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International organizations, Topnews

16. September 2013

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

At this 57th Session of the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), that was held from 16 to 20 September 2013 in Vienna, Austria, it was Africa's turn to preside over the Conference and South Africa had been nominated by the African Group to fulfill this role. Ambassador Xolisa Mabhongo, Resident Representative and Governor on the IAEA Board, presided 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 also participated 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.

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 also delivered a keynote address promoting the modernization of the Agency’s Nuclear Application Laboratories at Seibersdorf. In addition, Minister Martins met with a number of bilateral counterparts to discuss matters of mutual interest.

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 engaged 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.


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