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Director General's Statement to Sixty-Second Regular Session of IAEA General Conference

Vienna, Austria

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

Madam President,

I welcome all of you to this 62nd IAEA General Conference. I regret that I cannot be present for this important meeting.

The Agency now implements safeguards in 181 countries, helping to ensure that nuclear materials are not diverted from peaceful purposes. This is an important, and unique, contribution to international peace and security.

Since the last General Conference, we have continued to verify and monitor the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA. It is essential that Iran continues to fully implement those commitments.

The Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement. Evaluations regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran continue.

The nuclear programme of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea remains a cause for grave concern. The DPRK’s nuclear activities are clear violations of relevant UN Security Council resolutions and are deeply regrettable.

The Agency continues to enhance its readiness to play an essential role in verifying the DPRK’s nuclear programme if a political agreement is reached among countries concerned.

I again call upon the DPRK to comply fully with its obligations under relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and of the IAEA Board of Governors, to cooperate promptly with the Agency and to resolve all outstanding issues.

Madam President,

Through our technical cooperation programme, the Agency helps to improve the health and prosperity of millions of people by making nuclear science and technology available in health care, food and agriculture, industry and many other areas.

I see the enormous difference our work makes in my many visits to developing countries.

Capacity-building is a key element of the TC programme. The Agency has supported nearly 50,000 fellowships since 1956, helping scientists from developing countries to significantly improve their skills. In a recent survey of former fellows, almost 90% of respondents said their placements fully met their professional expectations and the needs of their home institutes.

As I informed the Board in June, we are reviewing the work of our Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) which, in due course, will work under the overall coordination of my office, as part of our one-house approach to cancer-related issues.

The IAEA’s role in transferring nuclear technology to developing countries is unique. In order for us to fulfil this role, it is important that all countries contribute on time and in full to the TC Fund.

The modernisation of our nuclear applications laboratories at Seibersdorf continues to make excellent progress. Major construction work on all new laboratory buildings is nearly complete.

I am very grateful for the generous contributions received so far. I encourage all Member States in a position to do so to contribute to the costs of equipping the new buildings.

The IAEA Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology will take place in Vienna from November 28 to 30. I encourage all Member States to participate at ministerial level.

Madam President,

The Agency’s latest annual projections show that nuclear power will continue to play a key role in the world’s low-carbon energy mix. However, the declining trend in our low projection for installed capacity up to 2050 suggests that, without significant progress on using the full potential of nuclear power, it will be difficult for the world to secure sufficient energy to achieve sustainable development and to mitigate climate change.

Regarding the IAEA LEU Bank in Kazakhstan, I expect that the procurement process will be completed in 2018 and that the LEU will be delivered to the IAEA LEU Bank Storage Facility in 2019.

Madam President,

Due attention to safety and security is essential in all uses of nuclear and radiation technologies. Nuclear safety and security are national responsibilities, but the IAEA plays the central role in ensuring effective international cooperation.

We continue to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of Agency peer review and advisory services in nuclear safety and security so that they can better support Member States in the application of IAEA safety standards and security guidance. We have begun preparations for the next IAEA International Conference on Nuclear Security, which will take place at ministerial level in Vienna in February 2020.

Madam President,

We have significantly increased the amount of material on our public website iaea.org in languages other than English. Versions of the website in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish were launched in June.

We continue to implement efficiency measures in order to make optimal use of the resources entrusted to us by Member States. But demand for Agency support is steadily increasing. It is essential that Member States continue to make available the resources we need to provide the services they expect.

Since becoming Director General more than eight years ago, I have worked hard to increase the proportion of women on the Agency’s staff, especially in more senior positions.

We have made progress. But we can do better. My goal is to achieve gender parity among the most senior officials by 2021.

Finally, Madam President, I thank the staff of the Agency for their commitment and dedication to delivering on our important mandate.

I am grateful to all IAEA Member States for their active support for the Agency and for me personally and to Austria for being an exemplary host country.

Thank you.

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Last update: 24 Sep 2018

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