Remarks by Csaba Kőrösi, President of the 77th session of the General Assembly at the General Assembly plenary meeting on the report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

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November 9, 2022

Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,

While we consider the report of the IAEA for 2021, we must acknowledge that last year international events had a substantial impact on the work of the Agency.

This year, grave developments have been compelling it to respond to a whole new set of adverse circumstances.

The tendency is frightening: the world is faced with risks of nuclear proliferation and nuclear catastrophe, not seen in decades.

The war in Ukraine has heightened these concerns and sparked a global energy crisis, sending prices soaring.

IAEA strives to meet the demands of this moment with expert resolve.

I thank Director General Grossi for his leadership and all IAEA experts who have risked their lives to bring about nuclear safety and stability in this time of interlocking crises.

Now entering its third month, the IAEA Mission in Zaporyzhzhya is working around the clock to ensure the safety and security of the power plant there and to prevent a nuclear disaster.

This is, after all, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe – and the ninth largest in the world – producing energy for four million households.

We simply cannot allow nuclear safety in Ukraine and beyond to be jeopardized.

IAEA experts are in a unique position to provide up-to-date and credible information from the ground, often at great risk to themselves.

I urge all parties to cooperate fully with IAEA to ensure nuclear safety.

And I reiterate the importance of impartial, factual information that IAEA provides about the many nuclear issues that we are having.

Excellencies,

Concerns over nuclear energy are not limited to one region.

Moves to erode nuclear non-proliferation regimes are very dangerous and constitute a major threat to peace and security.

Cooperation is critically important on the Korean Peninsula, where alarming breaches of security norms have taken place, along with systematic undermining of IAEA safeguards.

This threatens to destabilize the fragile peace in the region.

In the Middle East, IAEA has a central role to play in establishing a nuclear weapons free zone – and in the application of full-scope IAEA safeguards to all nuclear activities.

I urge countries in the region to cooperate fully with the Agency, with a view to achieving peaceful co-existence through confidence building and transparency.

Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,

As more countries turn to nuclear energy to meet their needs, especially when faced with drastic energy shortages, IAEA’s responsibility to ensure that nuclear technologies are safe, secure and peacefully used has only grown.

Last year, at COP26, nuclear energy was high on the global climate agenda, and IAEA opened new opportunities of the use of nuclear techniques in tackling pollution and other environmental challenges.

With COP27 now underway, I encourage Member States, businesses and civil society to engage with IAEA on answering two crucial questions:

Which are the available options when climate change meets an energy supply crisis?

And the other one, what does science tell us about the connection between nuclear energy and the environment?

So far, we have only scratched the surface of these questions.

I thank IAEA for leading global efforts in its field and I look forward to the Director General’s report.

I wish the Agency further successes as it seeks to enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world.

I thank you.

 

 

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