General Conference Day 1 Highlights

Ambassador Dato’ Adnan Othman was elected as President of the 60th IAEA General Conference.

The plenary session approved the applications for IAEA membership by Saint Lucia, the Islamic Republic of the Gambia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Director General Yukiya Amano then delivered his opening statement in which he reviewed the year’s highlights and defined priorities for the coming year. During the morning session 25 delegations took part in the debate. Their full statements are available here.

Congratulatory video messages for the Sixtieth Anniversary of the IAEA, received from international organisations, were delivered at the Conference today and can be accessed here.

Mr Amano in his opening statement welcomed three countries that have joined the Agency in the past 12 months – Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados and Turkmenistan. The Agency’s membership stands at 168 nations.

After the opening session, Mr Amano inaugurated the 60th Anniversary photo exhibition to commemorate 60 years of the IAEA. The exhibition provides an overview of the Agency’s history and work in the peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology. A reception to commemorate this landmark occasion was held at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna.

At RenuAL: Progress to Date and Looking Ahead, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano was joined by several high-level dignitaries to celebrate the achievements of the Renovation of the Nuclear Applications Laboratories (ReNuAL) project to date and discuss next steps. Construction of new IAEA laboratory buildings, now underway and scheduled for completion in the next two years, will increase the Agency’s ability to respond to Member State requests including to support their endeavours to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

At the Treaty Event, three countries took key actions today to strengthen nuclear safety and security worldwide. Held on the margins of the IAEA General Conference, Denmark, Kyrgyzstan and Lesotho deposited four legal documents related to treaties under the IAEA’s auspices. The Treaty event aims at promoting universal adherence to the multilateral treaties for which the Director General is depositary related to nuclear safety and security as well as to civil liability for nuclear damage.

The side event, Introducing Nuclear Science and Technology in Secondary Schools, showcased a pilot initiative to introduce nuclear science and technology in secondary schools in countries in Asia and the Pacific through a compendium of resources.

The Forum of Nuclear Regulatory Bodies in Africa (FNRBA) Plenary Meeting reviewed the activities and achievements of 2016 so far and also approved and prepared the FNRBA’s plan of activities for 2017.

At the International Physical Protection Advisory Service – 20 Years of Achievement event, IAEA nuclear security experts together with representatives of Member States highlighted the accomplishments of the International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) in helping States strengthen their nuclear security over the last 20 years.

The Nuclear Techniques to Assess Breastfeeding Practices event showcased a nuclear technique that can help to obtain accurate information on breastfeeding practices to validate information collected in demographic and health surveys in Member States.

The International (and Regional) Efforts to Enhance Emergency Preparedness and Response event focused on the importance of enhanced communication systems for an effective response in case of nuclear or radiological emergencies. The meeting was jointly organised by the IAEA and the European Commission.

In the course of the day, Director General Amano designated the Russian Research Institute of Atomic Reactors State Scientific Centre as the second IAEA International Centre based on Research Reactors (ICERR). The goal of the ICERR is to help Member States to gain timely access to research reactor infrastructure relevant to carry out nuclear research and development and build capacity among their scientists according to their national needs.

Source: International Atomic Energy Agency.