[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

[IAEA]
1. It was my first visit to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency). Since I was in Vienna for a bilateral meeting, I asked to meet the Director General Dr Mohamed Elbaradei. Recognising the importance of nuclear energy, ASEAN Leaders had called for a safety regime to be established so that nuclear energy could be harnessed in a safe and peaceful way. ASEAN also has a treaty to keep the region free of nuclear weapons.



2. Dr Elbaradei said that the IAEA would be happy to help ASEAN work out the safety regime. We also talked about the nuclear issue in North Korea and Iran. He was very clear in his mind that the key problem in both these cases was not nuclear proliferation but politics. He had publicly called for the US to engage the Iranians. I noted that, as we were speaking, the Americans and North Koreans were meeting in Singapore on the nuclear issue.

3. The IAEA enjoys a high prestige in the world today. What Dr Elbaradei says carries a lot of weight. Many of us still remember how he and Hans Blix appeared before the UN Security Council in New York on the Iraqi nuclear threat. I was impressed by his inner calm despite the many issues raging around him. Because he cuts an authoritative figure, many countries look to him for leadership and guidance.

Do also read my posts on Beyond SG

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