UNITED NATIONS- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should strengthen the nuclear safety regime in its way towards an impartial, efficient and professional body -- not just a "nuclear watchdog," a senior Pakistani diplomat said here Tuesday. The remarks came as Raza Bashir Tarar, the acting permanent representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, addressed the 66th session of the UN General Assembly on the report of the IAEA.
"It would be important for the Agency to be seen as an impartial, efficient and professional body -- not just a 'nuclear watchdog'" in fulfilling its crucial role of promoting peaceful use of nuclear energy and advancing socio-economic development, Tarar said.
The UN-affiliated organization's role has become even more important in an increasingly complex and challenging international environment, with the fast growing global energy demands, shortage of fossil fuel reserves and the diverse challenges of safety and security concerns, Tarar said.
"In evolving a strengthened nuclear safety regime, it would be essential to take into account the differentiated nature of countries 'needs and circumstances," the Pakistani representative said. "The course correction proposals and modalities should be based on technical and objective assessments."
Tarar said that the IAEA, with its global leading role in evolving guidelines, recommendations, codes, and guidance documents in the area of nuclear security, has put duplicate and overlapping efforts on nuclear security related activities.
"It would be counterproductive, both financially and politically, to duplicate nuclear security related activities, particularly in the design and development of parallel guidelines, recommendations, standards and guidance documents in various areas related to nuclear security," Tarar said.
Policies and practices, based on commercial and political considerations, have eroded the sanctity of long-standing norms and legal instruments that underpin the non-proliferation regime, he said.
"Pakistan believes in an equitable, non-discriminatory and criteria-based approach to advance the universally shared goals of non-proliferation and promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, "Tarar said.
Pakistan is now actively engaged in the applications of nuclear technology for the socio-economic development that include areas such as cancer diagnosis and treatment, agriculture, food preservation, water management, industry and generation of electrical power, Tarar said.
The country will continue to apply safety review of nuclear energy facilities as it expands its nuclear capacities in public sectors, he said.
"We also hope that considerations of nuclear safety and nuclear security would facilitate, not hinder, the pursuit of peaceful uses of nuclear energy for advancing the development agenda and offsetting environmental degradation," Tarar said. (Xinhua)