A Qatari United Nations representative said the establishment of zones free of nuclear weapons is essential to ensure safety in the region.
Qatar called for applying the highest safety standards to nuclear reactors in the Middle East region on Tuesday, stressing the importance of strengthening the role of the UN watchdog in achieving common goals to promote peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Sultan bin Salmeen Al Mansouri, Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations and International Organisations in Vienna, said his country supports the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) work in the region to ensure nuclear proliferation prevention and disarmament.
“Our support for the agency is an essential part of our support for multilateralism and diplomacy for peace, and we must enhance the existing initiatives in order to create international consensus on banning nuclear weapons,” said Al Mansouri during the 64th session of IAEA’s General Conference.
Qatar’s support of the IAEA comes as part of efforts to achieve its 2030 Sustainable Development Plan while helping countries combat COVID-19 by providing infection monitoring devices that use safe nuclear techniques in the field of human and animal health.
Al Mansouri also warned against the possibility of new nuclear conflict, saying: “Our common responsibility requires us to support the IAEA and enhance its role in achieving the common goals of nuclear proliferation prevention.”
He stressed the need for the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons in the Middle East as an essential step towards complete and comprehensive nuclear disarmament. Al Mansouri also emphasised the importance of developing contingency plans for potential nuclear accidents, while implementing preventive measures for workers in the facility, the environment and civilians.
Qatar’s cooperation with the IAEA was represented in the implementation of programs and training courses in the fields of medicine, agriculture, food security and infrastructure, the official said.
This enhances the capacity of Qatari national cadres in responding to radiological and nuclear emergencies, he added.
Meanwhile, Al Mansouri also stated that Qatar looks forward to the agency’s contribution in providing nuclear security support to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Tuesday’s statement at the conference comes amid raised concerns in the region as tensions between Iran and the United States continue to brew.
The feud between both states escalated when US President Donald Trump withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2018, which limited Iran’s production of nuclear weapons.