Secretary-General, at Atomic Energy Agency Conference, Welcomes Continued Monitoring of Iran’s Nuclear Programme, Readiness to Resume Verification in Korean Peninsula
Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message, delivered by Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Director-General of the United Nations Office in Vienna, to the sixty-second general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in Vienna today:
I am pleased to greet the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency. You have a broad range of issues on your agenda, from promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy to enhancing the safeguards system, from advancing nuclear safety and security to furthering our shared objective of nuclear disarmament.
Let me start by commending Director‑General Amano and the staff of the IAEA for their dedication and hard work. This past year has seen both progress and setbacks. I welcome the Agency’s continuing efforts to verify and monitor Iran’s implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The IAEA has also continued its work supporting the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly on health and nutrition, food and agriculture. The Agency’s technical cooperation programmes provide a valuable service to its Member States and I welcome the priority placed on these activities.
Through the implementation of safeguards agreements, the IAEA continues to work against the spread of nuclear weapons by providing credible assurance that its Member States are living up to their non-proliferation commitments. I am pleased to note that there are now 182 States with safeguards agreements in place, including 132 States with additional protocols in force. This is a crucial contribution to international peace and security.
I also welcome the IAEA’s readiness to resume verification activities in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. I remain hopeful that the ongoing diplomatic process can lead to sustainable peace and a complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions.
Nuclear safety and security rightly remain key issues for the IAEA. It is essential that nuclear and other radioactive materials are secure. Relatedly, it is of utmost importance that robust levels of nuclear safety are in place. As Director‑General Amano has pointed out, while nuclear security is the responsibility of individual countries, the IAEA plays a central role in facilitating and coordinating international cooperation in this regard.
I wish you a fruitful gathering and look forward to continuing the valuable partnership between the IAEA and the United Nations in the year ahead.