IAEA Director General Visits Latin America

On 6 July 2011 in Bogota, Colombia, Dr Mauricio Santa Maria Salamanca, the Colombian Minister for Social Protection, briefed IAEA Director General on the nation’s programme to fight cancer and its cooperaiton with the IAEA in that effort.

From 28 June until 2 July 2011, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano visited five Latin American Member States: Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru.

28 to 30 June 2011 - Official Visit to Peru

On 28 June 2011, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano began his series of official visits to Latin American countries with a two-day stay in Peru.

The Director General met the Peruvian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Antonio Garcia Belaunde. Also in Lima, he met the Vice Minister for Energy and Mines, Luis Gonzales Talledo, and the President of Peruvian Institute of Nuclear Energy (IPEN), Carlos Federico Barreda. The Director General then received a briefing at the National Cancer Research Institute (INEN) by Dr. Carlos Vallejos Sologuren, INEN's Director General.

At the National Agrarian University - La Molina in Lima, the Director General together with Dr. Abel Mejia Marcacuzco, the University's Rector, visited the University's Food Programme that cooperates with the IAEA in breeding grain varieties, supporting the national effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and fight poverty.

The trip's initial day concluded with the Director General's address to the Diplomatic Academy of Peru, highlighting the IAEA's contribution to peace, security and international development.

During the second and final day of his visit to Peru, the Director General was briefed by IPEN President Barreda at the Oscar Miro Quesada de la Guerra Nuclear Centre north of Lima, which among its other activities produces a radioisotope used widely in cancer therapy, molybdenum-99.

30 June to 2 July 2011 - Official Visit to Chile

During his visit to Chile, Director General Amano met Alfredo Moreno, the Chilean Foreign Minister and Laurence Golborne, Vice Minister of Mining and Energy, to discuss the IAEA’s on-going support for Chile’s national programmes in nuclear security, plant breeding and animal productivity support.

At the Chilean Commission on Nuclear Energy, the Director General addressed the Board, and met the Commission’s President, Mr Renato Agurto Colima.

In the course of his stay, the Director General also attended the International Nuclear Security Culture Workshop, co-organized by the IAEA, before receiving a series of technical briefings.

At the Arturo López Pérez Foundation, a non-profit oncological clinic, he was briefed on the Agency’s work to support cancer control in Chile. In his tour of the Agricultural and Cattle Service’s laboratories, Director General Amano was provided a technical briefing on the Chilean-IAEA cooperation in detecting "red tide" or harmful algal blooms, as well as in ensuring food safety.

3 to 5 July - Official Visit to Ecuador

Beginning his Ecuadorian visit in Guayaquil, the Director General was briefed on cancer care programs at the Francisco Icaza Bustamante Hospital.

He also undertook a field visit to the Santa Elena fresh water project that the IAEA has supported since 2006. With researchers and experts from the Projects and Research Centre for Applied Earth Sciences of the Polytechnical University (CIPAT-ESPOL) and representatives of the Santa Elena Municipal Water Board, Director General discussed their collaboration with the IAEA in sustainable water management. In partnership, the IAEA, the municipality and the University utilize isotope techniques to study and preserve the fresh water aquifers from which the inhabitants of Santa Elena province obtain their water.

Later in Quito, the Director General met Ricardo Patiño, Minister for External Relations, Commerce and Integration at the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry. He also addressed the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences’ Conference on Nuclear Energy on the challenges and opportunities for nuclear energy following Fukushima.

Together with the Ecuadorian Minister of Health, David Chiriboga, Director General Amano visited the Burns and Plastic Surgery Unit of Eugenio Espejo Hospital. The first Chilean tissue bank was established in 1998 at Eugenio Espejo Hospital with the IAEA’s technical and financial support. Since then, the Agency continues to provide equipment and collaborate in training. Tissue treated at the bank is used to treat severe burns and in corneal transplants.

At the Andrade Marim Hospital, also in Quito, the Director General reviewed the Hospital’s plans to expand cancer diagnostic and treatment capacity through its installation of a cyclotron and a linear accelerator. The IAEA has been cooperating with Ecuador in establishing and improving its cancer treatment capacity since 1986.

At the National Institute of Autonomous Agricultural Research, the Director General discussed the Institute’s progress in using nuclear techniques to breed hardier varieties of bananas, soybeans, rice, potatoes, barley and corn which are better able to withstand disease and adverse climatic conditions, improving crop yields to secure food supplies and increase revenue.

5 to 7 July - Official Visit to Colombia

In Bogota, Colombia, Director General Amano met Dr Mauricio Santa Maria Salamanca, Minister of Social Security, to discuss the IAEA’s cooperation with Colombia in a range of areas, including agriculture, the environment and nuclear techniques to battle and control cancer, whose spread has reached epidemic proportions in developing countries. The Director General reiterated that fighting cancer in developing countries was one of the IAEA’s leading priorities. His meeting with Dr Salamanca was followed by a visit to the National Cancer Institute.

In his meeting with Dr Patti Londoño, the Colombian Vice Minister for Multilateral Affairs, the Director General reviewed the IAEA’s cooperation with Colombia in the peaceful uses of nuclear technology.

Technical cooperation in radioactive waste management, providing training for radiation protection and nuclear safety were issues at the forefront of the discussions between the Colombian Minister of Mines and Energy, Carlos Noriega, and Director General Amano. According to the Ministry, the IAEA and Colombia are collaborating in the development of a sustainable infrastructure for managing radioactive waste.

Meeting with General Oscar Naranjo, Director General of the National Police, he and Director General Amano discussed nuclear security management in Colombia.

In his visit to the Colombian Institute of Geology and Mines (INGEOMINAS) and at the IAN-R research reactor, Director General Amano received a briefing from Dr Oscar Paredes, INGEOMINAS’ Director General, on the Institute’s collaboration with the IAEA in nuclear safety, radiation protection and nuclear technologies.

8 July - Official Visit to Argentina

During the final stop of his Latin American visit, Director General Amano met the Argentine President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Argentine Foreign Minister Héctor Marcos Timerman and Brazilian Minister for Foreign Affairs Antonio de Aguiar Patriota met the Director General prior to the commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials.

Last update: 10 September 2014