Discuss the significance of the IAEA. Critically evaluate its role in nuclear non-proliferation.

Discuss-the-significance-of-the-IAEA.-Critically-evaluate-its-role-in-nuclear-non-proliferation

CSS Solved International Relations 2023 Past Papers | Discuss the significance of the IAEA. Critically evaluate its role in nuclear non-proliferation.

The following question is attempted by Miss Abeera Fatima, the top scorer in CSS IR paper. Moreover, the answer is written on the same pattern, taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory subjects for years. This solved past paper question is uploaded to help aspirants understand how to crack a topic or question, how to write relevantly, what coherence is, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.

Question breakdown

The examiner has asked you to explain IAEA and its role. First, elaborate on the examiner IAEA: geneses, functions, headquarter, and current serving Director. Second, you delve into the significance of the IAEA in the international arena. Third, you critically evaluate the role of the IAEA in nuclear non-proliferation. Here the word “evaluate” is a keyword that means you have to explain prospects and challenges. Last, critical evaluation sheds light on the challenges in the path of implementation. It is of heed attention that, in Paper 1 of International Relations, you need to avoid pictorial representations; however, you can use theories, evidence, and assumptions.

SYNOPSIS

1- Introduction

2- International Atomic Energy Agency: Atoms For Peace And Development

3- A Bird’s Eye View of the Significance Of The IAEA

  • ✓Strengthening of global nuclear safety and security framework
  • ✓Prevention against nuclear terrorism
  • ✓Enhancement of national, regional, and international capacities to respond to nuclear and radiological incidents
  • ✓The effort to reach Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

4- Catch Sight Of The Role of the IAEA in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation

  • ✓Safeguard non-nuclear weapon states at odds with the horizontal proliferation
  • ✓Enactment of the Convention of Nuclear Safety opposed to the vertical proliferation
  • ✓Structure of comprehensive safeguards agreements (CSAs)
  • ✓Peaceful application of Nuclear Technology

5- Retrospect: At a Crossroads to Peace and Security in the International Saga

6- Epilogue

Answer to the question

Introduction

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an international watchdog organization, is to set up cooperation in the nuclear paradigm. It is widely known as “Atoms for peace and development.” It works with the collaboration of its member states for the provision of safe and sound use of nuclear technology. However, the significance of the IAEA is the strengthening of global nuclear safety and security framework, prevention against nuclear terrorism, enhancement of capacities to respond to nuclear and radiological incidents, and effort to reach Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The role of IAEA in the nuclear non-proliferation is not confined to vertical and horizontal proliferation but to human health and socio-economic development. Safeguarding non-nuclear weapon states at odds with horizontal proliferation, enactment of the Convention of Nuclear Safety opposed to vertical proliferation, the structure of comprehensive safeguards agreements (CSAs), and peaceful application of Nuclear Technology are some of the roles to be discussed in this regard. Nevertheless, a retrospect on peace and security delved into consideration.

International Atomic Energy Agency: Atoms for peace and development

It was renowned on July 29th, 1957. It has 175 (as of March 2nd, 2022) member states. Rafael Mariano Grossi, the current Director General, assumed office on December 3rd, 2019. The IAEA is a tremendous intergovernmental forum for scientific and technological cooperation in the nuclear field and prohibits its nuclear use for military purposes. In addition, it reports to United Nations General Assembly and Security Council. The IAEA Secretariat is headquartered in Vienna, Austria. The three key zones underpin the IAEA’s mission: Safety and Security, Science and Technology, and Safeguards and Verification. IAEA works for the safe, secure, and peaceful uses of nuclear technology, contributing to international peace and security.  The IAEA is the pillar of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (1968); as part of the treaty, all non-nuclear powers are required to negotiate a safeguards agreement with the IAEA.

The motto of the IAEA is Atoms for Peace and Development.

A bird’s eye view of the significance of IAEA

  • Strengthening of global nuclear safety and security framework

The IAEA rolls over the strong nuclear framework, international gadgets, safety standards, and security guidelines to pledge safety and security dilemmas. It also succors states through peer scrutiny, advisory services, knowledge topologies, and capacity-building measures. However, the director general, Mohamed ElBaradei, won the Nobel Prize in 2005 for Peace and achieved such a task. It legitimates the commercial transfer of U.S. goods and services implemented in responsibly for greater access to safe, secure, and peaceful nuclear power.

“A world free of nuclear weapons will be much more readily achieved, and sustained were nuclear power generation being phased out.”

−Assoc. Prof. Tilman Ruff,  Hiroshima and the World: We can imagine and build a world free of nuclear weapons
  • Prevention against nuclear terrorism

The International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism was approved by the Board of Governors in 2007. Article 18.6 of the Convention, “the States Parties involved in the disposition or retention of the radioactive material, device or nuclear facility under the present article shall inform the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency of how such an item was disposed of or retained. The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency shall transmit the information to the other States Parties.”

