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Kuwait: IAEA plays key role in peaceful use of nuclear energy

NEW YORK: Kuwait said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) played a major role in the peaceful use of nuclear energy to achieve peace and prosperity, as well as enhancing global nuclear safety systems. Counselor Tareq Al-Bannai, addressing a UN General Assembly’s session regarding IAEA’s report Wednesday evening, said the Vienna-based UN agency was emphasizing the “atom for peace” formula as well as highlighting the close link between science and technology on one side and international peace and security on the other.

As member of IAEA’s board of governors, the fifth membership since joining the agency in 1964, said Bannai, Kuwait would always work towards honoring aspirations of member states to reach sustainable development and addressing international pressing issues. The world, he added, was facing an enemy that disregarded “history, geography, ethnicity or a climate, a cross-border enemy careless about a political, economic or social regime and is posing a universal and existential threat to mankind”.

Bannai, who said the meeting was held amidst critical circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic, welcomed a UNGA summit early next month to discuss ways of confronting COVID-19. He said IAEA’s 2019 report was shedding light on cooperation between Kuwait and the UN agency including in the establishment of the low-enriched uranium bank, to which Kuwait contributed $10 million, as well as Kuwait’s contribution to the upgrading of Yukiya Amano’s laboratories.

He also cited a framework agreement between the IAEA and Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) for the period 2020-25. The agreement, he added, promoted cooperation on environment protection, assigning KISR’s environment and life science center as a focal point with IAEA in the use of nuclear technologies.

Bannai, meanwhile, said the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) guaranteed rights of all countries to produce and develop nuclear energy for peaceful use, as well as elimination of nuclear weapons. “Our world is facing many challenges and tensions in this regard but dialogue and solving conflicts by peaceful means are the best tools to address them,” he said. He called on North Korea to abide by international treaties and relevant UN Security Council resolutions to achieve stability in the Korean peninsula.

Bannai also called on Iran to fully cooperate with the IAEA and comply with UNSC resolution 2231. He said establishing a Middle East free of nuclear arms and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) has always been objective of Kuwait and the Arab countries, because it would contribute to regional stability. He called on importance of Israel’s joining the NPT and to place all facilities to IAEA’s safeguard measures. – KUNA

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