The Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has elected an Italian as Board Chairman: Ambassador Gianni Ghisi, head of Italy’s Permanent Representation to the international organisations in Vienna.
The two Vice-Chairman positions in the new board went to a Jordanian, Mr. Makram Mustafa Queisi, and to a Czech, Ms. Dana Drábová. Other countries now represented include Cuba, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Sweden. Egypt returns to the Board after a year-long absence.
The hope for a new “spirit of Vienna”, all the more important after the IAEA General Conference’s approval of the new Action Plan on Nuclear Security, was the central point in Ambassador Ghisi’s installation address. The Ambassador placed the emphasis on the joint commitment of all the Agency’s member states in pursuing the goal of promoting the peaceful use of nuclear energy and preventing its use for military purposes.
The IAEA’s agenda for the coming weeks includes the completion of the methodology for the stress tests in nuclear power stations and a mission to Japan to assist in the decontamination of the areas evacuated in the vicinity of the Fukushima-Daichi facility. The dramatic consequences of the earthquake in Japan, noted Ghisi, have had a strong impact on the work of the Agency in recent months. They have led, he said, to a duty to work with the utmost commitment for the continuous improvement of nuclear safety standards throughout the world and for the full implementation of the newly approved Action Plan.