IAEA revised Supplementary Agreement inked
DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Dr. Karen Cummings and Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Health, Glendon Fogenay, on Wednesday, signed the revised Supplementary Agreement of the International Atomic Agency (IAEA).
The revised agreement is a basic framework which accommodates collaborative and cooperative endeavours between Guyana and the IAEA on terms similar to those of other United Nations (UN) agencies.
Minister Cummings stated that the signing reflects the rapidly developing relationship between Guyana and the IAEA.
“The agreement builds on a number of discussions that have taken place with the IAEA in recent times and takes into account the priorities of the country programme framework as well as the Caribbean Regional Strategic Document.”
The IAEA is a UN body equipped and experienced to offer holistic training in treating with the use of radioactive substances, as such, Minister Cummings noted that the Ministry of Public Health is the focal point for the IAEA in Guyana.
According to her, “the peaceful applications of radioactive sources go well beyond the health sector.”
It was highlighted that the signature of the agreement consolidates the nation’s use of such sources within the health sector while also laying the platform for the many other applications of importance to Guyana.
“The 2018-2019 national project focuses on capacity building in the areas of Health, Agriculture and Food Safety, Water Management, and Radiation Emergency Management with a budget of EUR $107,000,” Minister Cummings explained.
Deputy Permanent Secretary, MOPH Glendon Fogenay, remarked that the IAEA has provided vital assistance in the cancer treatments.
“The IAEA through the MOFA with the MOPH in terms of bringing policies in relation to radiation up to speed and into the 21st century,” he said.
The agreement opens opportunities for additional assistance and allows for the country’s policies and practices to be aligned with those of the international health regulations.
Guyana became a member of the IAEA in 2015 through the efforts of the Ministry of Public Health. Since then, the organisation has availed many of its resources to Guyana through its Technical Cooperation (TC) Projects. This is further divided into three projects – National TC, Regional TC and Interregional TC projects. Some areas of benefit include multiple high-level visits from high ranking personnel and experts from the IAEA; equipment procurement by the IAEA; commitments to local and international training for Guyanese; participation in international meetings and conferences which are partially or fully supported by the IAEA.
Editor’s Note: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquartered in Vienna, Austria, is an international organisation that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons. The organisation was established as an autonomous body on 29 July 1957.