The Sultan Qaboos University, Oman’s first and only public university in the Sultanate of Oman, opened its doors in 1986. Since that time, the University has registered over 14 500 students and just last year graduated some 2300 students. With a vision and mission aimed toward achieving excellence in all areas of teaching, learning, research and community service, Sultan Qaboos University plays a key national role in developing a corps of creative, innovative life-long learners, dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and research for the national good.
The Sultanate of Oman became an IAEA Member State early this year. The first IAEA fact-finding mission to the Sultanate took place in April, with objectives that included the establishment of a baseline for cooperation between the Agency and the Sultanate and the identification of Oman’s human resource development needs for nuclear applications. Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Technical Cooperation, Ana María Cetto, accompanied the fact-finding mission and gave a lecture at the Sultan Qaboos University.
Oman has experience working with the IAEA as a Gulf Cooperation Council Member State. At the 52nd IAEA General Conference in 2008, Oman identified several priority areas for development collaboration with the IAEA. These areas included electricity generation and water desalination, as well as applications related to the fields of medicine, health, the environment, water management and agriculture.
As development activities such as these are central to the work of the IAEA, Ms. Cetto chose to deliver a lecture on the IAEA’s role in nuclear technologies for development. Ms. Cetto described the history of the IAEA and the areas in which technical cooperation activities can support Member State socioeconomic development. Ms. Cetto’s lecture focused on three areas: combating the current food crisis through increased agricultural production activities, improving water resource management using isotope hydrology and ensuring reliable access to modern energy services through energy planning, advice and guidance.
“We must not forget the cross-cutting role of safety and security in all the IAEA’s technical cooperation activities” Ms. Cetto said. The lecture was attended by students, lecturers, scientists and other members of Oman’s science and technology community, and was followed by a short question and answer session.