UNITED NATIONS: Highlighting its rising electricity needs, Pakistan has called for a balance in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s regulatory, promotional and safety functions to ensure its continuing relevance in the context of promoting peaceful uses of nuclear energy and non-proliferation.“IAEA’s role in promoting peaceful uses of nuclear energy is indispensable. The Agency is uniquely placed to facilitate transfer of nuclear technology to developing countries,” Pakistani delegate Raza Bashir Tarar told the UN General Assembly on Monday.Speaking in a debate on the annual IAEA report, he said Pakistan had contributed to the Agency’s Technical Cooperation Programme through training, the provision of experts and hosting of seminars. There was a need for enhanced and assured resource allocation for technical cooperation, technical transfer and training, and the programme could be expanded through more developing country involvement in its design and implementation.
The Pakistani delegate said he agreed that all states should fully comply with their safeguards obligations and international commitments, as fulfilling such legal obligations was the most important step towards maintaining the credibility of the safeguards regime. Continuing, Tarar said the agency’s primary role in the peaceful use of nuclear science and technology should be re-emphasized.For its part, Pakistan had established a strong, independent nuclear safety and security infrastructure, he said, noting the country was party to various international conventions and contributing to both the Agency’s Illicit Trafficking Database and International Reporting System for Operating Experience, among other things.Having signed its first commercial nuclear power plant in 1965, Pakistan was the 15th nation in the world – and only second developing country – to start a nuclear power programme, the Pakistani delegate pointed out.
With a sizeable civilian nuclear programme and decades of experience in power generation, Pakistan was in a unique position to share its expertise, he said. Further, Pakistan’s energy security strategy envisaged the setting up of several additional nuclear power reactors to increase nuclear power’s share in the energy mix from the present 0.8 per cent to 4.2 per cent by 2030, he said.In addition, Pakistan had focused on the applications of ionizing radiation and radioisotopes in the fields of health, agriculture and industry. Finally, the entry into force of the amendment to article VI of the Statute would enhance the representative character of the Board of Governors and contribute to a more effective role for Agency. As in previous years, the 192-member Assembly adopted a resolution, introduced by the Pakistani delegate, reaffirming its strong support for the Agency’s “indispensable” role in encouraging and assisting the development and practical application of atomic energy for peaceful uses, in technology transfer to developing countries and in nuclear safety, verification and security – App