Director General Visits India and Nepal

India Prime Minister with IAEA Chief

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei at the International Conference on Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, 29 September 2009, New Delhi, India. (Photo: The Hindu/V.V. Krishnan) More photos »

29 September 2009 | IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei is currently on an official visit to India and Nepal.

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During his trip to India, from 26 - 31 September, which is at the invitation of the Indian Government, Dr. ElBaradei is the Guest of Honour at the International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy being held in New Delhi from 29 September -1 October.

The conference covers both power and non-power applications of nuclear energy, and includes participation from scientists, technologists, academics, policymakers and potential "newcomer" countries.

During his keynote speech today, Dr. ElBaradei commended India for its research into advanced fuel cycles based on thorium fuel.

"India called for the elimination of all nuclear weapons as far back as 1948. It is important that India's voice should continue to be heard as a leading advocate for nuclear disarmament," he said.

Tomorrow the Director General also formally accepts the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for 2008, for "his impassioned opposition to the use of nuclear energy for military purposes and his steadfast espousal of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, sustained over many years".

Dr. ElBaradei will also meet India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, as well as External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and other senior Indian officials. He will also visit the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research in Kalpakkam.

In addition, the Director General will be visiting Nepal from 1 - 3 October.

This is the first high level visit of the IAEA to Nepal since Nepal joined the Agency in July 2008. Dr. ElBaradei will meet Nepal's Prime Minister Madhav Kumar and apprise him of the opportunities for extending technical cooperation in the areas of health, food and agriculture.

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Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, IAEA Director General