Qatar called for applying the highest safety standards to nuclear reactors in the Middle East region, and stressed the importance of strengthening the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in achieving the common goals of nuclear proliferation prevention, nuclear disarmament and the promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
This came in a statement of the State of Qatar, delivered by HE the Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the Federal Republic of Austria and the Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations and international organizations in Vienna Sultan bin Salmeen al-Mansouri, during the 64th session of IAEA's General Conference which is being held in Vienna.
Al-Mansouri affirmed the appreciation and continuous support of Qatar for the IAEA and its Director General for their distinguished and growing role in harnessing safe and modern nuclear technologies in all peaceful areas to serve humanity, and in achieving the goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Plan, and helping countries combat the Covid-19 pandemic by proving them with infection monitoring devices through its technical cooperation program that supports peaceful application for nuclear techniques in the field of human and animal health.
In his speech, al-Mansouri addressed the unstable international situation and the possibility of a new and dangerous nuclear conflict, saying in this regard "our common responsibility requires us to support the IAEA and enhance its role in achieving the common goals of nuclear proliferation prevention, nuclear disarmament and the promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear energy."
"Our support for the agency is an essential part of our support for multilateralism and diplomacy for peace, and we must enhance the existing initiatives in order to create international consensus on banning nuclear weapons," he added, stressing the need for serious action to implement the decision of 1995 review conference regarding the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons in the Middle East as an essential step towards complete and comprehensive nuclear disarmament.
Al-Mansouri pointed out the concern of many countries in the Middle East region about the safety and security of reactors located within the region, in light of the fact that some countries in the region started to establish power reactors, which doubles the agency's responsibilities to ensure the highest standards of nuclear safety and security in these reactors, and to anticipate any potential impacts from these reactors due to natural disasters or as a result of an accident due to human error or a terrorist act.
The ambassador emphasized the importance of applying the highest standards of nuclear safety by states which establish nuclear facilities on their territories and according to the agency's work plan approved in this regard, as well as taking measures to develop contingency plans to deal with any potential nuclear accident and ensure the implementation of preventive measures for workers in the facility as well as the civilians in addition to preserving the environment to ensure the development of technologies for the safe use of nuclear energy.
He also said that Qatar looks forward that the IAEA, in accordance with its responsibilities and powers, would present required reassurances for it and for the countries of the region and the international community, regarding the safety and security of the reactors currently existing or under construction, and to involve riparian states in contingency plans measures of any potential nuclear accident.
Al-Mansouri reviewed the progress made in bilateral co-operation between Qatar and the IAEA, saying that Qatar is proud of this cooperation, which was represented in the implementation of many programs and training courses in the fields of peaceful uses of atomic energy, especially in the fields of medicine, agriculture, food security and infrastructure strengthening, in addition to enhancing the capacity of Qatari national cadres, including the capabilities of responding to radiological and nuclear emergencies.
Al-Mansouri said that Qatar looks forward to the agency's contribution in providing nuclear security support to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and to closer and broader future cooperation with the agency, especially as Qatar embarked on ambitious and broad programs for economic and social development.