VIENNA, 25th September, 2023 (WAM) -- The United Arab Emirates is participating in the 67th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria, from 25th to 29th September. The week-long conference is being held under the theme "Global Cooperation in the Nuclear Field".
The UAE delegation, led by Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi, UAE Permanent Representative to the IAEA, includes various national stakeholders in the nuclear sector such as the UAE's Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), and Emirates Nuclear Energy Cooperation (ENEC).
Convening annually, the General Conference is the highest policy-making body of the IAEA and is composed of representatives of all Member States of the Agency and discusses IAEA's programme and budget and other matters related to nuclear energy.
Al Kaabi will deliver a keynote speech to the Plenary Session of the General Conference that will highlight the strong relationship that binds the IAEA and the UAE. The IAEA -UAE's robust partnership is reflected in strong support over the past decade, assisting the country in developing a peaceful nuclear programme that meets the highest standards in nuclear safety, security, and non-proliferation.
The UAE delegation will hold bilateral meetings with international stakeholders and other member states to discuss cooperation opportunities and exchange views on various topics related to nuclear policy, regulation, and industry.
In collaboration with the Republic of Korea, the UAE will host a side event entitled: "The successful collaboration between nuclear regulators in the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Korea in delivering a safe and secure nuclear programme in the UAE". The event aims to highlight the FANR's cooperation with its regulatory counterparts in licensing the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant and their contribution towards achieving net-zero targets and international climate change efforts.
In addition, FANR will co-chair a session of the Senior Safety and Security Regulators' Meeting, which will be held on the margin of the General Conference. FANR will highlight the recommendations reached at the IAEA's Conference on Effective Nuclear and Radiation Regulatory Systems that was hosted in Abu Dhabi in February this year, where 95 Member States and four international organisations gathered to debate the role of the global regulatory community to ensure the effectiveness of regulatory systems in a changing environment.
Moreover, the UAE will present its Preparedness and Response System to address nuclear and radiological emergencies during the side-event entitled "How the IAEA Supports Member States in the Event of Nuclear and Radiological Incidents and Emergencies". It will showcase the lessons learned from hosting the IAEA's ConvEx-3 Exercise in 2021, where it fully activated its emergency response centres across the country to test its emergency preparedness and response capabilities simulating a radiological accident at the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, where over 76 countries, 12 international organisations and 111 laboratories took part in the exercise.
The UAE delegation will take part in the Regulatory Cooperation Forum, where FANR will showcase its cooperation with international regulators as it has currently 22 agreements with leading international regulators such as the USA, Canada, France, South Korea and others, covering regulatory aspects in nuclear safety, security, non-proliferation and radiation protection. The Regulatory Cooperation Forum promotes the sharing of regulatory knowledge and experience through international cooperation with the goal of achieving a high level of nuclear safety that is consistent with the IAEA safety standards.
Furthermore, during the meeting of the Global Nuclear Safety and Security Network (GNSSN), a team from FANR will present its innovative Nuclear Ferris Wheel application, which aims to educate the public by providing information related to nuclear safety, radiation protection, responsibilities of the nuclear regulatory body in an interactive manner. It is noteworthy the application won the young professionals' competition held earlier this year during the International Conference on Effective Nuclear and Radiation Regulatory Systems (RegCon2023).
Since joining the IAEA in 1976, the UAE has been cooperating with the IAEA based on its national developmental priorities. The cooperation spans across different sectors such as training and capacity building, nuclear energy infrastructure development as well as the use of nuclear applications in healthcare, agriculture, environmental monitoring and others.