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Parliamentary questions
18 December 2002
E-3662/02
WRITTEN QUESTION by Marie Isler Béguin (Verts/ALE) to the Council

 Subject:  Amendment of WHA Agreement 12-40 between the WHO and the IAEA
 Answer(s) 

On 28 May 1959 the 12th Assembly of the World Health Organisation adopted Resolution WHA 12-40 covering an agreement linking the WHO to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The agreement stipulated that WHO work and programmes deemed to be related to the IAEA's sphere of activities would be subject to the control and approval of the latter organisation and that the procedures for and conduct of such work and programmes would be subject to a negotiated consensus (Article 1(3)).

The same article set out the explicit and partisan aims of the IAEA, stating that its main responsibility is to encourage, assist and coordinate around the world research into, and the development and practical use of, atomic energy for peaceful purposes. In the WHO Constitution which was ratified in July 1946 and which entered into force on 7 April 1947, in accordance with the United Nations Charter the contracting parties adopted the following principle as basic to the security of all peoples: "Informed opinion and active cooperation on the part of the public are of the utmost importance in the improvement of the health of the people. Governments have a responsibility for the health of their peoples". In the report which it submitted to the WHO in 1958, the study group on the mental health issues raised by the use of atomic energy stated that the most satisfactory solution for the future peaceful use of atomic energy would be for a new generation that had learned to accept ignorance and uncertainty as a fact of life to emerge.

Is the Council not concerned at this flagrant collusion between two international institutions, with WHO reports being subjected to censure by the IAEA, which is intrinsically pro-nuclear?

Is it not alarmed at the implications which the compromises clearly made by the WHO have for the objectivity and accuracy of EU studies carried out in preparation for its programmes and action in the field of nuclear energy and related diseases (brought about by the use of depleted uranium in Iraq and the FYR or the effects of Chernobyl in Eastern Europe)?

Given this affront to the transparency and independence of the WHO, which is borne out by the fact that it took ten years to organise on its own a conference on the Chernobyl disaster and then failed to publish the report of the proceedings, should the Council not denounce the collusion brought about by some provisions of the agreement?

Will the Council undertake, within the framework of its bilateral dialogue with these two international institutions, to demand the amendment of WHA Agreement 12-40 (Article 1(3), under which each party is to provide the other with information), as provided for in Article 13 thereof?

Original language of question: FROJ C 222 E, 18/09/2003 (p. 99)
Zadnja posodobitev: 18. september 2003Pravno obvestilo