NUCLEAR AGENCY PROPOSES CLOSER COOPERATION WITH PACIFIC STATES

CAPTION:?Fijian representatives at the workshop today.

Twelve Pacific Island countries are participating at the first ever International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Regional Workshop for Pacific Island States taking place in Nadi.

The three ? day workshop which was opened this morning by Fiji?s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director International Cooperation Mr Joeli Koroikata, is an opportunity for the global body to present an insight and an update on their work.

?This workshop will be an introductory session for most of our Pacific Island states to learn about the crucial role of the IAEA as the regulatory body and inspectorate for nuclear related activities and whose key role contributes to international peace and security,? he said.

The Agency is also looking to forge closer with relations with Pacific Islands states which is one of the key objectives behind the workshop.?

IAEA secretariat Policy Coordinating officer, Shota Kamishima says there is a lot that could be tapped into in the Pacific but this will have to be researched a lot.

?We organised this event because we have reasons to believe that many of the IAEA?s activities are relevant and useful to states in this region.?

?We also would like to help identify areas of possible cooperation in the future and also to help establish channels of communication between the Pacific states and IAEA,? Mr Kamishima said.

?We would like to highlight to Pacific states the role of nuclear sciences and technology in areas of major social and economic significance to the pacific region, such as human health, water resource management, food and agriculture, marine and coastal environment protection and climate change studies.?

Participants will also discuss about the marine benchmark study on the possible impact of the Fukushima (Japan) radioactive releases in the Asia ? Pacific region, illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological materials and border monitoring, safety and security of radioactive sources, radiation protection, transport of radioactive materials and nuclear liability.

The agency was set up by the United Nation?s (UN) for the elimination of nuclear weapons in 1957 with its headquarters in Vienna with and with operational and regional offices located in Geneva, Switzerland; New York, USA; Toronto, Canada; and Tokyo, Japan.

MINFO