posted on 23/09/2012: 685 views
Vienna: The United Arab Emirates has called on all countries of the region to make a positive commitment to contribute to the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, noting that all countries of the region should join the NPT, and fully implement and comply with comprehensive safeguards agreement and their international obligations.
Hamad al Kaabi, the UAE's permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in his statement before the 56th Session of the IAEA General Conference, reiterated UAE's commitment of working with the Agency towards the enhancement of nuclear safety, security and safeguards worldwide, while promoting the peaceful use of nuclear energy and making use of the Agency's central role in this regard.
Following is the full text of speech of al Kaabi:
Mr. President, Allow me at the outset to congratulate you on your assumption of the Presidency of the 56th Session of the IAEA General Conference. I would also like to extend my thanks and appreciation to Director General Mr. Yukiya Amano for his commendable leadership as Director General.
My delegation welcomes the Republic of Fiji and the Republic of San Marino as new Members to the IAEA.
Mr. President, In light of the natural disaster that took place in 2011, resulting in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, the United Arab Emirates places utmost emphasis on nuclear safety and security as we take stern and progressive steps towards the development peaceful nuclear energy programme.
Mr. President, The Agency has played since its establishment a vital role in helping Member States to benefit from the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Since 2008, the UAE embarked on a nuclear power programme to meet the growing domestic demand for electricity. My country remains of the view that peaceful nuclear energy would contribute significantly to the future energy mix in the UAE and globally. All advancements of the nuclear programme in the UAE are in accordance with the national nuclear policy of 2008, which commits to using nuclear energy in abidance with the highest standards of safety and security, as well as with endorsed principles of complete transparency, commitment to the highest standards of non-proliferation, and full cooperation with the IAEA.
Mr. President, UAE started earlier this summer the construction of the Unit 1 of 'Barakah' nuclear power plant, making it the first country among nuclear new comers to start the construction of a nuclear power plant in 27 years, The Construction License that was issued by the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation took into full consideration the early lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident. it included additional thorough assessment conducted in the in light of the Fukushima accident, which verified and enhanced safety features of the Plant especially against extreme natural events and the consequential loss of safety functions.
The UAE is one of the early members which adapted the IAEA integrated guidance for the development of new nuclear energy programme. We continue to work closely with the IAEA and with international partners, to establish a successful and sustainable peaceful nuclear energy programme. I would like to highlight several advances made in the past year pertaining to the positive advancement of the UAE nuclear power programme.
Mr. President, UAE recognises the primary role of the Agency, given its technical nature and wide membership, in strengthening the global nuclear safety, and in providing advice and expertise. Therefore, UAE calls for strengthening the IAEA role in this field, and welcomes all efforts by the Director General in response to Fukushima and the implementation of the IAEA nuclear safety plan.
UAE continues its transparent approach through benefiting from various comprehensive review services provided by the IAEA. In addition to the Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission, which was conducted in 2011, UAE requested another review mission, Integrated Regulatory Review Service Mission (IRRS). The outcomes of which were very positive, with no major gaps identified. In IAEA's words, (and I quote) "the mission found that the country understands the long-term commitments and responsibilities of nuclear power and is implementing its programme in line with the IAEA Milestones approach".
IAEA Integrated Regulatory Review Service Mission (IRRS) in the UAE, was the first time that an IRRS Mission was held at such an early stage in a country embarking on a nuclear programme. This fact highlights the advancement of UAE as a model for nuclear new-comers. UAE gives high importance to the peer-review services based on our policy and transparent approach to adopt the best practices. This approach is further demonstrated through publishing of these review reports to public.
In addition, UAE submitted its national report to the recent extraordinary meeting of the Convention of Nuclear Safety highlighting steps taken by the UAE to improve nuclear safety in light of Fukushima accident.
I would like to mention here that UAE has also recently joined Protocol to amend the Vienna convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage as well as the Joint Protocol Relating to the Application of the Vienna Convention and the Paris Convention, further demonstrating UAE's responsible approach.
