UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan works closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to strengthen nuclear security and is implementing an action plan in cooperation with the agency, a senior Pakistani diplomat told the General Assembly on Tuesday.
Commenting on IAEA’s annual report, Khalil Hashmi, deputy permanent representative of Pakistan to the U.N., also said that his government attaches “highest importance” to the security of its nuclear power plants, all of which were the agency’s safeguards, “Even as we have over four decades experience of safely operating the nuclear power plants, we remain mindful of and attach highest importance to the safety and security of our current and future nuclear power plants,” the Pakistani delegate added.
Pakistan, he said, valued the agency’s leading role in harmonizing and coordinating global efforts, in the wake of the Fukushima accident, to improve safety of nuclear power plants.
Over the past decade, Pakistan’s nuclear regulatory mechanism had grown into an effective system, basing its regulations on the IAEA safety standards, and also offering itself for independent peer reviews, Hashmi told the 193-member Assembly.
He said that for over 55 years Pakistan had sought to enhance the application of nuclear technology for economic and social development, with the IAEA as a valuable partner in those efforts. As one of the agency’s earliest members, it had also contributed to its technical cooperation programme through the provision of training and experts.
Noting the “upward trajectory” of Pakistan’s economy and its severe energy deficit, Hashmi said his country was tapping into all sources of hydro, solar and wind power, as well as nuclear energy. Pakistan had also harnessed nuclear technology in the health and agricultural sectors, as well as in research and development in the physical sciences and engineering.
Vowing to continue playing its constructive role in advancing non-proliferation objectives, nuclear safety and security and peaceful uses of nuclear technology, he said Pakistan viewed its membership of export control regimes, particularly the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), as a “mutually beneficial proposition”.
“We reiterate our call for an equitable, non-discriminatory and criteria-based approach to promote civil nuclear cooperation and membership of export controls regimes,” the Pakistani delegate said in conclusion.