TEHRAN, YJC. -- Twelve South Pacific island countries on Monday participated in the first ever International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Regional Workshop for Pacific Island States, with the IAEA proposing closer cooperation with them.
The three-day workshop, opened Monday in Fiji's resort town of Nadi, is "an opportunity for the global body to present an insight and an update on their work," Fiji's Ministry of Information said in a statement.
The Agency is looking to forge closer relations with Pacific islands states, which is one of the key objectives behind the workshop, said the Ministry of Information.
"This workshop will be an introductory session for most of our Pacific island states to learn about the crucial role of the IAEA as the regulatory body and inspectorate for nuclear-related activities and whose key role contributes to international peace and security," said Joeli Koroikata, director of the International Cooperation Division at Fiji's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
IAEA secretariat Policy Coordinating Officer Shota Kamishima said there is a lot that could be tapped into in the Pacific but this will have to be researched a lot.
"We organized this event because we have reasons to believe that many of the IAEA's activities are relevant and useful to states in this region. ...We also would like to help identify areas of possible cooperation in the future and also to help establish channels of communication between the Pacific states and IAEA," said Kamishima.
"We would like to highlight to Pacific states the role of nuclear sciences and technology in areas of major social and economic significance to the Pacific region, such as human health, water resource management, food and agriculture, marine and coastal environment protection and climate change studies," he added.
Participants are expected to discuss about the marine benchmark study on the possible impact of the Fukushima (Japan) radioactive releases in the Asia-Pacific region, illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological materials and border monitoring, safety and security of radioactive sources, radiation protection, transport of radioactive materials and nuclear liability.