Delivered by H.E. Hamad Alkaabi, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the IAEA
I would like at the outset to congratulate you, Ambassador Gustavo, for this presidency, and your election to the 10th Review Conference of the States parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. I’m confident that your able leadership and diplomatic skills will contribute to the success of this conference, and will ensure that we achieve a positive outcome. The United Arab Emirates aligns itself with the statements delivered on behalf of NPDI countries, NAM, and the Arab Group.
We gather here today to exercise effective multilateralism and seek common ground to uphold the NPT, which is the cornerstone of the nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation regime. The NPT remains an essential foundation for the pursuit of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and a key element for the maintenance of international peace and security.
The pursuit of peaceful uses of nuclear energy is the right of all states. However, this right comes with responsibilities. It has to be pursued in a responsible and transparent manner while meeting safety, security, and nonproliferation requirements.
The UAE’s peaceful nuclear energy program has been developed in line with the highest international standards and best practices, and in close cooperation with the IAEA and our international partners. I am pleased to report today that three nuclear power reactors are operational in my country supplying clean and sustainable energy. The success of the UAE’s peaceful nuclear energy program is a testament to the NPT and its valuable international cooperation framework facilitating the transfer and development of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
The International Atomic Energy Agency is at the center of this international nuclear cooperation framework. Its role and capabilities should be strengthened in order to more effectively provide assistance and technical support to member states.
International instruments in the area of nuclear safety, security, nonproliferation, and nuclear liability are important. Member states with operational nuclear facilities, such as Iran, that have not yet joined the Convention on Nuclear Safety should join the convention and subscribe to its obligations. Global adherence to safety conventions would help build confidence and strengthen nuclear safety globally.
We are concerned with the situation in Ukraine. The reported violent actions at nuclear facilities in Ukraine pose a serious threat to the safety and security of these facilities, to their personnel, to millions of civilians, and to the environment. The international community must make every possible effort to avoid nuclear disaster, whether from a direct attack at a nuclear facility or as an unintended consequence of a conflict. We must ensure that the nuclear plants and related facilities are not a target and remain protected from conflict. We welcome efforts by the IAEA’s Director-General towards this end.
The UAE recognizes the importance of the IAEA’s safeguards complemented by the additional protocol in ensuring the exclusive peaceful nature of countries’ nuclear programs. In this context, we continue to be concerned by the lack of progress in addressing outstanding questions related to safeguards in Iran and further advancement in Iran’s sensitive nuclear activities. Such advancements have no real civilian purpose and remain a source of concern for my delegation. Iran’s full and timely cooperation with the IAEA is essential to address global and regional concerns and to restore confidence. The United Arab Emirates continues to support diplomacy and dialogue towards this end.
On the Middle East, the UN General Assembly for years has annually adopted resolutions calling for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. Numerous Security Council and IAEA resolutions over decades have called for progress on this issue, which is long overdue. The way forward requires practical steps, and further efforts and assurances from the depository states who have special responsibility as co-sponsors of the 1995 resolution on the Middle East.
In conclusion, Mr. President, the NPT’s effectiveness in achieving its objective relies on the full implementation by its state parties. We continue to call on NPT universal adherence and renew our call for States that are not parties to join the treaty promptly. We encourage all States Parties to work towards a successful conclusion and a substantial outcome of this Review Conference.