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Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Minister of Energy, said: The Kingdom is working to develop the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, in various fields, in close cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, in accordance with the best international practices and experiences in this regard, and by benefiting from the expertise and advisory services provided by the Agency in The field of developing infrastructure and human capabilities, including the Kingdom’s national nuclear energy project with its components, including the project to build the first nuclear power station in the Kingdom.
During the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s speech at the meeting of the sixty-seventh session of the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency, held in the Austrian capital, Vienna, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman affirmed “the Kingdom’s commitment to its national nuclear energy policy, which guarantees the highest standards of transparency, reliability, and the application of the highest levels of safety.” He explained that the Kingdom believes in the positive contributions of nuclear energy to energy security, and in its social and economic benefits.
The Minister of Energy indicated the Kingdom’s aspiration to activate a regional cooperation center, with the Agency, to develop human capabilities in the areas of preparedness and response to radiological and nuclear emergencies, and other regulatory aspects at the national, regional and international levels. He said, “The Kingdom stresses the importance of concerted international efforts to implement the provisions of the NPT Treaty.” “Proliferation in a way that leads to achieving its universality and it also confirms the importance of confronting nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, which requires the full implementation of Resolution No.(1995) to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.”
The Minister of Energy conveyed the Kingdom’s leadership’s appreciation for the efforts of the Agency and its employees, and the distinguished initiatives launched by the Agency to harness nuclear technology for peaceful uses and find solutions to global challenges in an environment safe from nuclear threats. He announced the Kingdom’s support for the “Rays of Hope” initiative, launched by the Agency, with an amount of 2.5 million dollars, in order to help save lives and address the burden of cancer diseases, using nuclear techniques, indicating that this support comes as an extension of the Kingdom’s continued support for the agency’s efforts and its distinguished initiatives to serve humanity.
Prince Abdulaziz congratulated the Agency and the member states on the imminent start of operation of the Nuclear Security Training Center in Seibersdorf, which is scheduled to open in October of this year, and which the Kingdom took the initiative to put forward the idea of establishing and supporting it financially, with cooperation from other countries. His Highness explained that the Kingdom is looking forward to The center will be a fundamental resource that enables the Agency to enhance the capabilities of all member states in many areas of nuclear security, and it will be a reference center for nuclear security.
He concluded his speech by expressing the Kingdom’s praise of the Agency’s keenness to maintain its neutrality, and its distinguished efforts in dealing with non-proliferation issues, by maintaining its responsibilities in safeguards and verification activities, and its efforts to confirm that these activities are important principles that contribute effectively to the development of uses peaceful nuclear energy. He affirmed the inherent right of countries to benefit from peaceful nuclear technology, including the nuclear fuel cycle, and to exploit their natural wealth of uranium ores commercially, in accordance with relevant international treaties and agreements.
The Minister of Energy renewed the Kingdom’s support for the Agency to harness nuclear technology to serve humanity, and called on the international community to cooperate positively in developing it, and to firmly confront all attempts at non-peaceful and unsafe use of nuclear technologies.