Ambassador Hamad Ali Al Kaabi, UAE Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) made the remarks, while addressing the third preparatory committee for the NPT 2015 review conference, which concluded yesterday at UN headquarters in New York.
“The UAE, is committed to ensuring global security. We demonstrated this endeavor by the decision to join the NPT in 1995, followed by ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty in 2000 , the conclusion of the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement in 2003 and bringing in force the Additional Protocol in 2010,” he said.
Al Kaabi added that the UAE has adopted a detailed policy on the development of a peaceful nuclear energy programme in 2008, endorsed important principles of complete transparency, the commitment to the highest standards of safety, security, non-proliferation and full cooperation with the IAEA as fundamental principles by which all nuclear activities and programmes should be governed.
“UAE supports the development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy as a crucial pillar of the NPT framework; we started the construction of its first two nuclear power reactors in 2012 and 2013 respectively. The NPT review process should give enough balance to strengthening the peaceful uses pillar of the treaty while addressing non-proliferation and disarmament concerns”, he said.
The IAEA has a central and crucial role to play in assisting countries to develop nuclear energy in a safe and secure manner while its safeguards system ensures the peaceful nature of nuclear activities . Hence the IAEA role and mandate should continue to be strengthened.
He noted that 2010 NPT review conference was a positive one in a sense that all agreed on the way forward on how to maintain and strengthen the implementation of the treaty. The NPT framework is crucial and fundamental part of not only the non-proliferation regime but general global security and hence we all should spare no efforts in ensuring the full implementation and universalisation of the treaty.
“However, we need to sincerely face the serious challenges to the NPT regime today. Generally, these are the lack of concrete steps toward disarmament; the existence of states outside the treaty; issues of noncompliance; and continued nuclear proliferation threats; and the challenges surrounding the withdrawal from the NPT,” Al Kaabi said.
He noted these challenges call for measures to strengthen the treaty and hence the PrepCom and review process should focus on these challenges. The 2010 Action Plan implementation should remain the focal point for strengthening the NPT framework as agreed by all state parties.
Concerning Non-Proliferation, Al Kaabi said, the UAE delegation has outlined its position and basic principles on this matter in a number of international fora. “While we note that every State, party to the NPT, has the right to the use and the development of peaceful nuclear technology; such right comes with obligations. Mutual trust and confidence in the exclusive peaceful nature of nuclear programmes are essential building blocks of the NPT regime.”
Al Kaabi noted that the NPT has recognised the relationship between nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. Implementing measures agreed upon in the area of disarmament will strengthen non-proliferation efforts and the NPT framework in general Moreover, adding that the UAE shares the view that the only way to ensure the non-use or non-threat to use of nuclear weapons is the total elimination of such weapons.
He added that the UAE delegation supports the ongoing discussion on humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons with an objective to promote the implementation of the NPT.
As for the nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East, Al Kaabi underscored that the UAE is disappointed as no progress has been made so far adding that the setting up of the nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East is a long due, and important step for the NPT regime.
When it comes to verification, Ambassador Al Kaabi continued “We would also like to emphasise the importance of the CTBT’s entry into force. The CTBT is an important tool for building mutual trust and confidence, which is needed to reduce the threat posed by nuclear weapons.