Sunday, July 29, 2007

On July 29, ...

...1957 (50 years ago today), the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency came into force. Addressing the U.N. General Assembly and its President, Mme. Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, 4 years earlier, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower had urged establishment of an "Atoms for Peace" agency:

[T]he American people share my deep belief that if a danger exists in the world, it is a danger shared by all; and equally, that if hope exists in the mind of one nation, that hope should be shared by all. Finally, if there is to be advanced any proposal designed to ease even by the smallest measure the tensions of today's world, what more appropriate audience could there be than the members of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
....
[T]he atomic realities of today comprehend two facts .... First, the knowledge now possessed by several nations will eventually be shared by others, possibly all others. Second, even a vast superiority in numbers of weapons, and a consequent capability of devastating retaliation, is no preventive, of itself, against the fearful material damage and toll of human lives that would be inflicted by surprise aggression.
....
The governments principally involved, to the extent permitted by elementary prudence, should begin now and continue to make joint contributions from their stockpiles of normal uranium and fissionable materials to an international atomic energy agency. We would expect that such an agency would be set up under the aegis of the United Nations.
...
The more important responsibility of this atomic energy agency would be to devise methods whereby this fissionable material would be allocated to serve the peaceful pursuits of mankind.

...

Today the agency, "an independent international organization related to the United Nations system" by special agreement, works toward such goals from its headquarters in Vienna and other offices across the globe. The IAEA and its Director General, Mohamed ElBaradei, shared the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way." (photo of Eisenhower's speech courtesy of the United Nations)
...3 women Members of the U.S. Congress were born: U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), in 1957, in Tachikawa, Japan; U.S. Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio), in 1951, in Warren, Ohio; and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.), in 1936, in Salisbury, North Carolina.

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