Delivered by: H.E. Hamad Alkaabi, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the IAEA
I would like to thank Ms. DiCarlo for her timely briefing.
Since our last meeting on 11 August, the situation around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant continues to be deeply alarming. Despite urgent calls for de-escalation, we have continued to receive news of shelling in the proximity of the power plant. We underline once more that shelling around the nuclear facility puts Ukraine, the wider region, and the whole world at grave risk of a catastrophic nuclear accident. The example of Chernobyl has been frequently invoked in this Chamber and elsewhere and with reason. We remember all too well the horrendous consequences. The world cannot afford a scenario where another such calamity is even a possibility.
When it comes to nuclear matters, our collective security is truly intertwined. It is a message that has been reinforced these last weeks during the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties of the NPT here in New York. Nuclear safety is a critical issue for the UAE and is a matter of priority. We remain committed to supporting all efforts ensuring the safety and security of nuclear facilities globally, including through our work with the IAEA and through our participation at the IAEA’s Board of Governors. In this regard, we underline once again the importance of refraining from any action that could further endanger the facility, particularly considering the volatile and fraught situation and echo IAEA Director-General Grossi’s recent statement calling for the urgent need to lower tensions near the plant. We further stress again the particular protection accorded to nuclear plants under international law.
The UAE also reiterates the importance that the IAEA has full, unimpeded access to the site in order to assess the damage and ascertain the safety of the facility. We welcome that both parties support such a mission, and we urge that it can be conducted in an expeditious manner.
We are a day away from marking six months since the beginning of the conflict. It remains crucial to advocate for constructive dialogue that will bring the conflict to a peaceful, sustainable resolution in a way that is consistent with the UN Charter and international law. The only way to truly stop the suffering brought by this conflict and to stem its consequences, including the risk of a catastrophic nuclear accident, is through achieving a cessation of hostilities throughout Ukraine. We, the members of this Council, must work towards fulfilling its mandate and take incremental and pragmatic steps to support efforts towards a diplomatic end to the conflict.
Thank you, Mr. President.