International Ministerial Conference in Paris
On 21 & 22 March, ministers and government
officials from 74 countries and experts representing 10 international
organisations attended an International Ministerial Conference,
in Paris, entitled "Nuclear Power for
the 21st Century." This high-level conference was
organised by the IAEA and hosted by the French government in collaboration
with the OECD and the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency.
Delegations from across the globe, including
the USA, China, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Korea, gathered in the
French capital to examine the future role of nuclear in meeting
the energy needs of the world. Delegations presented their views
on the current and future role of nuclear power within the context
of their national energy strategy.
Among the keynote presentations were those given
by the French Industry minister and President of the conference,
Patrick Devedjian; Donald Johnston, Secretary General of the OECD;
and Mohammed El Baradei, Director General of the IAEA.
Messrs Devedjian and El Baradei, accompanied
by NEA Director General, Echavarri, gave a press conference to
the massed ranks of journalists.
At the end of the conference, the IAEA released
a Declaration. In it they highlighted how a vast majority of participants
believe that nuclear power can make a major contribution to meeting
the energy needs and supporting global development in the 21st
Century, provided that the highest levels of safety are observed
at nuclear plants and during the management of spent fuel and
radioactive waste. The Declaration also stressed how the IAEA
has an essential role to play in furthering the use of nuclear
energy for peaceful purposes and that the OECD/NEA provides invaluable
objective analysis and expertise on a range of nuclear issues.