  • Enhancement of national, regional, and international capacities to respond to nuclear and radiological incidents

The IAEA plays a crucial role in providing timely and authoritative information to the international village. Promoting the implementation of the Convention on a Nuclear Accident and the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency is to improve management and bring members together to cooperate in emergencies in case of nuclear incidents. Sharing information on the platform of the Unified System for Information Exchange in Incidents and Emergencies (USIE) and International Radiation Monitoring Information System (IRMIS) on safety and security is to develop mobile-friendly access.

The IAEA works on the “development and practical application of atomic energy for peaceful purposes, including the production of electric power.”

Director General Designate Rafael Mariano Grossi
  • The effort to reach Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The IAEA collaborates with perishable nuclear technology to address socio-economic development and environmental goals. Its programs are the “fullest possible exchange” led version as incorporated in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). It works for the health of human beings: cancer therapy, malaria prevention, agricultural pest control, clean drinking water, and food safety.

“The IAEA’s work is of incalculable importance.”

Norwegian Nobel Committee

Catch sight of the role of the IAEA in the nuclear non-proliferation

The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was signed in 1968 on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to waive off the spread of nuclear weapons, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council – France, China, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States – identify the treaty. Thus, the role of the IAEA in nuclear non-proliferation is as under:

  • Safeguard non-nuclear weapon states at odds with horizontal proliferation

Article III enshrined of the treaty is to verify that non-nuclear-weapon States party to fulfill the non-proliferation commitment they have made, to preventing diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.” Comprehensive safeguards agreements (CSAs) and regional nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties (NWFZ Treaties) are chalked out to this account.

  • Enactment of the Convention of Nuclear Safety opposed to the vertical proliferation

Small quantities protocols (SQPs), item-specific safeguards agreements, Voluntary offer agreements (VOAs), and Additional protocols (APs) are taken for granted for safeguard systems, nuclear material, and facilities for the manufacture of any nuclear weapon or to further any military purpose. State-level safeguards approach (SLA) for States using a structured, technical method to analyze the plausible paths by which nuclear material suitable for use in a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive devices could be either acquired or diverted from safeguarded facilities for States with item-specific safeguards agreements or voluntary offer agreements (VOAs)

  • Structure of comprehensive safeguards agreements (CSAs)

Article III of the treaty enshrined a comprehensive safeguards agreement (CSA) with the IAEA to verify the fulfillment of their obligation under the Treaty with a view to prevent the diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

  • Peaceful application of Nuclear Technology

Article IV of the treaty is to facilitate a medium for the development and advancement of nuclear technology and nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, particularly in the territories of non-nuclear weapon states, with due consideration of the developing areas of the world. Thus, strengthening the global nuclear safety framework and the security of nuclear materials and facilities is to accelerate the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health, and prosperity.

Retrospect: At a crossroads to peace and security in the International saga

The approach to peace is a cliché after the US attack on Japan’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the end of the Second World War, and the atomic explosion of the Soviet Union and Great Britain. Eisenhower proposed the peaceful execution of nuclear technology in agriculture and medicine. Paradoxically, it lacks monitoring of its signatory members. For instance, Iran, a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, agreed on the roadmap of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) under the umbrella of IAEA; nevertheless, the country is clandestinely focused on advancing nuclear technology and nuclear program for military purposes. It is criticized in the article “Against the Spread of Nuclear Weapons: IAEA Safeguards” that no international safeguards system can physically prevent the diversion or the setting up of an undeclared or clandestine nuclear program. Similarly, the non-signatory members, like Pakistan and India, indulge one another in the race of weaponization owing to a lack of mutual trust. Similarly, India seeking the status of the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) by hook or by cook is quoted in the account. Next to it, the project AUKUS (Australia, United Kingdom, and the US) is earmarked as amelioration to cooperation; contrarily, it is criticized as a political bias project and provokes the silence of the IAEA. In the very same manner, lack of transparency is highlighted as criticism.

Epilogue

To encapsulate, the International Atomic Energy Agency set forth the condition to safeguard the use of nuclear technology and advancement. Hence, the magnitude of the organization can be gauged through nuclear safety and security framework, prevention against nuclear terrorism, enhancement of capacities to respond to nuclear and radiological incidents, and effort to reach Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The role of the IAEA in non-Proliferation is safeguarding non-nuclear weapon state at odds with horizontal proliferation, enactment of Convention of Nuclear Safety opposed to vertical proliferation, structuring comprehensive safeguards agreements (CSAs), and peaceful application of Nuclear Technology. Paradoxically, criticism regarding the limitations of the IAEA has circulated.

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