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UN Assembly Adopts Treaty Against Nuke Terrorism

General Assembly Adopts Treaty Against Nuclear Terrorism

The United Nations General Assembly today adopted by consensus an international treaty against nuclear terrorism, strengthening the global legal framework to combat it, requiring the extradition or prosecution of those implicated, and encouraging the exchange of information and cooperation among States.

The Nuclear Terrorism Convention, seven years in the making by a special Assembly committee, will open for signature on 14 September at the high-level plenary meeting scheduled for the Assembly’s sixtieth session and enter into force after 22 States ratify it.

The treaty aims to deal with both crisis situations by assisting States in thwarting terrorist groups possessing nuclear material, and post-crisis situations by rendering the nuclear material safe in accordance with safeguards provided by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

It was drafted by the Ad Hoc Committee established by the General Assembly in 1996 to draw up an international convention for the suppression of terrorist bombings and entrusted in 1998 with drafting an international convention for the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism.

“Nuclear terrorism is one of the most urgent threats of our time,” Secretary-General Kofi Annan said when the Committee finally completed work on 1 April. “Even one such attack could inflict mass casualties and change our world forever. The prospect should compel all of us to do our part to strengthen our common defences.”

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