MUHAMMED S. BAH
National Assembly Members, on Thursday, 6 October 2016, ratified the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) agreement.
Tabling the report before deputies, the Hon. Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Pa Ousman Jarju, said the IAEA is a specialized agency within the United Nations, created in 1957 as the world’s Atom for peace’ organization to promote safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies.
According to the Environment Minister, the IAEA comprises of 167 member states as of November 2015, adding that although established independently of the United Nations through its own international treaty, the IAEA Statute, the IAEA reports to both the UN General Assembly and Security Council.
“The IAEA generates and collects data on illicit trafficking and nuclear security incidents, through coordination with states and other international organizations and in fulfillment of the above, the National Environment Agency and its line Ministry will work with the ministry of defence, research institutions and other security agencies to monitor and enforce nuclear chemical safety,” Mr. Jarju said.
He revealed that the Gambia has endorsed several IAEA protocols which include: Comprehensive Safeguard Agreement (CSA) 1978, the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (Pelindaba), 1996, Additional Protocol (AP), 2010; and Small Quality protocol (SQP), 2011. This, he added, makes the country obliged to meet reporting obligations to IAEA.
A team of experts in Radiation Safety and Nuclear Security visited the Gambia from 9th to 11th January, 2012, to conduct an advisory mission in order to evaluate the current status of the legislative and regulatory infrastructure for regulatory control of radiation sources at national level. He added that they also provided guidance in the areas where deficiencies were identified and the programme arrangements were made by the National Environment Agency (NEA) which was identified as the lead institution with regards to IAEA issues in the Gambia and also provided premises as well as logistical and technical support for the conduct of the mission.
The motion was seconded by Hon. Abdou Colley, the National Assembly Member (NAM) for Kombo South. He said the objectives of the IAEA seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of Atomic Energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world.
Hon. Alhagie Sillah, NAM for Banjul North, said the document is preventing incidents such as the use of atomic bombs.