Concerning Nuclear Security, UAE strongly endorses the role of IAEA's in Nuclear Security. Despite the fact that nuclear security is the responsibility of the state, we are of the view that that the Agency has an important role to play in strengthening international framework and training opportunities in the nuclear security field. in addition to the role involving the development nuclear security fundamentals to be implemented in member states. I note here that the UAE participated actively in the Nuclear Security Summits in Washington and Seoul, and in other international initiatives aiming to strengthen international cooperation framework in nuclear security.
Mr. President, The UAE accords primary focus on capacity building, specifically in relation to its national nuclear power programme. This is reflected by its commitment to an extensive capacity building programme. Through a growing participation in technical cooperation meetings, workshops, trainings, as well as fellowships and scientific visits, the UAE efficiently develops the necessary human resources for its nuclear programme as well as other nuclear applications. We also dedicate special attention to knowledge management in fields of nuclear power and nuclear applications. UAE for years has been hosting knowledge management database in cooperation with the IAEA.
Moreover, the UAE signed an updated Country Programme Framework, which defines the frame of reference for the short and medium-term planning of TC activities, between the UAE and the Agency, as part of a broader vision encompassing development strategies for the UAE.
National TC projects with the IAEA covered areas of nuclear applications for environmental and archaeological purposes, Radioactive Waste Management, Dosimetry, Environmental Monitoring, Early Warning Network for Nuclear Accidents and Radiological Emergencies, and the Development of National Nuclear Power Infrastructure for Electricity Generation.
My country remains keen on sharing its experience with other Member States embarking on a nuclear power programme, which is underlined through providing feedback in numerous IAEA activities, on its best practices, guiding principles, lessons learned and challenges. Moreover, the UAE actively supports the Agency work through several Committees including safety standards committees.
Mr. President, We believe that IAEA safeguards are credible means to assure that nuclear material and facilities are being used exclusively for peaceful purposes. They have however experienced a challenge with regards to verification during the last decade, some of these challenges continue. These challenges should be addressed to provide full assurance in relation to only the declared activities but also potentially non declared ones.
To this end, the Additional Protocol complements the safeguards system with better tools to provide assurance on both declared and possible undeclared activities. In order to keep IAEA's safeguards system credible, we believe it is essential for all Member States to fully implement their safeguards agreements, but bring into force the Additional Protocol.
More generally, we are convinced that for any State with a comprehensive safeguards agreement in force, a supplemented Additional Protocol in force would enhance the verification standard for that State. With 117 countries having brought an Additional Protocol into force, we are pleased to see seven additional countries brining into force an additional protocol since the last general conference. We hope that this number increases in the near future, with an objective to enable the Agency to meet its safeguards responsibilities, which include the verification of all nuclear facilities, and consequently, to build further confidence within the international community and the various regions. We support Director General Amano's efforts to further promote the global adherence to the Additional Protocol.
At the same time, my delegation calls on countries , in which the safeguards implementation under question, to fully cooperate with the IAEA in implementing their international obligations, with an objective to address all outstanding concerns ,to demonstrate the exclusive peaceful nature exclude potential military dimension to their programme.
Mr President, My delegation welcomes the director general efforts in consultation with the countries of the region to facilitate the early implementation of the comprehensive safeguards in the Middle East on all nuclear activities. We welcome the successful convening of the forum last November for this purpose. We are committed to support all efforts aiming to facilitate the establishment of a nuclear weapons free zone in the middle east, including the convening of a successful 2012 conference as stated in the 2010 NPT Review outcome document.
We call on all countries of the region to commit to positively contribute to establishment of the zone, noting that all countries of the region should join the NPT, and fully implement and comply with comprehensive safeguards agreement and their international obligations.
In conclusion Mr. President, My delegation would like to reiterate the UAE's commitment to working with the Agency towards the enhancement of nuclear safety, security and safeguards worldwide, while promoting the peaceful use of nuclear energy and making use of the Agency's central role in this regard. We thank the Secretariat for the comprehensive reports made available to Member States in relation to these matters, and reassure the IAEA of our full cooperation. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
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