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Technical cooperation events and activities at the 57th IAEA General Conference

From 16 to 20 September 2013, hundreds of diplomats, experts and officials gathered in Vienna to attend the IAEA’s 57th General Conference (GC), to discuss the IAEA’s programme and activities, and  a wide range of cooperation issues. Nearly 20 countries, as well as IAEA Departments and other international organizations, held exhibitions on the margins of the conference to present success stories and ongoing developments in the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology. Exhibitor countries included Argentina, Belgium, China, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Ghana, Iran, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. Many exhibitors presented national IAEA technical cooperation projects, and showcased the final results or products that arose from these projects.

Mongolia celebrated its 40th anniversary as an IAEA Member State with an informative exhibition on the IAEA technical cooperation (TC) projects carried out in the country. A promotional video provided a thorough explanation of the benefits Mongolia has gained from nuclear technology and the IAEA’s TC support. Since 1973, Mongolia has received continuous assistance from the IAEA in the form of training courses, expert advice and the procurement of equipment worth over $13 million. Over the past 40 years, Mongolia has taken part in 60 national projects and numerous regional TC projects focusing on agriculture, including enhancing livestock health and improving crop yield, as well as addressing health challenges with radiotherapy and nuclear medicine. In addition, projects have covered areas such as nuclear and radiation safety, nuclear science, energy planning and mining.

Ethiopia’s exhibition focused on one particular project supported by the IAEA’s TC programme: the Southern Tsetse Eradication Project (STEP). The project utilizes the sterile insect technique to control insect pests, with the aim of eventually eradicating tsetse from the country. Ethiopia hosted a special ceremony at its booth to show its appreciation for the TC support it has received from the IAEA, and the role of this support in efforts to eradicate tsetse. At the end of the ceremony, Ethiopia’s traditional specialty coffee was served to the participants.

Pakistan’s exhibition, titled “Colours of Pakistan”, highlighted the county’s efforts to address development issues with nuclear science and technology. The exhibition presented progress in developing a nuclear power programme and displayed items produced as outcomes of several IAEA TC projects. These included kits of radiopharmaceuticals supplied to 40 nuclear medical centres in the country and a molecule generator. The exhibit also presented a TC project that built the country’s capacity to use DNA barcoding to identify unknown organisms.

Ghana celebrated 50 years of cooperation with the IAEA this year, and marked the event with a large exhibition on major economic and social achievements attained as a result of the IAEA’s TC support. The exhibit presented many IAEA TC projects, as well as ongoing efforts to enhance the country’s capacities in nuclear science and technology for development.

The exhibition stand of the International Centre for Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) provided information on SESAME and its cooperation with the IAEA. SESAME experts were available to answer the questions of conference participants, providing useful insights into SESAME’s work. SESAME is a ‘third-generation’ synchrotron light source and an international science centre currently under construction in Allan, Jordan, which aims to facilitate international scientific research in the Middle Eastern region. The IAEA, through its TC programme, helps to train future SESAME users and operators and provides technical assistance for the construction of the facility.

Responsible/Contact: Department of Technical Cooperation | Last update: 08 Oct, 2013

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