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Conferences & UNGASS 2000

                    Il 25 luglio 2002, dopo quasi due anni di trattative è stato firmato a Praga  il "Patto tra la Santa Sede e la Repubblica Ceca sul regolamento dei rapporti

  • Twenty-third Special Session of the General Assembly, Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the Twenty-first Century
    New York, 8 June 2000

  • Sixth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
    New York, April - May 2000


Statement by H.E. Ms. Bela Hejna, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic to the Twenty-third Special Session of the General Assembly, Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the Twenty-first Century

Mr. President,

I am very honoured to take part in this session and to contribute to it saying, that the Czech Republic also ranks among the countries which have responded to the conclusions of the Beijing Conference, and which have endeavoured ever since to fulfil its objectives.

In the Czech Republic, we are coming to the conclusion of a period of essential social and economic change which has been necessary for the transformation from a communist regime into a free civil society based upon democratic principles. Now as the whole economic and social system has been reorganized and new mechanisms have been successfully implemented, we must turn our attention to how these changes impact on the enhancement of the quality of life. We also must be mindful of the effect these changes have on the free formation of structural relationship and institutions of a traditional civil society, the guaranteeing of the rights of the individual and on the implementation of civil liberties.

Naturally, hand in hand with these, related topics have become public issues, such as observance of the principle of civil justice, non-discrimination, creation of new opportunities and enhancement of the guarantees which have been currently provided to the citizens by their government.

These tendencies are being addressed in governmental policy by means of strengthening the formal prerequisites for the promotion of civil rights namely

The process of finalizing internal institutional mechanisms designed to promote human rights and

Strengthening the civil justice principle by means of enhancing the quality of the existing legal system.

Both of the processes mentioned impact directly upon the equality of men and women, or the requirement to eliminate discrimination against women.

The existing traditional Human Rights Institutions (which in fact were just the courts of justice in the past) have been recently complemented by the Council of the Government of the Czech Republic on Human Rights, and the post of Governmental Trustee for Human Rights, who at the same time acts as the Council´s chairman. In relation to the Government, both the Council and the Trustee have an advisory and initiative status. Apart from governmental institutions, other stakeholders, such as NGO´s and the professional public, have their permanent representation in the Council. Together they monitor human rights with respect to commitments ensuing from the international human rights conventions, including the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Based upon their findings, the Council proposes respective legal amendments to the Government.

These already well functioning bodies have now been strengthened by the office of public human rights protector - the ombudsman, whose task is to monitor how or whether the public authorities observe the human rights of individuals. The ombudsman also monitors legislation aimed at insuring civil protection. His role then is to help remedy any wrongdoings in the administrative procedure. The ombudsman usually acts based upon the suggestion and complaints received from citizens whom he also gives basic advice.

We can rightly expect that the results of these new institutions´ activities will contribute not only to an increased civil awareness of legal safety, but also to the gradual strengthening of social sensitiveness to injustice, discrimination and other forms of making undesirable distinctions between people.

Another endeavor which the government has successfully undertaken, is the process of improving the legal system where the human rights area underwent essential changes. Concerning the equality of men and women, one of the significant stimulating factors is the preparation of the Czech Republic for accession to the European Union. Less than two month ago, on April 14, the Czech Parliament adopted the Amendment to the Labour Code. This Amendment, among other things, contains a precisely formulated ban on employee discrimination based upon gender, it introduces the principle of equal treatment of both men and women at work, and it institutes a system of guarantees for consistent and efficient implementation of these newly introduced relationships in practice. The principle of equal treatment of men and women is also being successfully introduced outside the workplace itself, especially in equal access to jobs and in the pension insurance area.

An ongoing task we face is increasing public awareness of the gender equality principle, and eliminating rigid ideas on the roles of women and men in society. This task is - as we all know - very difficult in itself. In the post-communist countries, its solution became more complicated due to the fact that there still prevails the negative impact of forced female emancipation by means of their almost 100% employment which occurred in the 1950s. For quite a long time, women were compensated for these conditions by artificial protection, artificial relief of benefits related to child care. Sudden restrictions of their protection might become a socially sensitive issue, apart from the fact that it is a very costly affair which leads employers to prefer male job applicants. In our opinion, this seemingly deadlocked situation might be tackled by implementing a consistent policy of equal opportunities for both men and women, including the principle of equal treatment. A relatively new and for the Czech public unusual aspect is the application of gender equality principle which exerts justice on representatives of both genders, unlike the principle of civil neutrality which has been applied until now.

