Argentine diplomat Grossi to take charge as IAEA chief

IAEA chief
VIENNA: A special session of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) general conference  on Monday approved Argentine diplomat Rafael Mariano Grossi as its new director general.
Grossi, 58, succeeds Yukiya Amano, a Japanese diplomat who had held the position since 2009, and died in July well before the end of his third four-year term.
The decision, which consists of representatives of the 171 member states, comes just over a month after IAEA’s 3 -member Board of Governors on October 31 appointed Grossi to the post.
The IAEA’s work has a direct impact on fundamental issues of war, peace, health, energy, food and water, Rafael Mariano Grossi told the agency’s general conference following his appointment as IAEA Director General.
“The IAEA is a formidable institution with a unique mandate, and I want to ensure that it delivers at its full potential,” said Grossi. “Our functions cover highly diverse areas such as medicine, agriculture, energy, climate change, and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. The IAEA’s activities are important to all Member States and their citizens.”

Mr Grossi, a senior Argentinian diplomat with a career spanning several decades in nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, will take office on 3 December.
“The world is safer because of the dedication and vigilance of our inspectors,” Mr Grossi said, speaking of the IAEA’s nuclear safeguards verification mandate.
“The fact that the Agency is known to stick to the facts has immense value and gives us unique credibility. Countries recognize this. Not everyone always likes what we report. But the Agency cannot be accused of being politically biased or of lacking objectivity.”

Turning to the Agency’s work to make nuclear technology available for peaceful purposes, he stated: “We touch the lives of millions of people by improving access to nuclear medicine and radiotherapy, enabling farmers to grow more food, supporting the management of scarce water resources, and in countless other areas.”
The newly-appointed director general, who becomes the first head of the IAEA from Latin America, is a career diplomat with over 35 years of professional experience in non-proliferation and disarmament.
As the IAEA’s six head since it was founded in 1957, Grossi ran a tight race against Cornel Feruta of Romania, IAEA’s chief coordinator and acting director general for the position.
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