A Long Journey
Departing DG ElBaradei Urges Staff to Pursue Peace, Freedom and Dignity
IAEA Director General bids farewell to staff at the Vienna International Centre after twelve years at the helm of the Agency. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)
In a brief assembly held during his final working day in office, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, summarised his distinguished career, spanning a quarter-century at the Agency, in a short address. "The moment of departure," he noted, "is an opportunity to reflect upon a journey of joy, challenges, pleasure and fulfilment."
That long journey´s accomplishments were made possible, Dr. ElBaradei emphasised, through the IAEA staff´s unflagging commitment and professionalism. "It is a feeling of gratitude," he continued, "to be leaving at a moment when the Agency has reached such prominence in contributing to international security and development." While that status is rightly a source of pride, it is also, he reminded staff, "an immense responsibility, which brings with it much work." He urged the staff and the Agency to continue to "carry forward the torch" and to sustain their "100% commitment" to preserving and expanding peace, freedom, justice, and human dignity.
In considering the future, Dr. ElBaradei spoke of his sense of well-justified hope, "since the world is finally returning to its senses. People are speaking of a world free of nuclear weapons, of one human family and of a world that lifts people out of poverty." On a personal note, Dr. ElBaradei intimated that in addition to looking forward to spending more time with his family, he would continue to speak and write, focussing on the issues that he had followed throughout his career.