In conclusion, I would like to underline the key importance of international cooperation in formulating and promoting national policy for such a sensitive area as the equality of men and women. Thanks to this cooperation and with the help of arguments vested in the international legal instruments and valid international commitments, the Czech Republic has been quite successful in finding and adopting fundamental ideas of a policy which in its effect - we hope - will bring to members of both sexes a solid guarantee of their equal development, and also the opportunity to meet their vital aspirations. I believe that we will not owe this debt to the international community for long and I am sure that soon we will actively join those who can enrich the pool of common experience with their own contribution.

Thank you, Mr. President.


  • Sixth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

  • Press Release, Unofficial Translation, Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

  • Press Release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

  • Statement by Ms. Dana Drabova, Chairman of the State Office for Nuclear Safety at Main Committee III of the Sixth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

    New York, April 27, 2000

  • Speaking Notes of H.E. Mr. Pavel Vacek, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, OCSE and other International Organizations in Vienna at Main Committee I of the Sixth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

    New York, April 26, 2000

  • Statement by Ms. Dana Drabova, Chairman of the State Office for Nuclear Safety at Main Committee II of the Sixth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

    New York, April 26, 2000


Press Release, Unofficial Translation, Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Sixth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

The Sixth Review Conference of States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, including the Czech Republic, will be held in New York from 24 April to 19 May 2000. Non-proliferation of all weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means, disarmament, arms control, maximum transparency in trade in materials, equipment and technologies usable for arms programmes in sensitive regions are among long-term priorities of the Czech Republic´s foreign policy. For these reasons, the Czech Republic regards the NPT as one of the essential tools in the regime of global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. The Czech Republic is therefore interested in universal adherence to the Treaty and consistent implementation of all documents adopted at the NPT Fifth Review and Extension Conference held in 1995.

With regard to the present complicated international situation in the field of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, the Conference does not have much hope of a major success. Nevertheless, the Czech Republic is of the opinion that it is necessary to build on the progress achieved since the last Review Conference. This applies in particular to the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) negotiated in 1996, the Additional Protocol to the Safeguards Agreement enhancing the safeguards system of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the ongoing reduction of nuclear weapons held by the United States and Russian Federation under the START-I and START-II treaties. The unilateral measures taken by the United Kingdom and France namely as regards the reduction of their nuclear arsenals and ratification of the CTBT have also contributed towards this progress.

The Czech Republic proceeds from the premise that nuclear disarmament will be a long-term and gradual process. In this context, it supports an early entry into force of the CTBT and a speedy opening of negotiations on the Treaty Banning the Production of Fissile Material for Nuclear Weapons at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. It supports the elaboration of a legally binding instrument on negative security assurances of nuclear-weapon States for non-nuclear-weapon States, and on voluntary transfer of military fissile material under IAEA safeguards. The Czech Republic attaches exceptional importance to the revitalization of the disarmament process in the field of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, and has therefore welcomed the ratification of START-II treaty by the State Duma of the Russian Federation. The Czech Republic regards the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty as one of the fundamental pillars of strategic balance. In the field of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the Czech Republic supports measures making the exchange of scientific and technical information conditional on responsible approach to nuclear non-proliferation.


Press Release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic has welcomed the report on the successful results of the 6th Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from April 24 to May 19, 2000. The Ministry shares the view of the international community that the consistent implementation of the Final Document of the Conference, in particular the realization of concrete measures aimed at enhancing the process of non-proliferation, will facilitate a speedy achievement of the ultimate objective, i.e. complete elimination of nuclear weapons. The interest of all countries participating in the Conference in achieving a positive result raises the hopes that the disarmament process in the field of nuclear weapons will regain its momentum and that security and peace in the world will be further strengthened.


Speaking Notes of H.E. Mr. Pavel Vacek, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, OCSE and other International Organizations in Vienna at Main Committee I of the Sixth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

- Congratulate the Chairman on the assumption of his office, assure him of the support from the Czech delegation;

- CR has aligned itself w. the EU statement made earlier; the following intervention draws upon that broader platform;

- Want to avoid repetition of the general debate but there are things worth reiterating and elaborating on:

- This RevCon is first to answer the question of how the 1995 Pirnciples and Objectives have been pursued and to what degree have been fulfilled; a fair answer is prerequisite for a meaningful outcome;

-Stress at the outset that a patient, realistic and balanced approach to the work is the only way of making progress; listening to various assessments one cannot but observe that the alarmist tones and warnings of all sorts are not entirely substantiated: in fact the world situation in nuclear disarmament provides for a mixed picture and this should be duly reflected in the proceedings and the outcome of this RevCon.:

