Issue of Nuclear Energy in the Gulf Region Discussed at ECSSR

  • 19 October 2008

The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) will convene its 14th Annual Energy Conference on “Nuclear Energy in the Gulf Region,” from November 24-26, 2008. The main objective of the conference will be to assess the possibility of developing peaceful nuclear capabilities in the Gulf region as a viable option for satisfying the huge energy requirements of the region in the future.

According to Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi, Director-General of the ECSSR, the energy conference this year comes at a time when many countries in the Gulf region have already started developing peaceful nuclear programs to cater to the essential energy needs for enhancing the process of development currently witnessed in these countries, which gives greater relevance and importance to this conference.

Dr. Jamal Al-Suwaidi, said the convention would seek to achieve a number of objectives, including, firstly, to evaluate the reasons and effects of peaceful uses of nuclear energy in the Arab Gulf region, to identify the role of nuclear energy within the context of energy security and climate change, and to study the threat of nuclear proliferation.

Secondly, the conference would study the requirements for evolving a roadmap for the development of peaceful nuclear capabilities, and would analyze factors related to the economic feasibility of the nuclear energy option, as well as its social and political ramifications.

Thirdly, the conference would deliberate on the risks and opportunities involved in nuclear energy management by discussing the basic security structure, and the criteria for preventing nuclear energy proliferation, the role of international cooperation in the field of technology and long-term development.

Fourthly, the conference would analyze models of existing nuclear programs for civilian use in other regions of the world and present them as case studies, with special focus on the nuclear policies and strategies adopted by Japan and Germany and fifthly, the conference would present a future and comparative vision for the state of nuclear energy in the region by evaluating existing examples like Iran, Israel, Pakistan and India.

On the selection of the topic of nuclear energy in the Gulf region, Dr. Al-Suwaidi states that the conference reflects the special importance the ECSSR accords to the issue of energy generation in its various forms, because it is the primary engine for achieving greater development. The previous Energy Conference, which the Center held in November last year, also focused on a related subject entitled: “Future Arabian Gulf Energy Sources: Hydrocarbon, Nuclear or Renewable?” Highlighting the topics for the lectures at the conference, Abdullah Hussein Al-Sahlawi, Executive Director of the ECSSR and the President of the Conference’s Preparation Committees, said the three-day schedule of the conference would cover six sessions.

He pointed out that the first session would delve on the reasons and effects of the peaceful use of nuclear energy in the Gulf, the second session would present the basic requirements and obligations for a roadmap related to the development of peaceful nuclear capabilities, the third session would analyze the opportunities and risks related to the peaceful nuclear energy, while the fourth session would discuss the policies and strategies of the Japanese and German models for the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

He further explained that the fifth session would deliberate on the status of nuclear energy in the Gulf region, and speakers in this session will present the cases of Iran, Israel, Pakistan and India. Finally, the last session of the conference would probe into the future prospects for nuclear energy in the world and its effects on the Arab Gulf region, by highlighting the lessons learned from the experience of the nuclear countries and by deliberating on a permanent vision over the nuclear issue in the Arab Gulf.