Iran and Libya figure high on agenda of upcoming UN atomic agency meeting

2 September 2004

The United Nations nuclear watchdog agency will have a full agenda when its Board of Governors begins a three-day meeting in Vienna on 13 September with issues ranging from forestalling nuclear terrorism to the latest status of the verification of atomic programmes in Iran and Libya.

On the opening day, the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed ElBaradei will provide an update on all the major issues since the Board's last meeting in June.

At that meeting the Governors deplored that the fact that, overall, Iran's cooperation had not been as "full, timely and proactive" as it should have been. In particular, they cited Tehran's failure to supply data required under treaties seeking to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, including the status of its enrichment programme for uranium - an essential ingredient for atomic bombs.

On Libya, Mr. ElBaradei told the June meeting that since the North African country announced in December its decision to eliminate all materials, equipment and programmes leading to the production of internationally proscribed weapons, including nuclear arms, it had "proactively cooperated with the Agency." But he said it was important Libya provide necessary information for a full assessment to be made.

Other issues the Board will discuss include measures to strengthen international co-operation in nuclear, radiation and transport safety and waste management, progress on steps to protect against nuclear terrorism, and strengthening the Agency's activities in relation to nuclear science technology and their applications.

The Board is composed of 35 Member States and generally meets five times per year - in March and June, twice in September (before and after the IAEA General Conference) and again in December.


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