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IAEA Director General Addresses 40th Regular Session of IAEA General Conference

1996/18

Entering its 40th year of international service for the safe and peaceful development of nuclear energy, the IAEA continues to change the thrust of many programmes in response to changes in the international climate and the needs and interests of its 124 Member States, IAEA Director General Dr. Hans Blix said today in an opening statement to the Agency's General Conference. The Conference, which is being attended by Ministers and high-level governmental delegates from more than 100 countries, is meeting this week in Vienna, Austria.

In commenting upon the international agenda, Dr. Blix noted that attention increasingly is concentrated on how to improve the well-being of the Earth and its population, rather than on how to avoid extinction through nuclear war. "This is a welcome change of focus with important consequences for the work of international organizations, including the IAEA," he said.

In reviewing the Agency's programmes, the Director General highlighted specific developments in various areas related to nuclear verification, safety, energy and the environment, and technology transfer. He pointed out that despite limitations on resources, the Agency's work has expanded in recent years to take on new activities, both through the phasing out of some programmes and through efficiency gains. "This process continues," he said, noting that the budget for 1997 assumes substantial cuts in overhead costs and provides an increase of some US $10 million in programmatic activities.

Selected highlights of the Director General's address follow.

Last update: 16 Feb 2018

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