Abu Dhabi: Nine countries and United Nations representatives convened on Sunday to debate the status of the nuclear export control system and its future in a four-day workshop hosted by the UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR).

Titled ‘The 2018 Forum on Nuclear Export Control Practices’, the forum brings together national and international experts to share knowledge and expertise in regards to nuclear export controls. During the workshop, experts will present their country experiences and methodologies to evaluate their relevant nuclear export control systems, highlighting good practices as well as discussing cooperation and opportunities to strengthen the system and counter illicit trade.

Delivering a keynote speech, FANR’s deputy director general for operations Raoul Awad said: “As part of its commitments to achieve the highest standards of nuclear non-proliferation, the UAE has committed to implement a strengthened nuclear export control system and a comprehensive and transparent safeguards system to respond effectively and eliminate in advance any intervention to the diversion of nuclear material or its illicit trafficking.

“The forum this year represents a platform that gathers international experts to discuss the current and future of nuclear export controls as well as share knowledge to hammer out recommendations aimed at strengthening measures to further enhance existing practices,” he added.

The UAE is the first country globally in three decades to build four nuclear reactors. The UAE energy programme is built around the six commitments as stated in the policy of the UAE on the development of peaceful nuclear energy including operational transparency, highest standards of non-proliferation, highest standards of safety and security and sustainability.

The UAE’s nuclear law calls on FANR to regulate the nation’s nuclear sector for peaceful purposes, and as part of its efforts to implement that mandate, FANR issued Regulation 09 on the export and import control of nuclear material, nuclear related items and nuclear related dual-use items.

As FANR is mandated to regulate the UAE nuclear sector, FANR licences companies to carry out regulated activities, conducts inspection of licensees and works in close cooperation with local and federal government agencies to ensure compliance with international law and national laws and regulations.

Recently, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR 3) found that the UAE is implementing a number of mechanisms to detect unauthorised activities involving nuclear material and other items subject to regulatory control for an effective implementation of safeguards provisions.

Last year, the International Advisory Board congratulated the UAE on the continued success of its nuclear energy programme and found that the UAE in its programme remains fully committed to the principles of safety, security, non-proliferation, transparency, and sustainability.