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Remarks at 60th Anniversary Reception

Vienna, Austria
Yukiya Amano

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

(As preprared for delivery)

Mr Minister, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening.

I welcome you all to this special event celebrating the 60th anniversary of the IAEA.

We have begun our celebrations today to coincide with the start of our 60th General Conference. We will continue to mark the anniversary throughout 2017.

The IAEA is proud to celebrate six decades of serving the world.

The Agency has helped 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 other areas.

IAEA nuclear inspectors contribute to international peace and security by verifying that nuclear material stays in peaceful uses.

Our work was given special recognition in 2005 with the Nobel Peace Prize, which was awarded jointly to the Agency and to my distinguished predecessor Dr Mohamed ElBaradei.

I acknowledge with gratitude the legacy of all four of my predecessors as IAEA Director General.

I thank all of our Member States for their support.

I am especially grateful to Austria for being a very gracious and welcoming host nation. Thank you, Minister Rupprechter.

And I thank all staff of the IAEA, past and present, for their dedication and commitment.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

From the 26 countries which ratified the IAEA Statute in 1957, we have grown to an organisation with 168 Member States that spans the globe. And our membership continues to grow.

Today, we focus on cooperation for sustainable development, helping countries to treat cancer, grow more food and manage scarce water supplies – to take just a few examples.

The Agency is active in helping countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, including those concerning poverty and hunger, human health, energy, and climate change.

Encouraging the application of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes is a statutory function of the IAEA. As far as nuclear power is concerned, our role is to help countries that wish to use it to do so safely, securely and sustainably.

We can never be complacent about nuclear safety. It will always be a work in progress.

As for nuclear security, our activities in this area will continue to grow as countries seek more assistance in protecting nuclear material and facilities from malicious acts.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Agency worked from 2003 onwards to verify Iran’s nuclear programme. Our work was indispensable in paving the way for the diplomatic breakthrough achieved last year in the form of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

We have begun verifying and monitoring Iran’s implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA. This work will continue for many years.

The nuclear programme of the DPRK, which has carried out two more nuclear tests this year, remains a matter of serious concern. It is a growing threat to peace and security in north-east Asia and beyond.

The Agency maintains its readiness to resume its verification work in the DPRK once political developments make this possible.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Agency’s objective is Atoms for Peace and Development.

As I mentioned, our very broad mandate ranges from preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, to helping countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals through the safe and secure use of nuclear technology.

As we begin our seventh decade, we face challenges in all areas of our work.

However, I am confident that, with the active support of our Member States, we will deal successfully with all the challenges that lie ahead.

The IAEA will remain an international organisation of excellence that delivers concrete results and makes a real difference to the lives of millions of people.

Thank you.

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