Review Conference.  In fact, we hope that further steps to strengthen the peaceful uses of nuclear energy will be taken in New York this January.

Thank you.