The IAEA said director-general Rafael Mariano Grossi met US secretary of state Michael Pompeo, national security advisor Robert O’Brien and other senior US officials to discuss his “priorities for change” at the Vienna-based UN agency.
Mr Grossi said further expanding the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology will help the world meet the challenges it is facing, including climate change. He emphasised the IAEA’s efforts to improve nuclear safety and security and its assistance to countries introducing or planning to introduce nuclear energy. He also spoke in the meetings of the increased effectiveness of the agency’s nuclear verification work, dealing with growing amounts of nuclear material under safeguards.
The two-day stay in the US capital was Mr Grossi’s first official visit to the country since taking office two months ago. It followed work trips to Egypt and Spain in December, the latter to attend the United Nations climate conference in Madrid and highlight the role of nuclear energy in combatting the warming of the planet.
The US is the single largest contributor to the IAEA’s regular budget. It also provides significant extra-budgetary funding, which – together with such support from other member states – has enabled the agency to step up its assistance in areas benefiting millions of people around the world, such as food security, cancer care, nutrition, animal health, water management and energy planning.