67th IAEA General Conference: Switzerland as an active, constructive and high-profile player

Press releases, 31.10.2023

This year's IAEA General Conference took place from 25-29 September under the chairmanship of Thailand. The Swiss delegation was made up of representatives from the SFOE, ENSI, DDPS, EPFL and the FDFA (AIS and Mission Vienna), led by SFOE Director Benoît Revaz as State Secretary.

Ambassador Laggner during a vote
Ambassador Laggner during a vote © Swiss Mission

The conference was dominated in particular by the topics of Ukraine, AUKUS, the discharge of ALPS-treated waste water in Fukushima, and by Iran as a difficult negotiating partner. On nuclear safety, security and safeguards in Ukraine, the delegations of Costa Rica, Finland, Canada and Singapore introduced a resolution, which was adopted by vote. In contrast to last year, all 3S resolutions (Safeguards, Security, Safety) were adopted by consensus after long negotiations.

In a contested election for two Eastern European seats on the Board of Governors, Ukraine and Armenia successfully prevailed over Azerbaijan. A resolution introduced by Kazakhstan entitled "Restoration of the Sovereign Equality of Member States in the IAEA" aimed to address the problem of the so-called "arealess states", which do not belong to a regional group and thus cannot be elected to the Board of Governors. Since Israel is on the list of these states, Iran opposed consensus and the resolution had to be adopted in a vote. 

A resolution introduced by the UAE on expanded participation rights for Palestine was also adopted in a vote. The resolution on the DPRK tabled by Canada was again adopted by consensus.

Due to long negotiations on Friday evening, the General Conference did not end until 03:18 on Saturday morning. Nevertheless, it was a success for Switzerland in many respects, namely the successful engagement in the negotiations on the resolutions and the high-level meetings with the top IAEA officials as well as with individual delegations and the supervisory authorities of important countries. Switzerland was thus perceived as an active, constructive and high-profile player.