The IAEA's 53rd General Conference of Member States concluded today in Vienna, with over 1 400 delegates from IAEA Member States attending the week-long event.
Following discussion, the General Conference adopted resolutions on the following items: the Agency's Programme and Budget for 2010-2011; measures to strengthen international cooperation in nuclear, radiation, transportation and waste safety; nuclear security - measures to protect against nuclear terrorism; strengthening of the Agency's technical cooperation activities; strengthening the Agency's activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications; strengthening the effectiveness and improving the efficiency of the safeguards system and application of the Model Additional Protocol; implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement between the Agency and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea; application of IAEA safeguards in the Middle East; and Israeli nuclear capabilities. The item on the prohibition of armed attack or threat of attack against nuclear installations, during operation or under construction was included in a Presidential statement.
As the Conference began, the Conference approved the appointment of Yukiya Amano of Japan as the next IAEA Director General, for a term of office from December 2009 to November 2013. The Conference also honoured Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei with the title "Director General Emeritus", in recognition of "his devotion to the objectives and functions of the IAEA and to the cause of international peace and security" during his 12-year tenure as Director General.
A two-day Scientific Forum, looking at the role of nuclear energy for development, was conducted concurrently with the Conference and underscored energy's central role in advancing social and economic development worldwide. Several briefings on the Agency's work in areas such as nuclear energy, safety and security and technical cooperation also took place throughout the week.
Agency milestones celebrated during the week, marking the 25th anniversary of the regional technical cooperation agreement for Latin America and the Caribbean (ARCAL), and the 20th anniversary of the African regional cooperative agreement (AFRA). Other notable events included the conclusion of a formal trade agreement between Russia and Serbia for the repatriation of spent fuel from the Vinca research reactor; a forum held by the International Safety Advisory Group (INSAG) focusing on the infrastructure needed for nuclear safety, and briefings on the IAEA's Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT), the International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO), the Illicit Trafficking Database (ITDB), and many more. A daily compilation of events which took place during the Conference is available on the General Conference web site.
The next IAEA General Conference the 54th since its inception in 1957 - is due to be held from 20 to 24 September 2010.