Qatar Affirms Israel's Accession to NPT Paves Ground for Middle East Peace

Qatar Affirms Israel's Accession to NPT Paves Ground for Middle East Peace

Vienna - Information Office - September 27

The State of Qatar has affirmed that Israel's accession to the Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the application of comprehensive safeguards on its nuclear facilities prepare the ground not only for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone, but also for the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

This came in a speech delivered by HE Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Ahmed bin Hassan Al Hammadi before the 66th International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference, currently held in Vienna.

"The peoples of the Middle East region feel, more than others, the dangers of nuclear weapons and the need to move towards nuclear disarmament, and consider that the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East an essential step towards achieving this goal", HE Al Hammadi said, adding: "We regret that the Director-General of the Agency was unable to make progress in his mandate to apply comprehensive Agency safeguards to all nuclear activities in the Middle East region." His Excellency called on the IAEA to play a more active role towards Israel's implementation of relevant international resolutions, to join the NPT, and to subject all its nuclear facilities to the IAEA's safeguards system.

However, Al Hammadi commended the distinguished role played by the IAEA in promoting the peaceful use of nuclear energy and in ensuring the prevention of the proliferation of nuclear weapons. His Excellency said that the IAEA is the truest example of what international multilateral action can do to serve humanity; calling on member states to provide more support and backing to the Agency.

His Excellency continued saying that "The world awaits a lot from the Agency in the field of innovation, technologies of nuclear applications and building national capabilities, and on this occasion we express our appreciation for the Agency's efforts in developing its laboratories for nuclear applications in Seibersdorf, and making it more effective in training cadres of countries on the various peaceful applications of atomic energy", pointing out that the State of Qatar has made contributions to the development of these laboratories.

HE Al Hammadi addressed the efforts made by the State of Qatar to enhance its strategy in nuclear and radiological security and safety, in implementation of its international obligations, to ensure the security and safety of its citizens, and to preserve the environment of its region.

His Excellency said the State of Qatar is looking forward to the 9th Review Meeting of the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS), which will be held in March 2023, in order to work with the rest of the parties to the Convention towards strengthening nuclear safety standards and guidelines, in particular the promotion and sustainability of the implementation of the second paragraph of Article 16 of the Convention, which ensures that the competent authorities in states located in the vicinity of the nuclear facility are provided with appropriate information on planning related to responding to emergencies to the extent that they are likely to be affected by any radiological emergency.

His Excellency pointed out that the State of Qatar is implementing a comprehensive long-term program to raise the rates of development and develop the economic, technological, social and environmental infrastructure. Among the program's elements is the development of institutions concerned with the peaceful applications of atomic energy, especially in the areas of food, agriculture, human health and the environment, which participate with the IAEA in a wide range of technological cooperation projects at the national, regional and international levels.

His Excellency also noted that the State of Qatar signed in April 2022 a new framework for technological cooperation with the IAEA, which includes the continuation of the implementation of previous projects and the approval of three new national projects for the next cycle 2024-2025, in addition to its participation in regional projects through the cooperative agreement of Arab countries located in Asia (ARASIA agreement), stressing that the State of Qatar will continue in the coming years to strengthen and diversify its cooperation with the Agency.

Concluding, HE the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed Qatar's thanks to the IAEA for its cooperation in securing the largest sporting event in recent years, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, by installing radiological detection gates at all border crossings, in preparation for hosting this major international sporting event, calling on representatives of the Agency's member states to participate in this sporting event, which would be an occasion to promote dialogue and build bridges of communication between peoples, bring together different cultures, and enjoy the Qatari hospitality.