Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi called for the use of nuclear for peaceful purposes at the 65th General Conference of the World Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which took place virtually on Monday, September 20, 2021.
According to Retno, it is undeniable that nuclear can indeed be a terrible weapon. Currently the world is still not completely free from the threat of nuclear weapons and the nuclear arms race is still going on.
But at the same time, nuclear can also be used for purposes that benefit mankind. For that, three important aspects must be ensured, namely safety, security, and nuclear protection.
“We must continue to encourage the use of nuclear for peaceful purposes,” said Foreign Minister Retno in a statement as conveyed by the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in writing, Tuesday.
One of its applications is the use of nuclear technology to develop superior rice varieties.
Since 2013, Indonesia, represented by the Food Crop Breeding Research Group (PAIR) in collaboration with the IAEA and the World Food Agency (FAO) has developed 23 new rice varieties.
Indonesia’s achievements have been appreciated by the international community and have won the FAO/IAEA Outstanding Achievement Award twice, in 2014 and 2021.
“We are honored to receive the FAO/IAEA Outstanding Achievement Award. This award is a form of acknowledgment of the socio-economic impact of our collaboration and proof of nuclear contribution to sustainable development,” said Retno.
In addition, nuclear technology can also play a role in efforts to overcome pandemics, namely to detect new virus variants and prevent future pandemics.
Indonesia is committed to continuing to support the IAEA in increasing the capacity of developing countries’ nuclear science and technology through inclusive technical cooperation, including through South-South Cooperation.
“Let’s continue our collective work to ‘accelerate and expand the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity’ as stated in the IAEA Charter,” said Foreign Minister Retno.
The 65th General Conference of the IAEA will take place on September 20-24, 2021. The annual conference at the United Nations Headquarters in Vienna, Austria, has been held since 1956 for IAEA member states to determine the direction of IAEA policy in ensuring the use of energy and nuclear technology for the purposes of peace.