Statement by the Republic of Lithuania in exercizing its Right of Reply at UN General Assembly on Agenda item 89 "Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency"
Lithuania wishes to exercise its right of reply in the ligt of the statement made by the distinguished representative of Belarus.
Each country has the right to develop nuclear power, as long as the international obligations on nuclear safety are properly addressed and national decisions are taken having considered a broader context of possible transboundary implications. The newcomer countries must be especially diligent in the implementation of the international standards.
Despite the global efforts to strengthen nuclear safety, declarative and selective approach towards nuclear safety still exists. The IAEA brand and its review services are being used for manipulative public communication. This kind of practice increases the risks related to nuclear power development.
In this regard, I have to express our concern regarding the way the project of the new Nuclear Power Plant (in Astravets, Belarus) is implemented on the border with Lithuania, just 40 kilometers from its capital Vilnius. This is being done without proper and full implementation of nuclear safety measures and genuine dialogue with neighbouring countries. The lack of transparency and missing essential information on site selection, seismic evaluation and emergency preparedness plans, are deeply alarming.
The IAEA specialized missions can bring the maximum benefits, if the IAEA experts are engaged from the very beginning of the project development and in full scope and at all stages.
Therefore, Lithuania urges all member states and especially the newcomers, to focus on safety of the project rather than on its hasty implementation.
New York, 10 November 2017