ATOMIC ENERGY AIDS PROGRESS

Author: P. Sergeyev

ATOMIC ENERGY AIDS PROGRESS

The first meeting of the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency, held in Vienna this October, attracted world attention. This is not surprising. Everybody knows what promise of material and spiritual progress the peaceful utilization of atomic energy holds.

For various reasons, few countries are able to make immediate practical use of atomic energy on their own. Most countries, particularly those which are economically backward, do not have the necessary funds and technical know-how. They, therefore, have a vital interest in getting assistance from highly developed countries and in pooling efforts in this field.

It was the desire to promote international atomic co-operation that gave rise to the idea of the International Agency. Its establishment was preceded by large-scale preparatory work. Negotiations concerning the principal articles of its charter lasted over two years.1 In autumn last year representatives of more than 80 nations gathered in New York to draft

1 See International Affairs, 1936, No. 10, p. 133.

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and unanimously adopt the charier, which came into force on July 29 this year.

The Soviet Union-the first country in history to use atomic energy for peaceful economic purposes-participated in drawing up the charter and championed the sovereign rights and equality of the Agency's member states. It is thanks to the Soviet stand that the charter contains e guarantees against the Agency making assistance subject to political, economic, military or other conditions incompatible with the provisions of the charter.

But, as its very first session showed, certain Western groups are i'Jtent on using the Agency to establish control over the future atomic industry in other countries. No sooner had the conference opened than the United States tried to poison the atmosphere and revive the "cold war" spirit. The U.S. press accused the Soviet Union of seeking to wreck the conference. A New York Herald ...

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