The signatories of the ITER Agreement, together with French President Jacques Chirac. From left to right: Vladimir Travin (Deputy head of the Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom), Russian Federation), Takeshi Iwaya (Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan), Xu Guanhua (Minister of Science and Technology, People's Republic of China), José Manuel Barroso (President of the European Commission), Jacques Chirac (President of the French Republic), Kim Woo Sik (Vice Prime-Minister, Ministry of Science and Technology, Korea), Anil Kakodhar (Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Atomic Energy), Raymond Orbach (Under Secretary for Science, U.S. Department of Energy), and Janez Potočnik (European Commissioner for Science and Research). Click to see full picture.
On 21 November, Ministers from the seven ITER Parties came together to sign the agreement to establish the international Organization that will implement ITER.
The signature took place at a ceremony at the Elysée Palace in Paris and was hosted by the President of the French Republic M. Jacques Chirac and by the President of the European Commission, M. José Manuel Durão Barroso. The signed documents were formally handed over to the representative of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to be deposited with the Director General of the IAEA.
French President Jacques Chirac said: "If nothing changes, humanity will have consumed, in 200 years, most of the fossil fuel resources accumulated over hundreds of millions of years." He adds: "It (the ITER project) is the victory of the general interest of humanity."
The first meeting of the Interim ITER Council took place at Ministerial level after the signing ceremony, under the chairmanship of Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Science and Research. With the signature of the ITER Agreement and the first Council meeting, the ITER Organization can start its operation on a provisional basis pending the entry into force of the agreement which is expected in the course of 2007. return to Newsline #3