Press Release

18 September 2013


South Africa’s Ambassador to Vienna to chair the General Conference of the IAEA

The General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is taking place from 16 to 20 September 2013 in Vienna, Austria. This Conference is expected to cover certain key activities of the Agency, including those related to the implementation of safeguards, the safety and security of nuclear material and facilities, the threat of nuclear terrorism, as well as measures to strengthen technical co-operation in nuclear power generation and other areas of human development.

The South African delegation to the General Conference, led by the Minister of Energy, Mr Dikobe Benedict Martins, delivered South Africa's national statement during the General Debate on the opening day of the Conference. The Minister will also deliver a keynote address promoting the modernization of the Agency’s Nuclear Application Laboratories  at Seibersdorf.  In addition, Minister Martins will be meeting with a number of bilateral counterparts to discuss matters of mutual interest.

At this 57th  Session of the General Conference, it is Africa's turn to preside over the Conference and South Africa has been nominated by the African Group to fulfill this role. Ambassador Xolisa Mabhongo, Resident Representative and Governor on the IAEA Board, will preside over the 57th  Regular Session. In his opening address, Ambassador Mabhongo acknowledged the important role of the IAEA in socio-economic development through the use of nuclear applications for human health, water, agriculture and the environment.

Ambassador Mabhongo will also participate in the round table discussion  on “Women in all things nuclear” hosted by the IAEA, Vienna Centre for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP), Women-in-Nuclear (WiN) and the International Network of Emerging Nuclear Specialists (INENS).  The WiN Global annual conference will be hosted in South Africa in October 2013.

South Africa is committed to the Agency's objectives to further the development and applications of nuclear technology towards peace, health and prosperity. The South African delegation will engage in discussions at the Conference on the basis of its principled positions on the peaceful application of nuclear energy and the need to ensure that non-proliferation efforts are undertaken in strict conformity with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and do not become a means of preventing developing countries from gaining access to advanced technologies.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, 082 884 5974.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
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460 Soutpansberg Road
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