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Vienna: The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) has recently participated in the 14th Symposium on "International Safeguards: Reflecting on the Past and Anticipating the Future", which is being hosted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at its headquarters in Vienna.

The symposium aims to reflect on experience gained and lessons learned over the past six decades of implementation of nuclear safeguards; to verify that Member States are honouring their international legal obligations to use nuclear material and technology only for peaceful purposes.

The UAE has been demonstrating commitments to international conventions to ensure the peaceful use of nuclear energy and strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime. In 2002, it signed the agreement for "Application of Safeguards" in connections with the "Treaty on the Non-Proliferation Weapons"; and in April 2009, it signed the "Additional Protocol to the Safeguards Agreement".

Over the years, the UAE demonstrated its transparency and commitment to international obligations in maintaining its peaceful nuclear energy programme.

During the symposium's activities, FANR presented the UAE Nuclear Export Controls, alongside a case study on the UAE's partnership with the Republic of Korea in the field of nuclear non-proliferation. The presentation outlined the scope of cooperation, which included oversight of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, joint meetings, studies and visits to strengthen inspection regimes and develop young professional capabilities.

As part of its commitment to achieve the highest standards of non-proliferation, the UAE is applying a strict export control regime to block and respond effectively to illicit trade of nuclear material or equipment.

In 2018, FANR developed the NuTech Portal, which is the UAE's first automated import-export control system for nuclear materials, and it processed more than 15,000 requests during 2021. To this end, the UAE has gone a long way in developing and implementing its regulatory infrastructure consistent with its international obligations and national policy objectives.

IAEA invited Huda Al Tamimi, FANR's Non-Proliferation Senior Engineer, to take part in a panel discussion on the future of safeguards, youth role and their opportunities in such a knowledge-intensive sector as well as the closing session to share insights on lessons learned from the past and future foresight on safeguards.

The presentations were delivered by a number of Emirati nuclear experts who are specialised in the field of nuclear non-proliferation.

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 Regulations on the Export and Import Control of Nuclear Material, Nuclear Related Items and Nuclear Related Dual-Use Items and Regulation for the System of Accounting for and Control of Nuclear Material and Application of Additional Protocol.

Additionally, FANR licenses companies to conduct regulated activities, conducts inspections of licensees and works in close cooperation with local and federal government agencies to ensure compliance with international law and national laws and regulations.