IAEA General Conference attracts 2800 participants

6 October 2023

The 67th annual IAEA General Conference has adopted resolutions related to nuclear and radiation safety, nuclear security, and strengthening the effectiveness and improving the efficiency of Agency safeguards. Strengthening the IAEA’s technical cooperation activities, as well as activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications were also adopted, among other resolutions. IAEA resolutions and decisions will guide the IAEA’s implementation of activities in the coming year.

This year, over 2800 participants registered for the conference, including around 2550 member state representatives and 242 representatives from international organisations and non-governmental organisations. Delegates from 150 of the 177 IAEA member states attended.

In his opening statement to the General Conference on Monday, IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi reflected on the work of the Agency since he assumed office four years ago and the events – the global pandemic and war in Europe – that have made “it more difficult – and urgent – to tackle the ever-more-present calamity of climate change and the very serious challenges of poverty, disease, hunger and food, water and energy insecurity.”

The General Conference elected 11 countries to serve on the 35-member IAEA Board of Governors for the 2023-2024 period. The newly elected Board members are: Algeria, Armenia, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Netherlands, Paraguay, Spain and Ukraine.

The annual General Conference and Board of Governors are the two IAEA policy making bodies. The 35-member Board examines and provides recommendations to the General Conference on the IAEA's financial statements, programme and budget.

The Scientific Forum on Nuclear Innovations for Net Zero held during the conference focused on innovations to support the integration of nuclear energy towards net zero goals. Over two days, about 700 participants attended the Forum, in person and virtually. The Forum featured 35 speakers and experts who discussed new nuclear power technologies and how innovations such as artificial intelligence, robotics and 3D printing can advance nuclear power discussions also covered how reactors can be used for applications beyond electricity by providing heat for industrial processes or freshwater through nuclear desalination.

Throughout the week, the IAEA and its member states also hosted more than 100 side events, showcasing the range of activities across the IAEA’s areas of work. Following the conference, the IAEA Board of Governors elected by acclamation Ambassador Holger Federico Martinsen as the Chairperson for 2023-2024.  He succeeds Ambassador Ivo Sramek of the Czech Republic. Ambassador Martinsen is Argentina’s Permanent Representative to the Vienna-based international organisations. He also serves as the designated ambassador for Austria, Slovakia and Slovenia. Prior to his appointment, he was Head Legal Adviser at Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade & Worship.

Above: Images from the IAEA's 67th General Conference, held in Vienna, Austria, on 25-29 September 2023

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