Thursday, September 23, 2010

South Africa pushes for more African countries in IAEA

Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System
Date: 22 Sep 2010
Title: SA pushes for more African countries in IAEA

Pretoria - South Africa has called for more representation of African countries in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

South African Ambassador to the IAEA, Abdul Minty, told a conference in Vienna that failure to achieve this would delay the agency's democratisation. He added that the IAEA would fall short of being a truly inclusive multilateral body.

"South Africa is of the view that there should be an increase in the number of African countries in the board of governors, reflecting the proportionate increase to 42 African countries that are members of the IAEA," said Minty.

The week-long meeting, which started on Monday, will discuss issues such as safety and security, technical cooperation and nuclear application. Middle East nuclear issues are expected to top the agenda. The IAEA called for Iran to cooperate more with the agency to clarify the nature of its nuclear programme.

Minty said South Africa remained committed to strengthening international cooperation against nuclear terrorism and promoting nuclear safety. He said the IAEA needed to enhance its role in promoting the peaceful use of nuclear energy, security and non-proliferation.

South Africa also wants a stronger voice for developing countries.

"The role of nuclear technologies for the development of the African continent cannot be overlooked," Minty said, adding that Africa needed to improve the use of nuclear technologies.

He also highlighted the importance of the Technical Cooperation (TC) Fund, which he believes should form an integral part of the IAEA budget.

"South Africa believes a step in this direction would constitute a long overdue correction of a fundamental mistake of funding the TC through voluntary contributions, when it is in fact a core activity of the Agency," said Minty.  -  BuaNews

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