Fri, 23 Oct 2020

General Conference: Day 1 Highlights

International Atomic Energy Agency
22 Sep 2020, 04:07 GMT+10

At the start of the plenary session on the first day of the IAEA's 64th General Conference, Azzeddine Farhane of Morocco was elected by acclamation as President of the Conference.

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi in his opening statement highlighted the IAEA's continued verification work during the COVID-19 pandemic to prevent any misuse of nuclear material. He emphasized the IAEA's contribution of equipment for coronavirus detection and diagnosis to 123 countries, and encouraged Member States to support the IAEA's Zoonotic Disease Integrated Action project (ZODIAC) to establish a global network of national diagnostic laboratories for the monitoring, surveillance, early detection and control of zoonotic diseases.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations delivered a message at the plenary session.

Fifty-seven delegations participated in the debate during the plenary session. Their full statements are available here.

The following virtual side events took place on Monday:

An event organized by Morocco in partnership with the IAEA on the Role of Nuclear Technology in the Fight Against Cervical Cancer in Africa: Past Experiences and the Way Forward, highlighted the importance of using nuclear techniques to support optimal cervical cancer care and help manage this significant public health burden. Panellists discussed experiences in fighting and controlling cervical cancer in their countries and organizations.

During the Nuclear Security Talks, speakers discussed the the tangible nuclear benefits of joining and implementing the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its 2005 Amendment - the only legally binding international undertaking on the physical protection of nuclear material and nuclear facilities used for peaceful purposes. Speakers also discussed illicit trafficking of nuclear material and evolving trends threatening the security of nuclear and radioactive material.

At the ReNuAL Project: Labs Fit for the Future event, the accomplishments of the renovation of the IAEA's Seibersdorf nuclear applications laboratories to date were showcased, including the modern and expanded capacities provided by the Yukiya Amano Laboratories building opened in June this year. Participants were informed of the work still to be done to refurbish the Seibersdorf laboratories, which includes the construction of a new building to house the remaining three laboratories, refurbishment of the existing Dosimetry Laboratory and the replacement of the Agency's ageing greenhouses.

An event to mark the Tenth Anniversary of the IAEA's Nuclear Law Institute (NLI), established as the first global training programme to support countries in drafting their legislation regulating the peaceful use of nuclear technology, gave insight into the contribution of the NLI programme over the past decade to making nuclear technology available to improve living standards and support national development goals.

Member States virtual side events:

At the Nuclear Sector Deal, Two Years On: Perspectives on Innovation in Cost Reduction event, organized by the United Kingdom (UK), participants received an update on the UK's Nuclear Sector Deal and its key commitments, particularly the work to reduce the cost of new build and decommissioning projects. The discussion also focused on developing the next generation of nuclear talent.

During the Nuclear Science and Technology for a Better Life event organized by Russia, participants exchanged views on collaboration perspectives in nuclear science and technology to attain a new level of scientific and technological expertise, raise standards of living and launch а full scale nuclear power programme. Attendees discussed how to efficiently integrate nuclear science and technology into countries' economy, industry, science and education development strategies to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. At the event, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's multinational framework for irradiation experiments concept was presented.

The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant: Decontamination and Decommissioning Progress event, organized by Japan, provided attendees with an overview and update on technical and institutional aspects of decontaminating and decommissioning the plant following its accident in 2011.

Other activities:

The annual Treaty Event promotes universal adherence to the most important multilateral treaties for which the Director General of the IAEA is depositary. During this event, representatives of Angola and Cote d'Ivoire, deposited instruments expressing their consent to be bound by various multilateral treaties to strengthen nuclear safety and security worldwide.

An INSAG Forum on the Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic gave attendees insight into the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to the operation of nuclear installations, operational safety, radiation protection, emergency preparedness and related technical areas, as well as the IAEA's response. The International Nuclear Safety Group (INSAG) is an advisory panel to the IAEA made up of high-level experts.

At the start of the plenary session on the first day of the IAEA's 64th General Conference, Azzeddine Farhane of Morocco was elected by acclamation as President of the Conference.

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi in his opening statement highlighted the IAEA's continued verification work during the COVID-19 pandemic to prevent any misuse of nuclear material. He emphasized the IAEA's contribution of equipment for coronavirus detection and diagnosis to 123 countries, and encouraged Member States to support the IAEA's Zoonotic Disease Integrated Action project (ZODIAC) to establish a global network of national diagnostic laboratories for the monitoring, surveillance, early detection and control of zoonotic diseases.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations delivered a message at the plenary session.

Fifty-seven delegations participated in the debate during the plenary session. Their full statements are available here.

The following virtual side events took place on Monday:

An event organized by Morocco in partnership with the IAEA on the Role of Nuclear Technology in the Fight Against Cervical Cancer in Africa: Past Experiences and the Way Forward, highlighted the importance of using nuclear techniques to support optimal cervical cancer care and help manage this significant public health burden. Panellists discussed experiences in fighting and controlling cervical cancer in their countries and organizations.

During the Nuclear Security Talks, speakers discussed the the tangible nuclear benefits of joining and implementing the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its 2005 Amendment - the only legally binding international undertaking on the physical protection of nuclear material and nuclear facilities used for peaceful purposes. Speakers also discussed illicit trafficking of nuclear material and evolving trends threatening the security of nuclear and radioactive material.

At the ReNuAL Project: Labs Fit for the Future event, the accomplishments of the renovation of the IAEA's Seibersdorf nuclear applications laboratories to date were showcased, including the modern and expanded capacities provided by the Yukiya Amano Laboratories building opened in June this year. Participants were informed of the work still to be done to refurbish the Seibersdorf laboratories, which includes the construction of a new building to house the remaining three laboratories, refurbishment of the existing Dosimetry Laboratory and the replacement of the Agency's ageing greenhouses.

An event to mark the Tenth Anniversary of the IAEA's Nuclear Law Institute (NLI), established as the first global training programme to support countries in drafting their legislation regulating the peaceful use of nuclear technology, gave insight into the contribution of the NLI programme over the past decade to making nuclear technology available to improve living standards and support national development goals.

Member States virtual side events:

At the Nuclear Sector Deal, Two Years On: Perspectives on Innovation in Cost Reduction event, organized by the United Kingdom (UK), participants received an update on the UK's Nuclear Sector Deal and its key commitments, particularly the work to reduce the cost of new build and decommissioning projects. The discussion also focused on developing the next generation of nuclear talent.

During the Nuclear Science and Technology for a Better Life event organized by Russia, participants exchanged views on collaboration perspectives in nuclear science and technology to attain a new level of scientific and technological expertise, raise standards of living and launch а full scale nuclear power programme. Attendees discussed how to efficiently integrate nuclear science and technology into countries' economy, industry, science and education development strategies to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. At the event, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's multinational framework for irradiation experiments concept was presented.

The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant: Decontamination and Decommissioning Progress event, organized by Japan, provided attendees with an overview and update on technical and institutional aspects of decontaminating and decommissioning the plant following its accident in 2011.

Other activities:

The annual Treaty Event promotes universal adherence to the most important multilateral treaties for which the Director General of the IAEA is depositary. During this event, representatives of Angola and Cote d'Ivoire, deposited instruments expressing their consent to be bound by various multilateral treaties to strengthen nuclear safety and security worldwide.

An INSAG Forum on the Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic gave attendees insight into the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to the operation of nuclear installations, operational safety, radiation protection, emergency preparedness and related technical areas, as well as the IAEA's response. The International Nuclear Safety Group (INSAG) is an advisory panel to the IAEA made up of high-level experts.

More Vancouver News

Access More

Sign up for Vancouver News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!