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Faurie in Vienna: "We believe it is time Latin America and the Caribbean took on this role, and we have the right candidate for that"

Monday, 16 September 2019
Information for the Press N°: 

The Argentine Foreign Minister took part in the AIEA General Conference and he stated that Ambassador Rossi can bring "the necessary technical expertise and diplomatic leadership" to head the organization.

Today, Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie participated in the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held in Vienna, and he underscored the fact that Argentina "has a 6-decade-long tradition of peaceful uses of nuclear energy" which has positioned the country "as a reliable global provider in the nuclear sector and it is carrying out a number of projects, both with traditional partners and in new markets, with research and radioisotope production reactors, among others."

During the Conference, Faurie highlighted the fact that serving as Director General of the organization "requires a relevant background and very specific knowledge" and that is why "Argentina presented Ambassador Rafael Grossi as candidate for the position", as he will be able to offer "the necessary technical expertise and diplomatic leadership."

The Argentine Foreign Minister noted that "the Latin American and Caribbean Region is the only one in the world to have never been given the opportunity to lead the organization", even though it was "a pioneer in the creation of the world's 1st nuclear-weapon-free densely populated area."

"We believe it is time Latin America and the Caribbean took on this role, and we have the right candidate for IAEA to expedite and expand the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world," he stated.

Faurie explained that Grossi "is a career diplomat with over thirty-five years of professional experience in the field of non-proliferation and disarmament, and he has held some of the highest international positions in this field, having acted as IAEA Chief of Cabinet and Assistant Director General for Policy."

"We hope to count on your support," stated the Argentine Foreign Minister before high representatives of the member states of the IAEA who meet every year in Vienna to take part in the Conference.

In addition, Faurie expressed his condolences over the death of the former IAEA Director General, Yukita Amano, who passed away last July.

During the event, the Argentine Foreign Minister stated that Argentina "has mastered the nuclear fuel cycle and maintains a robust nuclear programme" with three operational power plants, one reactor of Argentine design that is currently under construction, numerous research reactors, and the capacity to produce nuclear fuels, heavy water and medical radioisotopes.

He also underscored the importance of nuclear energy in economic, scientific and technological development, "in the search for clean, efficient, sustainable and affordable energy sources, and in the progress of fields such as agriculture, medicine, engineering, metallurgy, iron and steel, and mechanics." He also commended its contribution to the development of infrastructure and employment.

Faurie, joined by the Undersecretary for Nuclear Energy, Julián Gadano, stated that international cooperation is "essential" for "expanding the benefits of nuclear energy and its uses" and he focused on the cooperation between Argentina and Brazil through the Brazilian-Argentine Agency of Nuclear Material Accounting and Control (ABACC), "one of the most dynamic and strongest in the world, an unprecedented example, and a concrete contribution to international peace and security," as well as "one of the pillars of integration."

"Nuclear safety remains one of the most overarching, serious challenges to international safety," stated Faurie. "Argentina frequently hosts important nuclear safety-related events." He further highlighted the work carried out with the IAEA during the G20 Summit last year.

"Argentina will continue to actively support the work carried out by the Agency and the international community to achieve safe nuclear energy and non-proliferation," he concluded.

Within the context of the Conference in Vienna, Faurie will hold more than 25 bilateral meetings with foreign ministers and ministers of energy-related fields with a view to presenting arguments in support of Grossi's candidacy and discussing bilateral cooperation in energy.