4 February 2000

Visit to Australia by the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), His Excellency Dr Mohamed ElBaradei, will visit Australia from 4 February as a guest of the Australian Government. This is Dr ElBaradei's first visit to Australia.

Dr ElBaradei's program in Canberra and Sydney will include a meeting with Mr Downer, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Senator Minchin, Minister for Industry, Resources and Science. He will also be involved in high-level officials' talks with Commonwealth Departments and Agencies. Dr ElBaradei will also visit the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) in Sydney, and conduct a tour of the Lucas Heights nuclear research reactor.

Australia has a longstanding and strong association with the IAEA, given its fundamental role as one of the pillars of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. The IAEA serves as the world's foremost international governmental forum for scientific and technical co-operation in the peaceful use of nuclear technology. It is also the key multilateral agency responsible for the implementation of safeguards, nuclear safety and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Australia has been actively involved in the work of the IAEA since its establishment in 1957 and is a designated member of the Board of Governors.