Statement by Ambassador Munir Akram, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, on Agenda Item 91: "Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency" in the Plenary of the 76th Session of the UNGA, (17 November 2021)

Mr. President,

Let me begin by expressing our appreciation for the annual report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the efforts put in by the Agency and Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, particularly in the wake of devastating effects of the Covid-19 worldwide.

The Agency's report for 2020 is an important compendium of its activities focusing on developing and transferring nuclear technologies for peaceful applications, enhancing nuclear safety and security, and strengthening nuclear verification and non-proliferation efforts.

The IAEA's successful delivery of the largest technical cooperation project in terms of both the number of beneficiary countries and the disbursement of resources to help countries confront COVID-19 is commendable.

Mr. President,

As a founding member of the IAEA, Pakistan ardently supports the Agency's role in promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear technology in accordance with its motto "Atom for Peace and Development".

Pakistan continues to harness nuclear technology for socio-economic progress and the pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Today, nuclear technologies and applications are being used in Pakistan in diverse fields such as power generation, health, agriculture, industry and environmental protection.

We view nuclear energy as a reliable, consistent and carbon free source of electricity generation. Our efforts to expand nuclear power generation and to increase its share in the national energy mix are driven by the fact that we are not only an energy deficient country but also one of the most vulnerable countries to the impact of climate change.

This year, Pakistan achieved another milestone with the inauguration of its sixth and the largest nuclear power plant of 1100 megawatts, Karachi Nuclear Power Plant K-2. We appreciate the message from DG IAEA on this occasion. Another such power plant K-3 is expected to become operational in April 2022.

Pakistan has been one of the leading partners of IAEA's Technical Cooperation programme for a number of years. At present, a project in the field of nuclear power development is being implemented successfully while three more projects in the areas of Agriculture, Human Health and Nuclear Power have been designed for the TC Cycle 2022-23.

The IAEA's role as the world's focal point in promoting peaceful uses of nuclear energy assumes greater significance in view of the fast growing global energy demand and the diverse challenges of environment and proliferation.

The IAEA can make a significant contribution in meeting the needs and challenges of the 21st century by ensuring equitable access to nuclear materials, technology and equipment for peaceful purposes.

Mr. President,

Pakistan's commitment to the IAEA Safeguards is demonstrated by the fact that we have placed all our nuclear power plants and research reactors under the IAEA Safeguards without exception. During the most challenging days of the COVID-19 pandemic, uninterrupted implementation of safeguards was ensured.

Considering nuclear safety and security as a National responsibility, Pakistan has developed a comprehensive nuclear safety and security regime, which is regularly reviewed and updated in the light of the IAEA guidance documents and international best practices.

The regime is based on an extensive legislative and regulatory framework governing the security of nuclear materials, radioactive substances, associated facilities and activities. This is backed by strong institutions and organizations with the requisite authorities, resources and trained manpower for effective implementation.

Our affiliated institutes at Centre of Excellence on nuclear security have transformed into an international hub for imparting training and sharing best practices in the area of nuclear security.

Mr. President,

The safety and verification aspects of the IAEA mandate remain important pillars of the Agency's mandate. As regards the strengthening of the safeguards system, Pakistan stresses the need for a balanced approach between the promotional aspects and safety or security related concerns in all of the Agency's functions.

We share the view that all States should fully comply with their respective safeguards obligations. At the same time, the Agency's safeguards should not be used to serve partisan political objectives. Its verification regime could remain credible only if it is applied on a non-discriminatory basis, as stipulated in the Agency's Statute.

Cooperation and greater understanding is required among all the Member States of the Agency to advance the Agency's mandate on the basis of impartiality, equity and professionalism.

Mr. President,

Recent developments have revealed that the old consensus on disarmament and non-proliferation has broken down. We propose convening a Special Session of the UN General Assembly to evolve a new consensus which responds to the current and emerging realities and offers equal security to all states, large and small.

This new consensus should eliminate the discrimination and double standards that characterize the present non-proliferation arrangements. It should also evolve an agreed basis for the promotion of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy under appropriate international safeguards, in accordance with the international obligations of States and on a non-discriminatory basis.

I thank you.