Seychelles strengthens cooperation with the IAEA as it celebrates 60 years of contribution to peace and development
Representatives of one hundred and fifty five member states of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) met in Vienna, Austria, last week for the 60th session of its General Conference and to celebrate achievements in peaceful nuclear science over the sixty years since the Agency was created.
In his statement to the General Conference, the Director General of the IAEA hailed the occasion as a significant milestone in the Agency’s history and highlighted its contribution to peace and development. “By making nuclear science and technology available to improve human well-being and prosperity, we have made a real difference to the lives of millions of people throughout the world… We have also made a unique contribution to international peace and security through our work to verify that nuclear material remains in peaceful uses”, he said.
Seychelles was represented by Mr Bernard Shamlaye, Ambassador resident in Paris and Permanent Representative to the IAEA, Ms Sandra Michel, the National Liaison Officer for the IAEA, and Mr Xavier Estico, the CEO of the National Institute for Science, Technology and Innovation (NISTI). The delegation received the efficient support of Mr Karl Pisec, the Seychelles Honorary Consul in Vienna.
The General Conference approved the Agency’s budget for 2017 and adopted a number of key resolutions that will further strengthen its work in the areas of nuclear science and technology, safety, security, safeguards and technical cooperation. This year’s Scientific Forum highlighted ways in which nuclear technology can contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by all member-states of the United Nations Organisation in 2015.
The Seychelles delegation held consultations with IAEA technical officers concerning work on projects already being implemented or programmed in the country. It was received by the Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Technical Cooperation, Mr Dazhu Yang, who commended Seychelles on its growing cooperation with the Agency. Ambassador Shamlaye expressed appreciation of the Agency’s support to Seychelles and satisfaction at the recent signing of a new Country Programme Framework covering the period 2016 to 2020. He noted that all stakeholders in IAEA-Seychelles cooperation have appreciated the quality of the work of Mr Michael Kiza, the IAEA Country Programme Officer for Seychelles for the past seven years.
Ms Michel also participated in the meeting of representatives of AFRA (the African Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training related to Nuclear Science and Technology). Ambassador Shamlaye and Mr Estico took the opportunity of their presence at the Vienna International Centre to meet with staff of another agency, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), to discuss cooperation with NISTI in its work for the development of science, technology and innovation in Seychelles, particularly in supporting small and medium enterprises.
The IAEA was set up in 1957 as the world’s centre for cooperation in the nuclear field. It works with its member states and partners worldwide to promote the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies. It currently has 168 members.
Seychelles became a member of the IAEA in 2003. The country continues to benefit from the Technical Cooperation Programme through several projects, notably in the fields of food and agriculture, health, and the environment. The acquisition of valuable equipment and the training of personnel continue to be important aspects of the cooperation.