IAEA and ASEAN strengthen cooperation

16 September 2019

The use of nuclear science and technology for peaceful purposes is to become more widespread in Southeast Asia following the signing today of Practical Arrangements between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The signing of the Practical Arrangements (Image: IAEA)

The Practical Arrangements were signed by IAEA Acting Director General Cornel Feruta and ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi during the IAEA's General Conference in Vienna.

These Arrangements set out a framework for cooperation in areas of nuclear science, technology and applications, as well as of nuclear safety, security and safeguards, for a period of five years. They envisage that the IAEA and ASEAN work together to develop and implement projects and research activities, exchange information and share experiences and best practices, and cooperate on training and capacity-building projects, including fellowships, scientific visits and expert missions.

"The Arrangements substantially broaden the areas of cooperation between our two organisations, including on the promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology," said Feruta. "They not only include policymakers and nuclear regulators who deal with nuclear safety, security and safeguards but also stakeholders from national and regional institutions working on social and social development in Southeast Asia."

Hoi said: "The signing of this framework for cooperation represents a significant milestone in the cooperation between the ASEAN and IAEA and provides the foundation for our organisations to expand the work on already existing as well as new projects in Southeast Asia."

On 20 September, IAEA and ASEAN representatives will meet informally to discuss possible future activities under the Practical Arrangements. The IAEA said it will work with ASEAN to identify cooperation projects beneficial for its Member States in the region, building on the success of existing cooperation, including a technical cooperation project on emergency preparedness and response, which resulted in a regional protocol for the coordination of response to nuclear or radiological emergencies.

ASEAN consists of 10 countries in the region: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. They are all IAEA Member States.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News