- Want to mention some of the factors most relevant for our deliberations:

1. CTBT was concluded, its provisional technical implementation is well under way; that it has not entered into force is regrettable but it has also been due to the developments going contrary to its purposes, incl. the South Asian nuclear explosions; lately, we have seen encouraging progress, incl. new ratifications, namely in Russia; hope for more to follow;

The Czech Republic, currently at the chair of the Preparatory Commission for CTBTO, does contribute its share to the pursuance of principles and objectives of the last NPT RevCon, i.a. by its very early signature and ratification of the CTBT. Therefore we join the EU in calling on all those whose signatures and ratifications are necessary for the entry into force to do what they are urged to do without further procrastinating. We should not have too many EiF (art. XIV) conferences: one more, in addition to the one we had last autumn, should be enough. Feel it would be appropriate that the next (and hopefully the last) EiF conference be held next year in order to maximise its impact. The CTBT should enter into force soon, definitely before the next NPT RevCon. The PrepCom Session starting on this coming Tuesday will be able to take stock of both political developments and of progress on the technical front. The most immediate incremental step we can usefully make is to conclude the relationship agreement between the CTBTO and the U.N.: The residual difficulties on the part of a very limited number of states signatories will hopefully be overcome so as the agreement could be adopted and submitted to this year UNGA.

2. The failure to begin negotiations of a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty in the Geneva CD has been the major disappointment in the balance of our "Principles and Objectives". Obstructions and "interblocking" approaches continue to paralyse the work of the CD. FMCT and its negotiations must be the priority now after the NPT RevCon, as it should have been the case for the last five years anyway. Furthermore on fissile material: It is a good thing that 4 out of the 5 NWS observe moratoria on production of fissile material for weapon purposes, it is regrettable that others have not followed suit.

Agree with others who spoke before me that the RevCon must provide the necessary political impulses to CD.

A lot of references to the universality which is a desirable thing in disarmament. In this context, stress that the CD membership should also be subject to this desirable universality: The exclusivity of membership is not justifiable in the times when involvement and contribution of all who wish so is needed. The Czech Republic has become observer in the CD due to the split of the former Czechoslovak Federation in 1992 and has not been able to regain its membership since then; it draws the attention of others to the need to allow the membership in CD for all those who wish it.

3. Developments under art. VI of the NPT have not been excessively dynamic but believe that sober optimism is appropriate. START II has been ratified on both sides now and we believe there are good prospects for START III to open soon in a constructive mood. Like the EU, we too want START III to verifiably reduce also substrategic nuclear forces. But prior to that, tactical nuclear weapons should be removed from operational use through an appropriate contractual instrument.

A lot of strong feelings expressed on ABMT and NMD: we deem that only negotiated and mutually acceptable adaptations to the 1972 ABMT are imaginable otherwise we face major risks on several fronts.

- In conclusion: Believe that if we are able to proceed along the lines set out in the EU statements made which the CR endorses we will be able to score a significant progress at this RevCon and in the implementation of the NPT.


Statement by Ms. Dana Drabova, Chairman of the State Office for Nuclear Safety at Main Committee II of the Sixth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

Mr. Chairman,

Since it is for the first time I have the floor, may I congratulate you Mr. Chairman and both vice-chairmen on assumption of the significant posts of responsibility and assure you of the Czech Republic delegation full support and co-operation.

Regardless the fact that the Czech Republic delegation has joined the relevant common statement of the European Union and associated countries, which will be presented later on, I would like to make some comments on issues involved in deliberations in this Main Committee.

With a great satisfaction we have heard that number of State Parties to NPT increased again. With 187 parties, the NPT clearly reflects the broad international consensus that the further spread of nuclear weapons would gravely endanger the security of all states. Nevertheless there are still several states out of the Treaty. The Czech Republic as a Non-Nuclear Weapon State supports the universality of the NPT and its full implementation. There for we call upon those states which are out of the Treaty to adhere to it.

As it is mentioned in the IAEA background paper safeguards are the main component of Non-Proliferation Regime and represents a form of institutionalised nuclear transparency on exclusively usage of nuclear material for peaceful purposes. The Czech Republic considers conclusion of Safeguards Agreements with the Agency and their implementation as a one of the basic obligations of the States-Parties to the NPT. That is why we had signed new, our own Safeguards Agreement and brought it into force on September 11, 1997 as INFCIRC/541. However, as we have heard, not all State Parties to NPT are in compliance with their safeguards obligations. We urge all of those 55 states to meet their obligation under the NPT and to conclude a comprehensive Safeguards Agreement or put it into force as soon as possible.

