Beirut, 29 December 2017 (Communication and Information Unit) -- United Nations Under-Secretary-General and ESCWA Executive Secretary Mohamed Ali Alhakim called for enhancing cooperation between the Lebanese Atomic Energy Commission (LAEC), affiliated to the Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS), in many projects “as we can benefit from the expertise of the Commission in the implementation of common mechanisms and programs related to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to the issues of climate change and their impact on nature and people.”
Alhakim made his statement on Wednesday, 27th of December 2017 during his visit to the Commission where he met with its team to learn about its scientific and research capabilities and the services it provides to the Lebanese community. The meeting was attended by CNRS Secretary-General Moeen Hamzeh and LAEC Director Bilal Nsouli.
Nsouli said the Commission was established in 1996 with the support of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and is concerned with security and nuclear safety in Lebanon on both the technical and research levels. He added that the Commission provides services related to peaceful uses of nuclear energy in Lebanon and radiological control in the fields of health, agriculture, environment, banking and others. He pointed out that the Commission's plans and programs reflect Lebanon's vision in international and regional forums and work on the economic and social development of the country through research and technical projects related, for example, to pollution of water, air, archeology or forensic science. It also cooperates with various universities, concerned ministries and security agencies.
For his part, Hamzeh pointed to the high rate of projects offered by the Commission, which are approved and supported by the IAEA, especially that the Agency considers the Commission as a successful experiment at the international level. He added that the Commission is one of the centres of the CNRS that provides scientific and technical advice to the Lebanese government to deal with and resolve some problems, including but not limited to, the issue of the carcinogenic agricultural pesticides, which is currently a matter of public concern. The Commission faces a daily challenge, with the limited human resources that are available, which is linked to maintaining a balance between the promotion of scientific research on the one hand and the development of technical services provided to Lebanese society and quality on the other hand.
At the end of the visit, Alhakim toured the Association’s scientific laboratories for radiation analysis, food security, air and water pollution, age of archaeological samples, accuracy of bank currencies and others. He also listened to the explanations of researchers and technicians working in the Commission indicating that it is useful to know the work of scientific researchers in the LAEC and its impact on society and transfer this experience in the technical and research fields to other countries.