– From 16 to 20 September 2019, Dr. Yousry Abu Shady – member of the Council and a former IAEA inspector, participated in the 63rd General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency, as observer at a personal invitation from the Agency. He was keen on presenting a report on the meeting, mainly:
From 171 IAEA Member States were invited to attend the conference; 151 attended the meeting, while 8 countries did not have the right to vote on the decisions as they did not fulfill their financial obligations towards the Agency. The 63rd IAEA General Conference elected Ambassador Alicia Massieu of Mexico as its President.
The conference was attended by delegations headed by a number of high officials, including the Vice President of the Republic of (Iran), the spouse of the President of Niger, and a number of Ministers of Energy and Science. The representatives of 133 countries delivered speeches before the conference.
The Egyptian delegation was headed by Dr. Mohamed Shaker, Minister of Electricity. The delegation consisted of Ambassador Omar Amer – Egypt’s ambassador to Austria and a number of heads of nuclear authorities in Egypt, as well as officials from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The session proceedings were managed by Mr. Cornel Feruta, Acting Deputy Director General Yukiya Amano, who passed away in July 2019, until a new Director General will be elected. There are four candidates, including Cornel Feruta himself from Romania, Rafael Mariano Grossi, Ambassador of Argentina to Vienna, Dr. Lassina Zerbo from Burkina Faso, Head of the CTBTO, and Ms. Marta Ziakova, President of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority from Slovakia and President of the 2018 General Conference.
– The IAEA agenda was approved without discussion or voting, including the item on “Israeli nuclear capabilities”, which was subsequently submitted by the Arab countries, despite Israel’s objection.
– The Agency’s budget for the following fiscal year was approved and amounted to $374 million in addition to $83 million as voluntary contribution for technical cooperation. The United States share for the largest percentage of contribution, the safeguards budget, which amounted to 40% of the original budget and 50% of the additional budget, while the technical cooperation programme budget amounted to less than 7%.
– The Statement of Egypt was delivered by Dr. Mohamed Shaker, Minister of Electricity and Energy, in which he addressed Egypt’s ongoing finalization of procedures for building four nuclear plants in El-Dabaa, adding that Egypt had received two delegations of IAEA experts for the Dabaa site, and another visit will be held next January. The minister also called on all countries in the Middle East to accede to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and to subject all nuclear facilities to IAEA inspection.
Details of the report by Dr. Abu Shady can be found on the Council’s website under the section: Members’ Activities.