Our common experience from the early beginning of the 90-ies indicated the need to reinforce the system of international safeguards by providing the Agency with the means to detect undeclared nuclear activities. From this point of view we feel that opening for signature of the Additional Protocol to the Safeguards Agreements has been a further step significantly contributing to a greater transparency of nuclear activities of the states. In this respect we were pleased to hear that already 49 states had signed the Protocol and for 9 of them the Protocol already entered into force. The Czech Republic signed the Additional Protocol on September 28, 1999 and like many other countries is at present working on preparation of its internal legislation necessary for early ratification of the Protocol. We are sharing the view that once the model Protocol has been agreed, all States and other Parties to the Safeguards Agreements shall conclude relevant Additional Protocols. In our view Additional Protocol should be considered as a logical expansion of the obligation in Article III.1 of the NPT. We want to support the conclusion of the IAEA that strengthening process of safeguards will gain ground as more and more States will bring Additional Protocols into force.

Speaking about strengthening of safeguards we would like to mention that the Czech Republic from the very beginning agreed with the IAEA simplified inspector designation procedure and does not require visa for them. The Czech Republic provided information on closed down or decommissioned facilities and locations outside facilities, exhausting description about our nuclear fuel cycle and detailed information about installations with large hot cells, most of which have been already inspected. Permanently we are exchanging information on the activity of our SSAC.

Among major components of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime belong also national nuclear export control systems, measures to ensure the physical protection of nuclear material and to guard against theft or unauthorised use, commitments not to test nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices and national legislation aimed at preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The Czech Republic fully supports the IAEA in its efforts to enhance co-operation in implementing the Programme for Preventing and Combating Illicit Trafficking in Nuclear Material and plays an active role in this Programme. It can be illustrated by organising the international training course on physical protection of nuclear material and nuclear installations, which was organised in co-operation with the IAEA and the US Government in our country during last year already for the fourth time. We strongly believe that countries, on the territory of which nuclear material is stored, manipulated with or transported, should implement strict provisions regarding accounting for and control of nuclear material and to secure its physical protection on the level of the international standards. Representatives of the Czech Republic took active role in a review the recommendations for the physical protection of nuclear material elaborated under IAEA auspices and the Czech Republic belongs to those 8 countries, which accepted IPPAS mission at their nuclear installations.

Another obligation under the Treaty complementary to safeguards concerns also the application of nuclear related international transfers. Each exporting state party to the Treaty has a responsibility to control its nuclear related exports. The Czech Republic as a member of the Zangger Committee and NSG regards transparent national nuclear export controls as an integral part of strong non-proliferation regime, which is essential to constructive international nuclear co-operation. One of the main principles of this regime is acceptance of the IAEA full-scope safeguards, which we require as a precondition of any supply of nuclear items. In connection with the adoption of new Atomic Energy Act in 1997 the Czech Republic completed necessary revisions in its legislation to fully comply with all requirements in this sphere. We support the appeal to implement principles of the NSG and the Zangger Committee on a national level. As a member of the NSG who participated in the preparation of the seminars on control regimes held in Vienna and in New York, the Czech Republic fully supports similar activities.

Mr. Chairman,

It is the central point of our interest to demonstrate that all nuclear material and equipment or material especially designed or prepared for the processing, use or production of special fissionable material on the territory of our state or under its control is used explicitly for the peaceful purposes.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman


Statement by Ms. Dana Drabova, Chairman of the State Office for Nuclear Safety at Main Committee III of the Sixth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

Mr. Chairman,

Since this is the first time the Czech Republic has the floor in this Main Committee I would like to congratulate you and the vice-chairmen on assumption of the significant posts of responsibility and assure you of the Czech delegation full support and co-operation.

Regardless the fact that the Czech delegation has joined the relevant common statement of the European Union and associated countries we would like to make some more detailed comments on issues connected to peaceful uses of nuclear energy in our country.

With respect to its territory, population and GDP the Czech Republic has relatively extensive nuclear programme oriented entirely at peaceful use of nuclear energy. There are two nuclear power plants; Dukovany with four 440 WWER type reactors in commercial operation and two 1000 WWER type reactors under the construction in Temelín.

