TWELVE Pacific Island countries participating in the first International Atomic Energy Agency regional workshop for Pacific Island states have been urged to work closer with the agency to regulate nuclear-related activities.
Speaking at the opening of the three-day conference in Nadi, the Foreign Affairs Ministry's international Co-operation director, Joeli Koroikata, said the agency's activities were important and relevant to the region.
"This workshop will be an introductory session for most of our Pacific Island states to learn about the crucial role of the IAEA as the regulatory body and inspectorate for nuclear-related activities and whose key role contributes to international peace and security," he said.
The agency's policy co-ordinating officer, Shota Kamishima, said while opportunities were available for the Pacific, a significant amount of research would be needed to ascertain what was available and how it could be implemented.
"We organised this event because we have reasons to believe many of the IAEA's activities are relevant and useful to states in this region," he said
"We would like to highlight to Pacific states the role of nuclear sciences and technology in areas of major social and economic significance to the Pacific region, such as human health, water resource management, food and agriculture, marine and coastal environment protection and climate change studies."