Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to welcome you all to this 22nd Meeting of the SESAME Council.
The IAEA attaches great importance to our cooperation with you. Making nuclear science and technology available for peaceful uses to all countries is a key part of our mandate.
Our work with SESAME is an important part of our efforts to promote international and regional cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear science throughout the world.
Since 2007, we have been providing dedicated support for the training of future SESAME users and operators in the safe and secure commissioning and operation of the facility.
This has included training in safety, accelerator physics and synchrotron radiation applications. The IAEA provided experts to assist in the construction, installation and testing of the booster, review the vacuum system of the SESAME Storage Ring, and advise on safety.
We also helped to establish the necessary legal documentation for the safe commissioning and operation of the SESAME facility.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am impressed by the way in which SESAME has managed to transcend political divisions and bring scientists from many nations together to collaborate on world-class research.
Technological innovation is vital for the future of both developed and developing countries. Nuclear science and technology, in particular, make a major contribution in many areas, from power generation to human and animal health, industry and agriculture.
Since I became IAEA Director General in 2009, I have visited many developing countries and seen for myself the very real impact which modern technology can have on the lives of thousands of people, even in remote areas.
For example, I met farmers in the High Andes of Peru who now produce abundant crops of barley which was specially developed to grow in high altitudes, using radiation-induced mutation techniques.
I met cancer patients in a number of African countries who now have access to radiotherapy thanks to assistance from the IAEA. I have seen how important nuclear power is to rapidly growing economies such as India and China.
I have no doubt that the work of SESAME will have a significant impact in improving the lives of people in your member countries.
The IAEA is happy to assist you in your important work.
I wish you continued success in the coming years.