At its 55th regular session, the IAEA General Conference drew together about 3 000 participants for a five-day meeting from 19 to 23 September 2011.
At its opening, on 19 September, Mr. Cornel Feruţă of Romania was elected President of the 55th IAEA General Conference. Mr. Feruţă is Romania's Ambassador and Resident Representative to the IAEA.
New Member States Applications
The General Conference approved the applications of the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Lao People's Democratic Republic and the Kingdom of Tonga for membership in the IAEA. Membership will take effect once the appropriate legal instruments are deposited with the Agency.
During the course of the general debate, 120 delegates and observers delivered statements.
Focussing on the water crisis, the IAEA Scientific Forum demonstrated how nuclear techniques are being used by IAEA Member States to improve access to water, as well as to better manage and conserve this precious resource.
Action Plan on Nuclear Safety
On 22 September 2011, the IAEA General Conference unanimously endorsed the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety that Ministers in their Declaration at the IAEA's June Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety requested.
Budget and Resolutions
The General Conference also approved the IAEA's Programme and Budget for 2012-2013, as well as a number of resolutions including:
- Measures to strengthen international cooperation in nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety;
- Nuclear security, including measures to protect against nuclear and radiological terrorism;
- Strengthening of the Agency's technical cooperation activities;
- Strengthening the Agency's activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications in both power and non-power nuclear applications;
- 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
- Personnel matters including staffing of the Agency's Secretariat and women in the Secretariat.
In addition, the Conference decided that the Director General shall report to the 56th regular session of the General Conference in September 2012 on the implementation of GC(54)/RES/11, Strengthening the Effectiveness and Improving the Efficiency of the Safeguards System and Application of the Model Additional Protocol.