Statement by Pakistan in the Fourth Committee on "Effects of Atomic Radiation" 16 October 2008

On behalf of the Pakistan delegation, I would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for the work that the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation is carrying out, with scientific authority and independence, in fulfillment of its mandate. We thank the Secretary of the Committee for his briefing. We appreciate the Committee’s report for its 56th session, which Pakistan also attended as observer pursuant to General Assembly resolution 62/100.

  1. We attach great importance to the Scientific Committee’s contribution in promoting wider knowledge and understanding of the levels of ionizing radiation and their effects on human beings and environment.
  2. There is great value in increasing international cooperation in the field of radiation protection. We believe the Committee’s work can benefit immensely from the expertise that exists in this field around the world. The decision to increase the Committee’s membership is a step in that direction. Pakistan has the capacity, relevant experience and professional expertise at personnel and organizational levels, and we look forward to contributing to the Committee’s work.
  3. Its important work demands that the Scientific Committee is provided with the necessary resources. We hope that the lingering problems of staffing of the professional secretariat and funding will be addressed without further delay. Neither the Committee’s mandate nor the question of expansion of its membership, on which the General Assembly has taken a principled decision, should be allowed to be affected by financial and administrative issues.
  4. With regard to membership, let me add that the mandate of the report requested by the Secretary General last year was clearly to address the “financial and administrative implications” of increased membership. Any other aspects including criteria are beyond this mandate. Ideas to keep the maximum number of members of the Committee as about the same, in our view, are not consistent with the principled decision of the General Assembly on increase in membership.
  5. We hope that our resolution this year will provide definitive solutions to these issues. The resolution should provide a cut off date for full membership for the observers. We look forward to working closely with the chair (Canada) and other member states for a consensus text.