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IAEA Director General at the Edoardo Amaldi Conference: Nuclear Science has a Key Role to Play for Development

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano, seen here at the 61st IAEA General Conference, gave a keynote lecture at the 20th Edoardo Amaldi Conference in Rome on 9 October 2017. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano emphasized the IAEA’s role in strengthening global nuclear safety and security, as well as the importance of nuclear science for development at the 20th Edoardo Amaldi Conference in Rome today.

The Conference is focussing on the 60th anniversary of the IAEA and of the treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) under the theme of international cooperation for enhancing nuclear safety, security, safeguards and non-proliferation.

Mr Amano noted the long-standing cooperation between the IAEA and the European Union, especially in nuclear safeguards. “The IAEA and Euratom have for decades applied safeguards jointly in Europe, including through joint team inspections,” he said.

“Nuclear safety and security are national responsibilities, but the IAEA serves as the forum for international cooperation in these areas,” Mr Amano said. “The IAEA establishes international nuclear standards. These are not legally binding, but they are used voluntarily by almost all countries to protect people and the environment from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation.” 

Mr Amano gave examples of the IAEA’s work in helping developing countries to use nuclear science and technology in areas such as food production, electricity generation, the treatment of diseases, the management of water supplies, protecting the oceans and responding to the effects of climate change.

“In the coming decades, we will continue to focus on delivering concrete results for our Member States and improving the well-being and prosperity of the people of the world through the clever use of nuclear science and technology,” Mr Amano said. 

The conference, which is being live streamed, will touch upon nuclear safeguards challenges and the future of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. IAEA experts will give presentations about the Agency’s role in international cooperation for strengthening nuclear safety and security, the history of nuclear verification efforts, and technical cooperation in nuclear technology contributing to development.

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