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Remarks at Reception for State Minister Kihara

Vienna, Austria

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano. (Photo: IAEA)

(As prepared for delivery)

Mr Minister, Dear friends and Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very pleased to say a few words on the occasion of the visit of Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Seiji Kihara.

This year, we will start our celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the IAEA.

As we look back on our first six decades, the Agency can take pride in considerable achievements in all areas of its work.

We have contributed a great deal to international peace and security through our nuclear verification work.

We have made nuclear science and technology available to developing countries to promote economic development.

We have strengthened global nuclear safety and helped to protect the world against the risk of nuclear terrorism.

 I would like to pay special tribute to both of my very distinguished predecessors, whom I know well – Mohamed ElBaradei and Hans Blix.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Since I became Director General in December 2009, we have maintained, and indeed accelerated, the pace of delivery of Agency services. Let me mention just a few examples.

The Agency played an important part in bringing about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran and six countries and the EU. We are now verifying and monitoring Iran's implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under that agreement.

We expanded our support to developing countries in the field of cancer control, as well as in responding to outbreaks of the Ebola and Zika viruses.

Thanks to generous contributions from Member States, our nuclear applications laboratories are about to undergo a systematic renovation ­- the first in their 50-year history.

Membership of the Agency has grown to 168 countries and new members are constantly knocking at our door. They are eager to use nuclear technology to improve the quality of life of their people. And they know that the IAEA delivers.

None of our achievements would have been possible without the strong support of our Member States, and the dedication of our staff. I am grateful to all of you, and to all of my Agency colleagues.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year, I am travelling extensively. I am seeing for myself the way in which different countries are using nuclear technology for the benefits of their people. In virtually every country, remarkable progress has been made in the fields that I have mentioned.

However, there is no reason for complacency and we can never rest on our laurels. Much more needs to be done in all areas of the Agency's work.

In the case of Iran, for example, some people believe the nuclear issue is now closed. In reality, implementation of the new arrangements has just started.

Nigeria, which I revisited recently after six years, will soon complete its first dedicated cancer centre. But many more such centres must be built to ensure that comprehensive cancer care is available to everyone who needs it in this nation of some 175 million people.

The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals last years was a major step, but implementing them is not an easy task. We know that developing countries are counting on our assistance in making appropriate nuclear technology available.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Based on the major achievements of the past 60 years, the IAEA is shaping itself as the key partner for our Member States in delivering Atoms for Peace and Development in the 21st century.

Continuity is needed in order to make the progress sustainable. I am ready and keen, with the support of our Member States, to continue providing the necessary leadership in the years ahead as we undertake this historic challenge.

I thank State Minister Kihara for his presence today and I am grateful to all Member States for their support to the IAEA and to me.

Thank you. 

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