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IAEA Chief Addresses Historic UN Security Council Meeting

Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), addresses the Security Council Summit on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. (E. Debebe/UN)

The role of the IAEA in nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament was the theme of an address given by IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei at a historic UN Security Council Meeting during which a resolution calling on states to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, promote disarmament and reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism was approved.

Dr. ElBaradei spoke of the current fragility and many shortcomings of the global non-proliferation regime and of the need to strengthen and empower the IAEA if it is to play a role in nuclear disarmament.

"Our verification mandate is centred on nuclear material. If the Agency is to be expected to pursue possible weaponization activities, it must be empowered with the corresponding legal authority," he said.

Dr. ElBaradei also suggested that the international community consider moving from national to multinational control of the nuclear fuel cycle, as this would have decisive consequences for nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear security.

"Our ultimate goal should be the full multinationalization of the fuel cycle as we move towards nuclear disarmament," he said.

Finally, Dr. ElBaradei highlighted the links between nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, calling on nuclear weapons states to demonstrate "their irreversible commitment to achieving a world free from nuclear weapons."

"I am gratified to see nuclear disarmament back at the top of the international agenda, as well as recognition of the intrinsic link between nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation," he said.


The 6191st UN Security Council Meeting was convened by US President Barack Obama in his capacity as current Council Chairman.

This is the fifth time in history that the Security Council has met at the level of heads of State, and the first time it has been chaired by a US president.

Last update: 27 Jul 2017

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