Morocco was elected president of the 64th IAEA General Conference on Monday.
During the opening session of the General Conference in Vienna, Austria, Grossi said Morocco’s appointment reflects the country’s commitment to world peace.
“The election of Morocco, an African country which has been engaged for years in non-proliferation efforts, at the head of this great world event, is a good testimony of its constructive commitment to peace in the world,” the director-general said to Morocco’s state media on Monday.
“I am delighted as director-general to be able to count on the Moroccan presidency for the whole year which opens until next year in order to support and accentuate the work of the IAEA,” he continued. “Well done Morocco… we are very grateful!”
Morocco officially assumed its role as president of the IAEA conference through its Ambassador to Austria, Azzeddine Farhane. The election marks the first time Morocco has stepped into the role.
The 64th IAEA General Conference, from September 21-25, gathers high-ranking officials and representatives from IAEA member states to discuss a range of issues.
In a special address following the election on Monday, Ambassador Farhane thanked IAEA for the appointment. He expressed his “deep gratitude” to IAEA’s African member states for the “unanimous support of his candidacy.”
Stressing that the conference is taking place during a “pivotal phase” for the IAEA as it faces “unprecedented challenges” amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Farhane emphasized the director-general’s unshakeable leadership.
Despite the “difficult global environment,” the IAEA has taken proactive measures to support its member states during the crisis. The agency has provided more than 125 countries with technical expertise and equipment — nuclear and radioactive — to detect the virus and prevent its spread.
On the African continent, the agency has supported technical cooperation projects in 45 countries, provided nuclear technological equipment for the early detection of COVID-19, and expanded nuclear medicine initiatives.
After Farhane delivered his statements on Morocco’s election as president of the conference, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita gave a speech in which he underlined the country’s commitment to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Bourita also assured that in its capacity as president, Morocco will remain open to all contributions from member states and “spare no efforts” to strengthen the African presence within the Board of Governors, a policy-making organ of the IAEA.