IAEA director: Nuclear technology key to global development

International Atomic Energy Agency General Director Yikya Amano underscored the importance of nuclear technology in worldwide  development during a speech before the organization's board of governors on Monday.

"When I visit member states, I see first-hand the great importance of the agency's work to make nuclear technologies available for development," Amano said. "It is gratifying to observe the beneficial impact this remarkable technology has on the lives of millions of people."

Yet, Amano said it's vital that all countries that are members of the agency support the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. The amendment strengthens provisions to protect nuclear material and facilities.

"Entry into force of the amendment is within our grasp," Amano said. "As of today, we need 17 states to become party to the amendment to bring it into force. I encourage all states which have not yet done so to become party to the amendment so it comes into force this year."

Amano also outlined new projects that are helping member states, including a one that is meant to assist Africa's ability to respond to diseases such as Ebola. 

“The project will support the establishment of early warning systems, and build national and regional capacity for the fast and sensitive diagnosis of zoonotic diseases," Amano said.

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