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Ministers and high-level governmental representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 130 Member States are meeting in Vienna this week for the 44th regular session of the General Conference. The Conference opened today, 18 September, and is scheduled to last through 22 September 2000 at the Austria Center Vienna.

The opening session included a message from the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan and a statement by IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei. (A separate press release will be issued on the statement.)

The Conference's General Debate began with statements by France, whose delegation is headed by H.E. Mr. Pascal Colombani, General Administrator, Atomic Energy Commission, on behalf of the European Union; Japan, by H.E. Mr. Tadamori Oshima, Minister of State for Science and Technology; United States of America, by Mr. William Richardson, Secretary of Energy; China, by Mr. Zhang Huazhu, Chairman of the China Atomic Energy Authority; and Egypt, by Mr. H.E. Ali El-Saiedi, Minister of Electricity and Energy.

Delegates elected as President of the conference, Prof. Dr. Ibrahim Othman, Director General of the Atomic Energy Commission of Syria. They also elected Mr. Miroslav Gregoric of Slovenia, Director of the Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration and former Chairman of the IAEA Board of Governors, as Chairperson of the Committee of the Whole.

Among items on the Conference's provisional agenda, delegates will be asked to approve the Agency's 2001 regular budget which calls for expenditures of US $225 million for Agency programmes. Additionally, the Conference will be asked to approve a target of US $73 million for voluntary contributions towards the Agency's technical co-operation fund for 2001.

Throughout the week, delegates will be considering a range of topics on the peaceful development of nuclear technologies. They include those related to further strengthening the IAEA's programmes in areas of nuclear, radiation, and waste safety; technical co-operation; and the safeguards system. Other items on the provisional agenda include measures against illicit trafficking in nuclear materials and other radioactive sources; implementation of the safeguards agreement with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea; and implementation of UN Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq.

Also being convened during the week is a Scientific Forum on ‘Radioactive Waste Management: Turning Options into Solutions’, to promote awareness of the international dimensions of current developments. The Forum brings together experts and senior governmental officials from the IAEA’s Member States and partner organizations for discussions on scientific, technical, and public policy issues in the field of radioactive waste management and disposal.

Last update: 16 Feb 2018


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