UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan regards as a “national responsibility” the safety and security of its nuclear power programme, Ambassador Munir Akram told the UN General Assembly Wednesday, while underscoring the need to remove barriers for gaining equitable and non-discriminatory access to civil nuclear cooperation.
Speaking in the 193-member Assembly on the annual report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Vienna-based UN agency, he said Pakistan is party to several leading international instruments related to nuclear safety and security, with a rigorously enforced framework that complies with the highest global standards.
Earlier, IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi presented his report on its work, including in Ukraine, Iran and North Korea, as well as an overview of the development and transfer of nuclear technologies for peaceful applications, the enhancement of nuclear safety and security, and the strengthening of nuclear verification and non-proliferation efforts on a global scale.
In his remarks, the Pakistani envoy highlighted Pakistan’s extensive experience in operating a secure and fully safeguarded nuclear power programme, pointing to six nuclear power plants with a combined capacity of 3,530 megawatts, as well as the country’s construction of another nuclear power plant, Chashma unit 5, with a capacity of 1200 megawatts.
Underscoring the fundamental importance of removing barriers for gaining equitable and non-discriminatory access to civil nuclear cooperation, Ambassador Akram affirmed that all States should fully comply with their safeguards obligations.
However, he said, “the Agency’s safeguards should not be used to serve partisan political objectives”. Its verification regime will remain credible only if it is applied on a non-discriminatory basis as stipulated in the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
“Pakistan places the highest priority on nuclear safety and security as a national responsibility,” Ambassador Akram added.
In light of recent developments, he proposed convening a special session of the General Assembly to establish a new consensus on disarmament and non-proliferation that better addresses the current and emerging realities and offers equal security to all States, large and small.