ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has once again been elected as member of Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for the next two years.
The election was held in a meeting of the agency in Austrian city of Vienna. A Pakistani delegation led by Chairman Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission Muhammad Naeem was also in attendance.
This is seen as huge diplomatic achievement of Pakistan and also recognition of the country’s status as a responsible nuclear power state. Out of thirty five members, eleven are elected for a term of two years.
The IAEA is an international organisation that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and inhibit its use for any military purpose including nuclear weapons.
The IAEA reports to both the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council. There are 170 countries that are members 30 April 2018. Pakistan became a member of IAEA in 1957.
The Board of Governors is one of the two policy-making bodies of the IAEA, along with the annual General Conference of IAEA member states.
The Board examines and makes recommendations to the General Conference on the IAEA’s financial statements, programme and budget. It considers applications for membership, approves safeguards agreements and the publication of the IAEA’s safety standards.
It also appoints the Director General of the IAEA, with the approval of the General Conference. The Board generally meets five times per year: in March and June, twice in September and in November.
Nuclear safety, science discussed in BoG meeting
A meeting of the BoG began on September 10 followed by the General Conference. Measures to strengthen international cooperation in nuclear safety and the IAEA’s activities in nuclear science, technology and applications were among the items on the agenda.
Director General Yukiya Amano discussed the IAEA technical cooperation programme which helped countries to use nuclear science and technology to address key development challenges in health, agriculture, nuclear safety and many other areas.
He also touched upon the IAEA’s latest annual nuclear energy projections, which show that nuclear power will continue to play a key role in the world’s low-carbon energy mix.
He also referred to monitoring and verifying Iran’s implementation nuclear commitments under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, but expressed grave concern about the further development of North Korea’s nuclear programme.