Argentina’s Rafael Grossi re-elected as head of UN’s nuclear watchdog

Vienna, Sep 25 (EFE).- Argentinian diplomat Rafael Grossi was re-elected on Monday as the director general of the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for a second four-year term in office, beginning in early December.

Grossi was re-elected during the 67th regular session of the IAEA general conference, which is being held between September 25-29 at the agency’s headquarters in Vienna, with representatives from all member states in attendance.

“Having just taken my oath of office for a second term, I wanted to start by telling you that the trust you have placed in me to continue to serve you is both moving and inspiring,” Grossi told participants of the conference.

“I am even more motivated, dedicated and enthusiastic than I was on 2 December 2019, when you swore me in as the sixth director general of this remarkable institution,” he said.

Grossi’s re-appointment was approved by the general conference – an annual gathering of representatives from 177 member countries – based on the request of the IAEA’s board of governors.

The board, which consists of 35 nations, had previously designated Grossi – the sole candidate for the position – for a second four-year term in March, requesting the conference’s approval during its September meeting.

Rossi began his first term in Dec. 2019, following the death of his predecessor, Yukiya Amano of Japan. His second term will commence on Dec. 3, 2023 and conclude on Dec. 2, 2027.

Reflecting on the challenges, he said that the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine had made it “difficult and urgent” to address the serious challenges such as climate change, poverty and diseases as well as food, water and emergency insecurity.

“I feel humbled and privileged to lead an institution with a unique mandate that allows us – everyone in this building today – to play a role in tackling these challenges,” the official added.

During his tenure, the IAEA has been actively engaged in monitoring and overseeing Iran’s controversial nuclear program to ensure peaceful usage.

“Only full cooperation by Iran and tangible results will take us to credible assurances that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful,” he said.

Referring to the Ukraine war, Grossi said the IAEA has been trying to ensure the safety of Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, which has been under Russian occupation since March 2022.

To reduce the risks of a nuclear accident in the war zone, the IAEA director-general has been trying to negotiate with the warring parties over creation of a safety and protection zone around the nuclear power plant, which is the largest in Europe with its six reactors. EFE


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