Thank you Mr. President.
We thank Ambassador Gary Quinlan for presenting the report on the activities of the Committee and the Panel of Experts. We also take note of the recent IAEA report on the implementation of NPT safeguards in Iran.
This Council has been seized of the Iranian nuclear issue for more than six years now. The Council and the 1737 Committee have made considerable efforts to address and resolve the outstanding issues.
We take this opportunity to reaffirm the need for the Council to revisit the objectives and strategy as set out in the relevant resolutions.
We welcome the resumption of recent diplomatic efforts between P-5 Plus One and Iran. More importantly, we welcome recent positive and conciliatory overtures and statements. Affirmation of faith in negotiations is welcome. We believe that there may be a way out through consistent engagement.
A peaceful resolution of the issues is possible on the basis of reciprocal confidence-building measures as well as the necessary steps to ensure Iranís right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The Council and the Committee need to lend their support to these efforts.
It is essential to avert confrontation over Iranís nuclear program which has the potential to destabilize the immediate neighborhood of Iran and the already volatile region.
As other Council members have pointed out, the work of the Panel of Experts and its activities should conform strictly to its mandate. Its reports, analyses and recommendations must be anchored in objectivity and impartiality and backed by solid evidence.
We reiterate our view that Security Council sanctions should not be pursued as an end in themselves. A negotiated solution to the unresolved issues needs to be facilitated by striking a balance between sanctions and negotiations.
We call upon the Council, the Committee, and the Panel of Experts to align the objectives and strategy accordingly. Easing of pressure could help with negotiations.
Iran as a party to the NPT and member of the IAEA is entitled to certain rights that should be respected in line with the provisions of these instruments. At the same time, Iran should fulfill its legal obligations under the NPT. We urge Iran to stay engaged with the IAEA and extend full cooperation to it with a view to resolving all outstanding issues.
It is important for the Council to explore means of broadening the composition of Panel of Experts particularly from developing countries. Such a step would contribute towards better awareness and increased implementation of the relevant Council resolutions.
The Council should revisit the existing method of appointment of Panel Experts. The present practice needs to be aligned with the UN's core values of transparency and impartiality. We hope that the Council will attend to these issues, not just in the case of this Committee, but in all subsidiary bodies. We will gladly contribute towards this process.
I thank you, Mr. President.