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Atoms for Peace and Development in the 21st Century

Discussion with Mr Yukiya Amano, Director General of IAEA

The International Atomic Energy Agency is best known for its work to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, especially in relation to the Iran nuclear issue, and its role as a centre for cooperation in nuclear safety and security. Its nuclear inspectors are constantly on the ground all over the world, verifying that all nuclear material and activities in non-nuclear-weapon States are in peaceful purposes.

The Vienna-based Agency, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, has been especially active on the Iran nuclear issue since 2003. It played an important part in helping to bring about a 2015 agreement between Iran and six major powers plus the EU, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. IAEA inspectors are verifying and monitoring Iran’s implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA.

The IAEA is also the international centre for cooperation in nuclear safety and security. It helps countries to prevent nuclear and other radioactive materials from falling into the hands of terrorists and being used to make a dirty bomb.

However, another key role of the IAEA is to make nuclear science and technology available to developing countries to generate electricity, fight cancer and viruses such as Zika and Ebola, increase food production, manage water supplies – and much more.

Through its technical cooperation programme, the IAEA is helping developing countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

In a talk entitled Atoms for Peace and Development in the 21st Century, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano reflects on the broad mandate of the Agency, the lessons it has learned in the past six decades and the challenges it faces as he looks ahead to his third term in office.

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