GIS - 3 October 2014: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has agreed to provide assistance to Mauritius as regards the procurement of a new Linear Accelerator for the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life; the services of two energy experts to assist the World Bank team in the review of the short term power requirements of the country; and the setting up of a Nuclear Science and Technology Department at the University of Mauritius.
This is one of the main positive outcomes of the participation of a delegation led by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Dr Rashid Beebeejaun, who participated from 22 to 26 September 2014 at the 58th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
At present, the IAEA is contributing to the implementation of the National Cancer Programme by providing capacity building in the use of latest nuclear medicine and radiotherapy facilities. In this context, two projects are being implemented namely: Human Resources Development in support of upgrading the Radiotherapy Department at Victoria Hospital; and establishment of a Hybrid Nuclear Medicine Imaging for Better Management of Non-Communicable Diseases.
Bilateral Country Meeting
The Mauritian delegation also participated in a bilateral country meeting which was chaired by the Director, Division for Africa, Mr D. Yang and some 15 IAEA technical officers involved in projects being implemented in Mauritius. The Agency commended Mauritius for its active participation in the ongoing Technical Cooperation programme comprising eight national and 37 regional projects and for taking the lead in the control of fruit flies in the sub-region. The common goal of the IAEA and the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities is to achieve a high level of delivery of IAEA inputs and to attain the project objectives.
Meeting with Director General, Mr Yukiya Amano
Dr Beebeejaun also had a meeting with the Director General of the IAEA, Mr Yukiya Amano. He canvassed for the support of the IAEA to expand its technical assistance programme so that Mauritius can be a leading service provider of nuclear science and technology in the region. A request was also made for the IAEA to consider employing more Mauritians as presently Mauritius is under-represented at professional level.
58th annual session of the IAEA General Conference
The 58th annual session of the IAEA General Conference which was held in Vienna saw the participation of more than 3 000 delegates from 162 Member States, international organisations, and non-governmental organisations.
At its closing session, delegates adopted resolutions aimed at strengthening the IAEA's work in the areas of nuclear science and technology, safety, security, safeguards and technical cooperation. During the conference, a special Scientific Forum on Radioactive Waste: Meeting the Challenge - Science and Technology for Safe and Sustainable Solutions, as well as a number of side events on the Agency's work in areas such as nuclear energy, safety and security, nuclear sciences and applications and technical cooperation, were held.
The General Conference elected M. Aliyar Lebbe Abdul Azeez, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka as President. It also approved the applications of the Union of the Comoros, Republic of Djibouti, Co-operative Republic of Guyana and the Republic of Vanuatu for membership in the IAEA.
During the week-long event, several themes on peaceful development of nuclear technologies were on the agenda namely, measures to strengthen international cooperation in nuclear radiation; transport and waste safety; nuclear security; strengthening the Agency’s activities related to nuclear technologies; improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the Agency safeguards system; application of IAEA safeguards in the Middle East; and Israeli nuclear capabilities and implementation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and safeguards agreement between the Agency and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
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