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

Agenda Item 2: Applications for membership of the Agency

IAEA Board of Governors

Agenda Item 2: Applications for membership of the Agency

11 September 2023

Statement by H.E Ambassador Ian Biggs, Governor and Resident Representative of Australia to the IAEA


As this is the first time I have spoken during this Board, allow me to join Australia’s sincere condolences with those of the Chair and Director General to the government and people of Morocco after the devastating earthquake in the Atlas Mountains on the weekend.


Australia congratulates the Cook Islands on its application for membership of the IAEA, and commends the Cook Islands to this Board.

It is important to add another Pacific voice to this international body. As the current chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, the Cook Islands can bring the perspectives of a significant regional partner for the IAEA.

The Cook Islands played an integral role in establishing the treaty which created the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone thirty-eight years ago. The treaty was signed in and is named after the Cook Islands’ main island of Rarotonga.

The Cook Islands has demonstrated a consistent commitment to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, as required by Article IV of the IAEA Statute.

We were very pleased that Director General Grossi was able to visit the Cook Islands in July this year, and to engage with Prime Minister Mark Brown. We hope this is just the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial relationship between the Cook Islands and the IAEA.

Australia looks forward to welcoming the Cook Islands to the IAEA.