The Czech Republic is fully aware of the importance of maintaining the highest reasonably achievable standards in nuclear safety and radiation protection and put constant considerable effort to assure the necessary infrastructure and financial, human and research resources to meet its responsibilities in this field.

The Czech Republic recognises the IAEA as the principal body for the transfer of expertise and technology in peaceful use of nuclear energy. That is why one of the priorities of the Czech nuclear programme is just as in the previous period the expert and technical co-operation with the IAEA. Czech delegates has taken part in meetings of important IAEA advisory bodies i.e. NUSSAC (Nuclear Safety Standards Advisory Committee), meetings of technical committees and specialist's meetings. The Czech delegation played active role at the International Conference on Strengthening of Nuclear Safety in Eastern Europe, which was organised by the IAEA in Vienna in June 1999.

A very important aspect in the interrelationship of the Czech Republic with the IAEA is the participation in national technical co-operation programme, which is organised by Agency for individual Member States according to Agency Statute. In the framework of this programme the Czech Republic participates in 6 projects, the most important being assistance in establishing the cyclotron centre for production of short-lived radiopharmaceuticals and utilisation of so-called PET (Positron Emission Tomography) method in the medical practice. The project related entirely to non-power application brings in a cost effective manner substantial capacity building in health care and has clear and positive impact on its quality. The PET Centre was inaugurated at the Prague hospital Na Homolce in November 1999. This Model Project can serve as an excellent example of effectiveness of the new strategy for the IAEA technical co-operation called Partners in Development, which was introduced in 1997.

The Czech Republic participates in a number of activities in the framework of regional technical co-operation programme. Five workshops, two regional training courses and two technical committee meetings were organised in the Czech Republic during the last five years. Topics of them were quite diverse and covered physical protection of the nuclear material and nuclear facilities, emergency preparedness, security of radioactive sources and materials, information of the public or quality assurance in medical applications of ionising radiation. On the other hand more than 50 Czech specialists took part in similar activities organised in the framework of the IAEA regional technical co-operation abroad. These activities were aimed mainly at nuclear safety of NPPs, radiation protection and emergency preparedness.

We are aware of the necessity of the international co-operation in this field and we understand needs of the developing countries. The Czech Republic is not only the recipient of technical co-operation assistance, at the same time it is a donor country contributing regularly to the IAEA Technical Co-operation Fund.

My country is also involved in financing of several technical assistance projects prepared in co-operation with the IAEA for recipient countries, namely the countries of the former Soviet Union. One of such projects is technical assistance to Ukraine in establishing the capacity for non-destructive testing of WWER 1000 reactor pressure vessel.

Fellowship programmes for experts from developing countries are permanently arranged in the Czech Republic in areas of the nuclear safety, radiation protection, radioactive waste management, regulatory activities, nuclear legislation, medical use of ionising radiation, quality assurance and emergency preparedness etc. In 1999 we organised fellowship programmes and short scientific visits for nearly 70 specialists from developing countries. Recently we have sent several experts to Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Moldova and other developing countries to assist and educate their experts in radioactive waste management, radiation protection, creation of national regulatory body and instrumentation and control.

The Czech Republic fully supports the IAEA in its efforts to enhance co-operation in implementing the Programme for Preventing and Combating Illicit Trafficking in Nuclear Material and plays an active role in this Programme. It can be illustrated by organising the international training course on physical protection of nuclear material and nuclear installations, which was organised in co-operation with the IAEA and the US Government in our country during last year already for the fourth time.

International co-operation of our country in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear energy is not, however, restricted only to the IAEA. Being in the accession process to the European Union, the Czech Republic takes part in structured dialog with relevant DGs of the European Commission, participates in PHARE programme, collaborate with the OECD/NEA and is involved into technical co-operation in nuclear safety within the G-24.

On the other hand we understand that for the purpose of safe use of nuclear energy the recipient countries have to sign and ratify international agreements and conventions creating an international legal framework for a safe management of both nuclear facilities and nuclear material. One of them is Convention on Nuclear Safety concluded in 1994, which entered into force in October 1996. Fulfilment of our obligations arising from ratification of this Convention is of great importance for our country. Current status was assessed on the First Review Meeting on the Implementation of the Convention last year. We are assured that positive result of this assessment expressed by the Member States and the Czech Republicas well at the end of the Meeting will among others play an important role in the negotiations preceding the accession of our country to the EU.

Mr. Chairman,

Once all principles of nuclear non-proliferation are assured, nothing can hamper our co-operation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy among States Parties to the Treaty.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman