Ceremony for Dedication of Bust of Eisenhower
Eisenhower’s "Atoms for Peace" vision, and the creation of the IAEA as a practical manifestation of that vision, came at a time when the horrifying images of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were still fresh — and when fears of the rush to acquire nuclear weapons were well-founded.
"Atoms for Peace" was a recognition of the double edged sword inherent in the atom, and invoked a solemn commitment to the ideal that nuclear science and technology should be used exclusively for peaceful purposes.
In rereading Eisenhower’s memorable speech to the UN General Assembly, I was struck by a number of concepts and ideas in the speech:
The first is that:
The second is the plan for implementing the vision:
This "plan for action", was clearly prescient and though a work in progress, is still as valid today as in 1953: co-operative development of peaceful technologies, active efforts to achieve nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, clear commitment to the rights of all people to live in peace, and continued dialogue in seeking solutions for our fears and insecurities.
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of "Atoms for Peace", it is appropriate here at the Agency — the "brainchild" of Eisenhower and the global centre for turning this vision into reality — to rededicate ourselves to exert every effort to achieve this plan of action. Eisenhower understood the complexity of the task:
We still have much work to do. But as just stated, we must not lack patience, and we must not lose faith.
It is in this spirit that, on behalf of the International Atomic Energy Agency, I am honoured to accept this bust of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.