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China calls for strengthened IAEA role
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The UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should provide a strengthened service to member states to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, a senior Chinese official said Monday.

All countries should enjoy the right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy under the prerequisite of compliance with the obligation of nonproliferation, Chen Qiufa, director of China Atomic Energy Authority, said at the 52nd General Conference of the IAEA in Vienna.

The IAEA should make full use of its professional advantage to provide substantial assistance to member states in the establishment of infrastructure for nuclear power and nuclear technology application, so as to accelerate the expansion of peaceful use of nuclear energy, he said.

"The Agency has the obligation and capability through the technical cooperation and assistance to provide necessary help to developing countries," he said.

In order to proper respond to all the challenges concerning world nuclear development, the IAEA should assist member states in "strengthening development of nuclear safety and standard systems" and "establishing sound and effective nuclear security systems," he said.

The IAEA should also "promote exchanges among member states on nuclear safety related knowledge, culture and experiences, encourage international cooperation in the field of nuclear security, and help member states establish and improve nuclear security system," he said.

Chen also pointed out that the UN nuclear watchdog should "continue to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the safeguards regime," and deal with verification issues "fairly, objectively and in a balanced manner," and the "allocation of resources should be optimized with more focus on weak points of non-proliferation."

Chen noted that the IAEA "has made important progress in a broad range of activities" over the past year. He also expressed "the most sincere gratitude" on behalf of the Chinese government to the IAEA for its assistance during China's earthquake relief work as well as during the Olympics and Paralympics.

(Xinhua News Agency September 30, 2008)

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