Australian Embassy and Permanent Mission to the United Nations
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia

Agenda Item 7: Any Other Business

IAEA Board of Governors

Statement by H. E. Mr Richard Sadleir, Resident Representative of Australia on behalf of the Group of Friends of Women in Nuclear

Agenda Item 7:  Any Other Business

24-26 November 2021



Australia is pleased to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of Friends for Women in Nuclear.  

The Group is comprised of 36 member states from across the Agency’s eight regional groups and warmly welcomes Spain as a new co-chair of the Group with Mexico and Australia.

The Group of Friends for Women in Nuclear was established in 2017 in part to ensure that a regular channel of communication exists between Member States and the IAEA on questions of gender, and we are committed to using this to support the Agency in identifying and overcoming barriers to the recruitment and advancement of women in the Agency.

The Group is equally committed to ensuring that the Agency is seen as an employer of choice for women in nuclear, and that it maintains a respectful workplace and the safety and integrity of all its staff.

Given these goals, we greatly appreciate, and value, the fact that the Agency regularly participates in the work, meetings, and consultations of the Group. We welcome the recommendation in the Office for Internal Oversight Services’ report on Technical Cooperation activities for a pilot initiative to integrate gender equality analysis into Technical Cooperation Projects.  Most recently, our Group welcomed the opportunity to discuss with DDG Evrard practical initiatives that the Group may take to promote the work and the role of women within the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security.

Our discussions have been complemented by gender-focused events. During the September General Conference, the Group was pleased to support the Senior Regulators Forum special session on gender and to participate in the IAEA Women in Nuclear roundtable discussion. In November we took part in the International Gender Champions focal points meeting and will participate in December in the second Vienna-based International Gender Champions meeting.

Looking forward, the Group will maintain a focus on virtual events, so that we may continue to provide innovative content for our members and others in the nuclear sciences community whilst in-person gatherings are minimised.  We shall continue as well our use of social media platforms for public engagement and to increase the visibility of careers for women in the IAEA. 



The Group commends the Director General, the Agency and Member States on the success of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme which supports young women studying in nuclear related fields relevant to the IAEA’s work to advance the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology. The continued generous contributions of Member States and other donors has enabled the programme to be extended in 2023.

The Group is pleased to hear the new dedicated Gender Adviser begins her role at the Agency this week, and we look forward to working with her to ensure the continued advancement of women in the Agency.


Finally, Chair

I wish to advise that Australia will step down as a co-chair of the Group of Friends for Women in Nuclear on 31 December. As a founding member of the Group, we are proud of the Group’s accomplishments and are confident that given the Director General’s strong leadership and commitment, together with the commitment of member states, gender equality and mainstreaming in the Agency is within reach.

We also take this opportunity to invite delegations who share our vision on gender equality to join the Group of Friends for Women in Nuclear. If you would like to join, please make your interest known to one of the Group’s Co-Chairs.


Thank you Chair