VIENNA: Kuwait’s Ambassador to Austria and its Permanent Representative at International Organizations Sadiq Marafi speaks while chairing the 65th session of the International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference yesterday. – KUNA

VIENNA: Kuwait chaired yesterday the 65th session of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference for the first time since the Gulf state joined the agency over five decades ago. This came after the unanimous election of Kuwait by the 173 member states of IAEA, with the participation of 51 ministers and high-level officials from different countries worldwide.

In a speech before the conference, Kuwait’s Ambassador to Austria and its Permanent Representative at International Organizations Sadiq Marafi thanked all member states of IAEA for granting Kuwait the opportunity to lead the session. He commended the member states of the Middle East and South Asia Group for their support of Kuwait’s adoption of this nomination. He thanked Ambassador of Morocco to Austria Azzedine Farhane, for his distinguished leadership of the last session, and thanked Director General of IAEA Rafael Grossi, along with the staff.

Marafi commended the efforts made by the agency to work during the pandemic, as well as the efforts it made to support member states to face the repercussions of COVID-19. Kuwait believes in the importance of supporting science and technology, in addition to the pivotal role IAEA plays in its contribution to security and international peace, he underlined. He underscored the keenness of Kuwait to support the agency’s activities, programs and initiatives, calling on member states to provide all the resources that the agency needs to be able to carry out its tasks.

Discussions yesterday focused on developing and strengthening the concepts of nuclear security, nuclear safeguards, in addition to other topics, he said. The conference is the highest policy-making body in IAEA, held annually with the participation of member states to consider the agency’s work. – KUNA