IAEA Director for Technical Cooperation for Asia and the Pacific Region Pays Official Visit to UAE

From 26 to 28 May, the IAEA’s Director for Technical Cooperation for Asia and the Pacific (TCAP) Dr. Najat Mokhtar, along with Section Head Ms. Jane Gerardo-Abaya, made an official visit to the UAE. During their two-day visit, the IAEA delegation met with UAE counterparts engaged in the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation activities and projects to discuss the implementation of national projects and on-going cooperation. 

The UAE is currently implementing 7 national Technical Cooperation (TC) projects designed to address important development challenges in the areas of human health, environmental protection and water monitoring, radiation technology, as well as nuclear energy.

Dr. Mokhtar began her series of visits at the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), where discussions led to determining a set of activities to be implemented in the context of the practical arrangement signed between the IAEA and the ICBA in support of their soil, water, crop and nutrition activities. 

During her visit to the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) and its National Operation Center, Dr. Mokhtar was briefed by the NCEMA Deputy Director General on the UAE’s strategy for emergency response. During the meeting, the future prospects on the implementation of a new project in 2016 aimed at supporting the UAE’s planning and response to radiological and nuclear emergencies were discussed. 

The TCAP Director also visited Abu Dhabi Polytechnic Institute, which is piloting a new IAEA compendium for introducing nuclear science and technology to secondary schools in the Emirates. The UAE is one of 4 countries embarking on this joint initiative between the IAEA Departments of TC, Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Sciences and Applications.

National and regional collaboration in the area of human health was highlighted in meetings with Health Authorities of the UAE. Officials from the Health Authority- Abu Dhabi, Dubai Health Authority, Ministry of Health, and military hospitals discussed upcoming TC projects that support patient radiation protection, and cancer management and control in the UAE. 

Further meetings with counterparts at the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) addressed TC projects that support the UAE nuclear power programme, environmental protection, and the establishment of a Secondary Standards Dosimetry Laboratory (SSDL) in the UAE. 

The TCAP Director also visited the SSDL construction site at the Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research (KU) to review the tremendous progress in construction and plans to commence commissioning by the end of 2015. 

At the Khalifa Univerity, the Director attended the closing ceremony of the Nuclear Energy Management (NEM) School, which was held in collaboration with the IAEA. Dr. Mokhtar awarded 35 Emirati and 11 international participants with IAEA certificates.