Statement by Mr. Md. Rafiqul Alam Molla, First Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York on the Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency for 2020, United Nations General Assembly, 17 November 2021

Mr. President,

I wish to express my delegation’s sincere appreciation to the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), for presenting IAEA’s annual report and for providing updates on the Agency’s 2021 activities.

Bangladesh thanks the Agency for continuing its activities during the reporting period amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate the Agency’s assistance to Member States, including Bangladesh, to strengthen the capacity of their national laboratories to respond to the pandemic.

We support the draft resolution on the Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

We also welcome the initiative, “the Zoonotic Diseases Integrated Action” to strengthen preparedness and capabilities of Member States to rapidly detect and respond timely to outbreaks of such pandemics.

Mr. President,

Bangladesh recognizes the inalienable rights of all States to develop, research, produce, and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, including in power generation, healthcare and agriculture. Bangladesh acknowledges the important role of the IAEA in promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and technology. In this regard, today’s meeting is an occasion to reflect on its role in supporting member states in their pursuit of nuclear energy in a safe and secure manner.  We also take note of the increased requests from the Member States to take support from the Agency for socio-economic development to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In Bangladesh, we are constructing the first nuclear power plant in Rooppur with a view to generating safe, environment friendly and economically viable electricity, following the highest IAEA standards, to support our development efforts. I take this opportunity to thank IAEA for their support in successfully implementing our nuclear energy programme, including in establishing a regulatory framework and developing a radioactive waste-management system.

Mr. President,

We appreciate the contribution of technical cooperation programme of IAEA in supporting Member States in the areas of health and nutrition, food and agriculture, and environment to attain Sustainable Development Goals.

Bangladesh also supports the application of nuclear technology to address environmental problems. We are encouraged to see the Agency’s initiative to collectively address global plastic pollution through the ‘Nuclear Technology for Controlling Plastic Pollution’. We would like to see them scale up their support to the developing countries in this regard.

Mr. President,

In 2018, Bangladesh signed a Country Programme Framework for 2018-2023 with the Agency with focus on food, agriculture, water, soil and environment, human health, nuclear power, nuclear and radiation safety and security, nuclear knowledge development and industrial applications. Under this framework, we have undertaken projects on improving food security, developing stress tolerant crop variety and cancer management. These projects have proved to be beneficial to the lives and livelihood of our people.

Bangladesh attaches great importance to the work of the IAEA and fully subscribe to its mandate of “Atoms for Peace and Development”. We support the central role played by the Agency in the implementation of its global verification regime.

In conclusion, let me reaffirm Bangladesh’s strong commitment to support the work of IAEA. We look forward to further strengthening the cooperation with the Agency for a better world through the application of nuclear science and technologies for peaceful purposes.

I thank you.