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Wednesday, 16 September 2015 10:00

IAEA defines priorities

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano highlighted the importance of science and technology for development in his opening statement to the IAEA's 59th General Conference in Vienna on Monday, Caspian Energy News (www.caspianenergy.net) reports with reference to the statement of the IAEA.

“The Agency has so much to offer in this area that I often summarise our work as Atoms for Peace and Development,” Mr Amano said. “We make peaceful nuclear technology available to improve the welfare and prosperity of the people of the world.”

Several hundred high ranking government representatives from the IAEA’s 165 Member States have gathered this week for the General Conference, the IAEA’s annual meeting, to discuss the programme and activities of the Agency for the coming year and to approve its budget. The delegates — including several ministers — will also consider a range of topics on the peaceful development of nuclear technologies, and attend the 2015 IAEA Scientific Forum on Atoms in Industry.  Several dozen exhibits and side events are scheduled from 14 to 18 September 2015.

After welcoming Guyana, the Republic of Djibouti and Vanuatu as newest Member States of the IAEA, Mr Amano pointed out the clear links between the work of the IAEA and the 17 new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that are expected to be adopted by governments in New York next week. “Areas covered by both include energy, food security and nutrition, human health and environmental protection, as well as the management of water resources,” Mr Amano said. “I very much welcome the fact that there is explicit recognition in the new development goals of the importance of science and technology in advancing development.”

Mr Amano noted that the IAEA continued to demonstrate its ability to respond quickly to crises.

“Since the dreadful earthquake in Nepal in April, the Agency has been helping the authorities to test the safety of critical buildings such as hospitals and schools, using non-destructive testing techniques, including radiography,” Mr Amano said.

“Following the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, we provided equipment and diagnostic kits for the rapid identification of the virus,” he added.  “We have since worked with countries of the region to help them build or strengthen their capacity to respond to possible future outbreaks of Ebola and other deadly diseases which can be transmitted from animals to people.” (See Mr Amano's statement on Sustainable Development Goals.)

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