For information only – not an official document

25 September 2023

The Secretary-General

Message to the Opening of the 67th Regular Session of the General Conference of the IAEA

Vienna, 25 September 2023

(delivered by Ms. Ghada Fathi Waly, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna)

It is a pleasure to send greetings to everyone participating in the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

In these times of turmoil and tension, the IAEA’s role as a bulwark against nuclear proliferation and a driver of international cooperation for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy is more critical than ever.

In Ukraine, the war continues to pose grave risk to the safety and security of the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant. I fully support the IAEA’s five principles for protecting the Zaporizhzhya plant, and I applaud the courageous service of IAEA personnel stationed at the plant. The United Nations will continue to do all it can to ensure the safe rotation of experts operating there and at other nuclear facilities in Ukraine.

In Iran, the IAEA continues its essential role in impartially and expertly monitoring the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, while seeking sustainable solutions to the outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear programme. The JCPOA remains vital to the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, and to regional and international security.

Across the world, the IAEA’s technical cooperation programme supports over 140 Member States – demonstrating how nuclear science and technology can improve lives and catalyze progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.

The IAEA is an indispensable partner in our collective efforts to secure a better future for all – from fighting diseases and improving food, water and energy security, to mitigating and adapting to climate change and preventing the next pandemic.

I look forward to deepening our cooperation on all these fronts, and I wish you a successful General Conference.

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