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UN General Assembly Reaffirms Support for IAEA's Work

Yukiya Amano

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano at the United Nations General Assembly, New York, USA, 1 November 2011.

The United Nations General Assembly today reaffirmed its "strong support for the indispensable role of the Agency in encouraging and assisting the development and practical application of atomic energy for peaceful uses, in technology transfer to developing countries and in nuclear safety, verification and security."

The Resolution was adopted after IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano presented the Agency's 54th Annual Report to the Assembly. Mr. Amano reviewed the IAEA's work during the past twelve months, particularly the Agency's response to the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. IAEA Member States have recently endorsed a 12-point Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, including agreement for a "stress test" of nuclear power plants in all countries with active nuclear programmes, the strengthening of the IAEA peer review system on operational safety, and a review of relevant safety standards and conventions.

Mr. Amano said the Action Plan represented a significant step forward in the global nuclear safety regime. "It is vital that it is fully implemented in all countries with nuclear power and that the right lessons are learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident," he added.

The Director General also welcomed the convening of the High-Level Meeting on Nuclear Safety and Security organized by the United Nations in September, which brought UN-system organizations together to collaborate on this issue. As the only international organization with expertise in all aspects of nuclear energy, the IAEA will play a leading role in shaping a safer nuclear future throughout the world, Mr. Amano said.

The Director General reviewed the progress made in bringing the benefits of peaceful nuclear technology to developing countries, as well as promoting and safeguarding the safe and secure use of nuclear power. He highlighted the Agency's contribution to the eradication of rinderpest in Africa and the role of nuclear techniques in global water management issues. The IAEA's annual Scientific Forum in September, attended by leading scientists and government officials, focused on the use of nuclear techniques related to water. The Agency also recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Environment Laboratories in Monaco, which has made an outstanding contribution in protecting the world's oceans and seas.

In his address to the General Assembly, Mr. Amano also touched on the areas of nuclear energy, nuclear applications, nuclear safety and security, technical cooperation and nuclear verification. He reported on the Agency's continued safeguards activities in North Korea, Iran and Syria, and said the Agency would hold a forum in Vienna on 21-22 November to consider the relevance to the Middle East of the experience of Africa, the South Pacific, South-East Asia, Central Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean in establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones.

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-- By Rodolfo Quevenco, IAEA Division of Public Information


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