In recognition of the strong relationship between Kazakhstan and the IAEA, Ambassador Kairat Sarybay of Kazakhstan, on behalf of President Nazarbayev, presented IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano with a medal on the occasion of 25th Anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan, in Vienna today.
“The Agency has played a crucial role in addressing North Korea’s nuclear programme and development monitoring and verifying the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and advancing development goals through the initiative - “Atom for Peace and Development,” said Ambassador Sarybay at an event at the Kazakh Embassy in Vienna. The Ambassador also noted the cooperation between the IAEA and Kazakhstan towards the establishment of an IAEA Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) Bank in Kazakhstan.
“I am very pleased to accept it as recognition of the work which all of my colleagues at the IAEA are doing in building and maintaining excellent cooperation with Kazakhstan,” Mr Amano said in response. “I congratulate the Government and people of Kazakhstan on the 25th anniversary of their independence.”
Mr Amano commended Kazakhstan for its support of the IAEA’s work. “Our cooperation with Kazakhstan covers many areas of the IAEA’s Atoms for Peace and Development mandate,” he said. He noted IAEA significant ongoing projects in Kazakhstan related to nuclear energy, human health – including cancer – agriculture, nuclear security and research.
He recognised Kazakhstan’s key contribution to nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, and highlighted Kazakhstan’s support in hosting the IAEA LEU Bank on its territory. The Host State Agreement for the LEU Bank in Ust’-Kamenogorsk, was signed on 27 August 2015. It is scheduled to be built by September 2017. The IAEA LEU Bank, operated by Kazakhstan, will host a reserve of LEU, the basic ingredient of nuclear fuel, and act as a supplier of last resort for Member States in case they cannot obtain LEU on the global commercial market.
Kazakhstan has benefited from a number of IAEA projects such as strengthening radiotherapy and nuclear medicine, improving wheat mutation breeding as well as the development of nuclear power infrastructure and strengthening nuclear forensics. It has provided US $100 000 in extrabudgetary contributions for the renovation of the IAEA’s nuclear applications research laboratories.
Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the CTBTO, was also honoured at the same event.