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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - ABU DHABI — The United Arab Emirates is participating at the 64th Annual General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at the organization’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria.
The UAE delegation is led by Suhail Al Mazrouei, minister of energy and infrastructure of the United Arab Emirates and Hamad Alkaabi, UAE permanent representative to IAEA, and various representatives from the national stakeholders in the nuclear sector; the UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) and Emirates Nuclear Energy Cooperation (ENEC). Most of the UAE’s delegation joined the event remotely due to restrictions measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UAE’s participation at the IAEA general conference this year is marked by the country’s major milestone witnessing the start-up of the first unit of Barakah Nuclear Power plant back in August 2020, making the UAE the first Arab country to develop and operate a nuclear power plant.
Suhail Al Mazrouei, minister of energy and infrastructure of the United Arab Emirates, delivered the UAE national statement via a video message at the plenary session of the General Conference.
He highlighted the strong relationship that binds the IAEA and the UAE and how it supported the development of the UAE nuclear program throughout the years. He also updated the member states on the progress of the UAE Nuclear Energy Program, sharing the UAE’s success for starting-up the first unit of the nuclear power plant.
The UAE delegation has planned numerous meetings during the week-long conference including a bilateral meeting with Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the IAEA, to discuss the UAE-IAEA relations and their future cooperation.
A virtual side event is planned on Tuesday titled “UAE Nuclear Energy Progam: The Journey”, will feature special remarks from Grossi and remarks from main nuclear energy stakeholders in the UAE. The side event aims to share the UAE journey in regards to the nuclear energy program and showcase the key factors behind the program success.
In addition, FANR is participating in the annual Senior Safety and Security Regulators Meeting on the margins of the IAEA General Conference to highlight the efforts into building national capacity in the nuclear sector and ensuring the sustainability of the nuclear energy program of the UAE.
The 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.
The UAE delegation will take part in the Scientific Forum and will attend virtual side events with a number of international stakeholders to share UAE experience in the nuclear sector. Alkaabi will deliver a video speech celebrating the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the Nuclear Law Institute (NLI).
It highlighted the impact of the NLI program over the past decade in helping to develop national capabilities in nuclear legislation. Khalifa University of Science and Technology and Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation are sharing their expertise on the future of nuclear and steps to be taken to achieve the clean energy transition at the IAEA’s Scientific Forum.
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.
The General Conference is the highest policy-making body of the IAEA. It is composed of representatives of all member states of the agency. The General Conference meets to consider and approve the agency's program and budget and to decide on other matters brought before it by the board of governors, the director-general and the member states. — SG
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