The IAEA’s work has a direct impact on fundamental issues of war, peace, health, energy, food and water, Rafael Mariano Grossi told a Special Session of the Agency’s General Conference following his appointment as IAEA Director General. Mr. Grossi, a senior Argentinian diplomat with a career spanning several decades in nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy took charge on 3 December, 2019.
Following his statement, Member State representatives joined Conference President Martha Delgado Peralta, Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in congratulating Mr. Grossi on his appointment as the sixth Director General of the IAEA.
Mr. Grossi stressed the vital contribution that nuclear power can make in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Nuclear power provides about 10% of the world’s electricity and contributes one third of all low-carbon electricity. “When considering the future of nuclear power, we must acknowledge that there is substantial public concern about whether nuclear power is safe,” he stated.
Noting that nuclear safety and security are national responsibilities, he stated: “It is vital that we remain ahead of the curve in guarding against nuclear terrorism. The Agency already brings together senior government officials and technical experts from around the world to consider the best ways to do this. I intend to build on the great political impetus seen in nuclear security in recent years, expand our support to all Agency Member States and work to transform our nuclear security guidance into mainstreamed norms.”