The 64th annual IAEA General Conference concluded today with resolutions adopted towards strengthening the Agency's work in the areas of nuclear science, technology and applications, safety and security, and safeguards.
The General Conference - held in both physical and virtual format this year due to requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic - is an opportunity for all IAEA Member States to jointly consider matters related to the IAEA's ongoing work, budget and priorities.
This year, around 500 delegates registered to attend the General Conference from 141 of the IAEA's 171 Member States and from international organizations, non-governmental organizations and the media.
In his opening statement, IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said that despite the unprecedented disruption caused by the pandemic, the Agency had maintained its operational activities and implemented its largest-ever operation helping countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr Grossi emphasized that the IAEA would continue to support countries in fighting the coronavirus as a top priority.
Conference delegates adopted resolutions to continue strengthening the Agency's activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications in general, and particularly in relation to the Zoonotic Disease Integrated Action (ZODIAC) Project, nuclear knowledge management and the renovation of the Agency's Nuclear Applications Laboratories at Seibersdorf.
Resolutions were also adopted requesting the IAEA to continue carrying out its functions during the COVID-19 pandemic in all domains of its mandate, and on strengthening the effectiveness and improving the efficiency of Agency safeguards. A resolution was adopted on the implementation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons safeguards agreement between the IAEA and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Further resolutions were adopted on nuclear and radiation safety, nuclear security and strengthening the Agency's technical cooperation activities.
The General Conference approved the Agency's Financial Statements for 2019, and the Agency's Budget Update for 2021.
IAEA resolutions and decisions will guide the IAEA's implementation of activities in the coming year. The resolutions and decisions will be posted here as they become available.
By the end of the 64th General Conference, 83 Member States had pledged 30 064 211 euros to the Technical Cooperation Fund for 2021.
Eleven countries were newly elected to serve on the 35-member IAEA Board of Governors for the period 2020-2022: Argentina, Austria, Egypt, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Senegal, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.
Scientific Forum and side events
A total of 39 side-events took place online during the week, highlighting the innovative work underway at the IAEA and in Member States using nuclear techniques.
A two-day Scientific Forum focused on 'Nuclear Power and the Clean Energy Transition'. The Forum featured experts, government representatives and international organization representatives and academics, who spoke about how nuclear power can contribute to climate change goals and play a role in the clean energy transition.
The event, which included both in-person and virtual presentations, focused on innovations that are making nuclear power a more affordable and attractive energy option, and some of the barriers hindering greater deployment of nuclear power in the transition to clean energy, such as concerns over costs and financing.
High level speakers in the opening session of the Scientific Forum delivered their speeches either in person, virtually via livestream or as recorded messages. They included Bento Costa Lima Leite de Albuquerque Júnior, Minister of Mines and Energy in Brazil; Alok Sharma, Secretary of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, COP26 President, from the United Kingdom; Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE); Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency; Boris Schucht, Chief Executive Officer of Urenco Limited; Alfonso Cusi, Secretary of Energy, Department of Energy (DOE) in the Philippines; Zhang Kejian, Chairman of the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA), and Francois Jacq, General Administrator of the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA).
The 65th regular session of the IAEA General Conference will be held from 20 to 24 September 2021 at the IAEA's headquarters in Vienna.