Kuwait's Ambassador in Vienna Sadiq Marafi expressed his country's aspiration for closer consultations and cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), pointing out Kuwait's efforts towards implementing a joint program for peaceful uses of nuclear power.
Nuclear energy is a supplementary source rather than an alternative for other power sources, Marafi, who is also Kuwait Permanent Delegate to IAEA, said in his speech at the 60th annual IAEA General Conference.
Kuwait regularly takes part in consultations and meetings between GCC and IAEA experts in order to form a joint program that makes a peaceful use of nuclear energy, he said.
As part of Kuwait's program to support scientific projects and initiatives for developing countries, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has announced the launch of an annual award, worth USD one million, to be granted to best researches and initiatives on improving the condition of health, food, and education in African countries, the Kuwaiti diplomat noted.
He added that names of the 2015-2016 award winners are to be announced and, later, honored at the forthcoming African-Arab summit, slated for November 22 in Equatorial Guinea.
Regarding the efforts to denuclearize the Middle East, Marafi emphasized the importance of application of the IAEA nuclear safeguards regulations to all nuclear activities in the region without exceptions.
While all the Arab states have acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and shown their continuing readiness to take practical steps towards the establishment of a zone free from weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, Israel continues to defy the international community by refusing to become a party to the treaty and place all its nuclear installations under the Agency's comprehensive safeguards system, he said.
He went on to say that this Israeli behavior exposes "the region to nuclear risks and threatening peace," especially given that Israel possesses nuclear weapons.
On the IAEA agreement with Iran on the nuclear safeguards application, Marafi reiterated Kuwait's support to the right of member states to produce, develop and use nuclear power for civilian peaceful purposes as per the NPT.
Kuwait, however, urges Iran to cooperate more with IAEA and join the Additional Protocol, a legal document that supplements States' IAEA safeguards agreements, he said.
He voiced hope that "the historic" Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed by Iran and P5+1 in Vienna on July 14, 2015, would pave the way for Iran joining the IAEA's nuclear safeguards system in order to maximize benefit from the Agency's expertise.
On North Korean nuclear activities, Marafi regretted the IAEA failure to verify the nature of such activities given the absence of the IAEA nuclear inspectors from the east Asian country.
The Kuwaiti diplomat called on North Korea to cooperate with the IAEA, implement the nuclear safeguards system fully and effectively, and resolve the problems relating to the return of the nuclear inspectors to the country.
He reiterated the need of applying the nuclear safeguards in the Middle East and beyond, noting that the IAEA is the sole organization mandated to make sure of the commitment of its member states to the NPT.