Presentation of Rafael Grossi as Argentine candidate to head International Atomic Energy Agency.
"Argentina has earned international prestige and recognition due to its long-established tradition of peaceful uses of nuclear energy and important achievements in the field. Therefore, this candidacy is extremely important for our country, and we have the right person," Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie stated this afternoon as he presented Ambassador Rafael Grossi as the Argentine candidate to head the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the world's leading organization in the field.
At the Palacio San Martín, joined by the Secretary of Energy, Gustavo Lopetegui, ambassadors, authorities on nuclear matters and federal government officials, Faurie noted that the position of Director General of the IAEA "requires a relevant background and very specific knowledge. Grossi has 35 years of professional experience in the field of non-proliferation and disarmament; he has held top positions in the IAEA and the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons); he has headed UN expert groups, worked in nuclear export control regimes and gives conferences around the world."
Argentina, in turn, has an advanced nuclear programme, three operational power plants, a reactor of Argentine design that is currently under construction, numerous research reactors, and the capacity to produce nuclear fuels, heavy water and medical radioisotopes. Argentina is one of the few nuclear supplier countries, it has developed a clear export profile and its diplomacy has a leading role in international fora," the Foreign Minister explained.
Among other Argentine achievements, Faurie underscored the mastery of the nuclear fuel cycle; the export of research reactors from INVAP to Algeria, Peru, Egypt, Australia, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia; Argentina's chairmanship (through Grossi) of the global meeting on nuclear safety after the accident in Fukushima; the accession to the OECD nuclear energy agency and the joint work with Brazil -whose support for Grossi's candidacy was appreciated-, especially the creation of the Brazilian-Argentine Agency of Nuclear Material Accounting and Control (ABACC).
The Foreign Minister especially underscored the role of Latin America and the Caribbean as "pioneers in the contribution to the non-proliferation regime: we established the world's first nuclear weapon-free densely populated area. Since the adoption of the Treaty of Tlatelolco in 1967, we have shown our commitment in the field and we have been a source of inspiration for other regions. However, our region is the only one that has not yet had the opportunity to lead the International Atomic Energy Agency."
"This is why, after 6 decades of uniform, consistent and renowned policies by Argentina, we have the right candidate to head the IAEA. We are honoured to propose Grossi, due to his diplomatic leadership, professional integrity and commitment in the face of the stringent objectives that we aspire to for the agency at this new stage," he concluded.
Lopetegui, in turn, clearly stressed "the commitments undertaken by the Argentine government for the country to return to a path it should never have left," and he highlighted that the candidacy "is an opportunity to show Argentina's nuclear capacity to the world."
Ambassador Grossi, in turn, underscored "IAEA's key role in the preservation of international peace and security, as well as its contributions to development and welfare through the promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear energy." He also stated that "the international arena faces uncertainties and challenges, and IAEA's contribution is essential for the peaceful resolution of conflicts such as the situation in Iran or North Korea."
Grossi noted that "Argentina, with a sixty-year tradition of peaceful non-proliferation nuclear policies, is ready through its candidacy to play a more constructive and active role in this key issue for international development." Finally, he acknowledged the men and women in science and technology in Argentina, "whose achievements underpin the active role of Argentine diplomacy that is reflected in this candidacy today."
Press Release No. 315/19