On 21-25 June 2021, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) held its 68th session. This UNSCEAR session also marked the 65th anniversary. On this occasion, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Ms. Inger Andersen, Director-General, United Nations (Vienna), Ms. Ghada Waly; and the Director General International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mr. Rafael Mariano Grossi delivered congratulatory statements.
Ms. Andersen noted that UNEP and UNSCEAR share a common understanding that objective science is essential to informed decisions. “The value of science has only been emphasized in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. UNEP is looking forward to working with UNSCEAR to identify new areas to collaborate on strong science that brings the most impact – such as on sustainable energy, people’s safety and a safe environment,” she said.
Ms. Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)
In her remarks, Ms. Waly pointed out that UNSCEAR’s efforts have prompted reductions in unnecessary radiation exposure, and increased harmonization of safety laws and regulations. “In the Decade of Action to deliver on the 2030 Agenda, the UN family in Vienna has an essential role to play in helping the world recover better and with greater resilience from the COVID crisis, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Building on the accomplishments of the past 65 years, UNSCEAR’s contributions to protecting people and planet through science will be an important part of these efforts,” she added.
Ms. Ghada Fathi Waly, Director-General/Executive Director of the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV)/ United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
Mr. Grossi highlighted the various areas of cooperation and support between the IAEA and the Scientific Committee, saying that the IAEA would continue to rely on its authoritative, trusted, and unbiased scientific work. “Part of the IAEA’s functions is the establishment of safety standards. These need to be based on the most up-to-date information on radiation effects. This has fostered a close, valued partnership with UNSCEAR…By interacting and cooperating closely with UNSCEAR, the IAEA ensures that its safety standards and guidance publications are based on sound scientific principles and internationally peer-reviewed findings,” he said.
Mr. Rafael Mariano Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)