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56th General Conference: Side Events Highlight the Importance of Nuclear Sciences and Applications

GC Joint Side EventDuring the 56th IAEA General Conference, five side events were held to highlight the innovative work of the IAEA’s Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications. The events, on topics such as human health, cancer control, the Seibersdorf Laboratories, isotope hydrology and sustainable development informed Member States of the services provided by the Department and the new approaches and techniques being developed by IAEA scientists.

Each event was opened by the Deputy Director General of Nuclear Sciences and Applications, Daud Mohamad. The IAEA Director General, Yukiya Amano, and IAEA Deputy Director Generals of other IAEA technical departments showed their support by attending or speaking at some of the events.

The Division of Human Health used their event to highlight the Division’s mobile learning technology, which has been developed for radiation medicine specialists. Participants were given an opportunity to test the new mobile learning platform during the event. The Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) event identified the global need to address the growing cancer epidemic through holistic approaches. Presentations by PACT staff outlined the ways in which the IAEA can assist Member States in their efforts to combat cancer.

One of the day’s largest gatherings was held to mark the 50th anniversary of the Nuclear Applications Laboratories at Seibersdorf. Eight speakers from IAEA Member States highlighted ways that they have benefitted from the laboratories’ scientific contributions. Plans to modernize the nuclear applications labs were briefly discussed.

An event was held to discuss the IAEA’s freshwater assessment project, called iWAVE, which is currently being piloted in Costa Rica, the Philippines and Oman. Mr Amano was present at the event to hear representatives from the three pilot countries share their experiences as iWAVE pilot sites. The IAEA’s water resources programme has been a priority area as reflected in the 2011 Scientific Forum.

‘Nuclear Technology for a Sustainable Future’, was the title of an event hosted jointly by the Departments of Nuclear Sciences and Applications, Nuclear Energy and Technical Cooperation. The event discussed the IAEA’s presence at the United Nations Rio +20 Conference, held in June of this year, and its role in fulfilling the post Millennium Development Goal agenda. Speakers talked about the significance of science, technology and innovation as a cornerstone for progress in nearly all development fields, including energy, food, water and oceans, four of the seven thematic areas highlighted at Rio+20.

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