Bern: Ignazio Cassis meets director general of International Atomic Energy Agency

Press release, 08.10.2020

Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis received Rafael Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in Bern today. Their discussions focused on Switzerland's cooperation with the IAEA and current issues pertaining to nuclear non-proliferation. During his visit, Mr Grossi also met with representatives of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy, the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI), the Spiez Laboratory and the Beznau nuclear power plant.

Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis already spoke with IAEA director general Rafael Grossi in Vienna in February this year about current issues in the field of nuclear non-proliferation, in particular compliance with the nuclear agreement with Iran (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA). Today's meeting served to exchange views on the situation after both Federal Councillor Cassis and Director General Grossi had recently visited Iran. Their meeting provided an opportunity to share views on the latest developments in connection with the JCPOA.

They also met the director general of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Patricia Danzi, to discuss the IAEA's international cooperation activities. The IAEA is the main intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical co-operation in the nuclear field. In addition to working for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, it promotes cooperation on other applications of nuclear technology, for example in the medical field, and in relation to the environment, energy and ground water management. Through its activities, the IAEA seeks to contribute directly to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.

Prior to this, Rafael Grossi visited the Spiez Laboratory, which has been an IAEA-designated Collaborating Centre since 2017 and regularly produces expert reports for the agency. Switzerland's second Collaborating Centre is EPFL, which joined the scheme in mid-2019.¨

During his visit to Switzerland, Mr Grossi took the opportunity to meet the director of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy, Benoît Revaz. They talked primarily about Switzerland's representation on the IAEA Board of Governors for the 2020–23 period, nuclear safety, security and verification.

Mr Grossi also visited the Beznau nuclear power plant, where officials from the plant and the ENSI showed him the work done to upgrade the facility in recent years.

Switzerland is one of the IAEA's founding members and was elected to serve on the Board of Governors for another three-year term at the end of September 2020. The Board of Governors, which has 35 members, is one of the two policy-making bodies of the IAEA. Switzerland was previously a member of the Board of Governors for the 2014–17 period.


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