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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

UAE delegation at IAEA’s 67th General Conference

The United Arab Emirates is actively participating in the 67th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held in Vienna, Austria, from September 25th to 29th. This week-long conference revolves around the theme of “Global Cooperation in the Nuclear Field.”

Heading the UAE delegation is Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi, UAE Permanent Representative to the IAEA, accompanied by representatives from key national entities in the nuclear sector, including the UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) and Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC).

The IAEA’s General Conference, an annual event, serves as the highest policymaking body of the organization, bringing together representatives from all Member States to discuss matters related to the IAEA’s program, budget, and nuclear energy affairs.

Ambassador Al Kaabi will deliver a keynote address during the General Conference’s Plenary Session, emphasizing the strong partnership between the IAEA and the UAE. This partnership has been characterized by the IAEA’s steadfast support in aiding the UAE in developing a peaceful nuclear program that adheres to the highest standards of nuclear safety, security, and non-proliferation over the past decade.

The UAE delegation will engage in bilateral meetings with international counterparts and fellow member states to explore cooperation opportunities and exchange insights on various nuclear policy, regulatory, and industry-related topics.

Collaboratively with the Republic of Korea, the UAE will host a side event titled “The Successful Collaboration between Nuclear Regulators in the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Korea in Delivering a Safe and Secure Nuclear Program in the UAE.” This event aims to spotlight FANR’s cooperation with regulatory counterparts in licensing the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant and their contributions to achieving net-zero targets and global climate change efforts.

Furthermore, FANR will co-chair a session of the Senior Safety and Security Regulators’ Meeting, conducted alongside the General Conference. FANR will highlight the recommendations stemming from the IAEA’s Conference on Effective Nuclear and Radiation Regulatory Systems, which was hosted in Abu Dhabi earlier this year. The conference gathered 95 Member States and four international organizations to discuss the role of the global regulatory community in ensuring effective regulatory systems in a changing environment.

The UAE will also present its Preparedness and Response System for addressing nuclear and radiological emergencies during the side event titled “How the IAEA Supports Member States in the Event of Nuclear and Radiological Incidents and Emergencies.” This presentation will showcase the lessons learned from hosting the IAEA’s ConvEx-3 Exercise in 2021, which tested the country’s emergency preparedness and response capabilities through a simulated radiological accident at the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant.

Moreover, the UAE delegation will participate in the Regulatory Cooperation Forum, where FANR will demonstrate its cooperation with leading international regulators, including the USA, Canada, France, South Korea, and others, through 22 agreements encompassing regulatory aspects of nuclear safety, security, non-proliferation, and radiation protection. The Regulatory Cooperation Forum aims to promote the exchange of regulatory knowledge and experience through international collaboration to ensure a high level of nuclear safety consistent with IAEA safety standards.

During the Global Nuclear Safety and Security Network (GNSSN) meeting, a team from FANR will introduce its innovative Nuclear Ferris Wheel application, designed to educate the public interactively about nuclear safety, radiation protection, and the responsibilities of nuclear regulatory bodies. The application was the winner of the young professionals’ competition held earlier this year during the International Conference on Effective Nuclear and Radiation Regulatory Systems (RegCon2023).

The UAE has been cooperating with the IAEA since its membership in 1976, aligning with its national developmental priorities. This collaboration spans various sectors, including training and capacity building, nuclear energy infrastructure development, and the utilization of nuclear applications in fields like healthcare, agriculture, environmental monitoring, and more.

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