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IAEA General Conference Begins Annual Session

1996/17

Ministers and High-level governmental representatives from 101 Member States of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), including 19 ministers, are meeting in Vienna this week for the 40th regular session of the General Conference. The Conference opens today, 16 September, and is scheduled to last through 20 September 1996 at the Austria Center Vienna.

The opening session included a message from the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

The Conference's General Debate is scheduled to begin with statements by Ministers from Japan, Mr. Hidenao Nakagawa; Russian Federation, Mr. Viktor Mikhailov; Republic of Korea, Mr. Bohn-Young Koo.

Delegates elected as President of the Conference. Mr. William G. Padolina, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Republic of the Philippines. Delegates also elected Mr. Mohammed Sadegh Ayatollahi, Resident Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the IAEA, 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 1997 regular budget which calls for total expenditures of US $ 222 million at an exchange rate of AS 12.70 per US$. Additionally, the Conference will be asked to approve a target of US $68 million for voluntary contributions towards the Agency's technical co-operation fund for 1997.

The Conference will also consider a number of items related to measures to strengthen international co-operation in nuclear safety, radiological protection, and radioactive waste management; strengthening technical co-operation activities; strengthening the effectiveness and improving the efficiency of the safeguards system; measures against illicit trafficking in nuclear materials and other radioactive sources; extensive use of isotope hydrology for water resources management; the implementation of the safeguards agreement between the IAEA and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea; the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution relating to Iraq; an African nuclear-weapon-free zone; and the application of IAEA safeguards in the Middle East.

In conjunction with the General Conference a number of events are being organized. They include a special scientific programme featuring three subjects - the advanced nuclear fuel cycle, new concepts for the future; IAEA information management for Member States, the development of information technology; and trends in research reactor applications. Additionally, a briefing session is being organized on the IAEA's safeguards development programme. The traditional meeting of senior national officials responsible for nuclear safety is also being scheduled, which will include coverage of the outcome of the International Chernobyl Conference convened by the IAEA and other organizations in April this year.

Highlights of IAEA Director General Hans Blix's statement follow. Summaries of delegates' statements in the General Debate are available on request from the IAEA press office at the Austria Center Vienna, Tel. (43-1) 212 44 00 Ext. 2051.

Information about the IAEA General Conference is globally on line through the IAEA's World Atom Internet service, which can be access at the World Wide Web address GC.

Last update: 16 Feb 2018

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