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 2022 activities.
Bangladesh commends the Agency for its remarkable efforts to carry out its important activities during the reporting period amid multiple challenges and the noteworthy dedication and professionalism of its staff. We appreciate the Agency’s assistance to 129 countries and territories, including Bangladesh, for COVID-19 related support to strengthen the capacity of their national laboratories to respond to the pandemic.
We are happy to support the draft resolution on the Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Bangladesh strongly believes in the balanced and effective implementation of the three pillars of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT): nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. We recognize the inalienable rights of all States to develop, research, produce, and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, including in power generation, healthcare, food and agriculture.
Bangladesh acknowledges the indispensable role of the IAEA, as the sole competent authority, in promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and technology in accordance with its motto of “Atoms for Peace and Development”. We support the central role played by the Agency in the implementation of its global verification regime. 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.
In Bangladesh, we are constructing the first nuclear power plant 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. We look forward to receiving critical peer reviews and new IAEA advisory missions in Bangladesh to ensure responsible and timely completion of our nuclear power plant.
We appreciate the contribution of Technical Cooperation (TC) programme of IAEA in supporting Member States in the areas of health and nutrition, food and agriculture, and environment to attain Sustainable Development Goals.
Through the TC programme, the Agency has been assisting Bangladesh in human resource development and capacity building for introduction and development of peaceful use of nuclear techniques in various sectors, including agriculture, livestock and water management. This is turn is contributing to our socio-economic development.
Bangladesh also supports the application of nuclear technology to address environmental problems. I am happy to inform that, in 2021, Bangladesh has successfully used nitrogen-15 tracing techniques, following IAEA’s comprehensive guidelines, to accurately measure emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O), a GHG that is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
We are encouraged to see the Agency’s initiative to collectively address plastic recycling and marine monitoring of microplastics through the ‘Nuclear Technology for Controlling Plastic Pollution’. We would like to see the Agency scale up their support to the developing countries in this regard.
We request the Agency to extend its cooperation in the field of Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) to contain the Aedes mosquitoes responsible for spreading dengue fever in Bangladesh. 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 zoonotic pathogens.
We are also pleased to note that the Director-General’s call for Nuclear Energy to be part of the energy mix in response to climate change was generally well received at COP26 in Glasgow. We hope that the Agency will continue its meaningful contribution at COP27 through its unique science and evidence-based approach, showing how nuclear technology is vital in both fighting the climate crisis and addressing its consequences.
Whether countering non-compliance or gaps in safeguards, the IAEA brings commitment and competence to the tasks at hand. But it is amply clear that the IAEA can continue to excel only if we, the member states, provide the necessary support it needs.
Let me reaffirm Bangladesh’s strong commitment to support the work of IAEA for a better world through the application of nuclear science and technologies for peaceful purposes.
I thank you.