World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

UN Nuclear Terror Trafficking Prevention Plan

UN Atomic Agency Chief Lays Out Plan To Deal With Nuclear Terrorism, Trafficking

In a bid to thwart the smuggling of nuclear materials and the threat of terrorists’ acquiring weapons of mass destruction, the head of the United Nations atomic watchdog agency has laid out a series of “yardsticks”, including multilateral management of potential weapons-grade fuel and Security Council resolve to take action.

“We are approaching a crossroads. After the end of the Cold War, we were hopeful that a new global security regime would emerge - inclusive, equitable, and no longer dependent on nuclear deterrence,” International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei told the 2005 Carnegie International Non-Proliferation Conference in Washington yesterday.

“Regrettably, we have made little progress towards that goal,” added Mr. ElBaradei, who together with the IAEA shared this years Nobel Peace Prize.

In recent years, four developments have radically altered the security landscape - the emergence of clandestine nuclear supply networks, the spread of nuclear fuel cycle technology, the efforts by more countries to acquire nuclear weapons, and the declared ambition of terrorists to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction, he declared.

In response, he proposed four “yardsticks” against which to gauge recent performance and set future goals. First, he stressed the need for expanded access, with spot checks, as provided by additional protocols to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), since “in today´s security environment, inspections that only verify what a country has declared are not likely to be judged ‘effective’.”

But only 70 countries have additional protocols in force, and he cited the case of Iran, which concealed its nuclear programme for nearly 20 years, saying that a number of open questions remain.

“The responsibility rests with Iran to provide, if needed, additional transparency measures - beyond the confines of the safeguards agreement and additional protocol - to enable the Agency to resolve these questions, and to provide the required assurance about the peaceful nature of Iran´s nuclear programme,” he added.

In September the IAEA Board of Governors found that Iran’s previous NPT safeguards agreement breaches were within the competence of the Security Council, which can impose sanctions when such issues are referred to it.

The second yardstick concerns sensitive nuclear technology, with a key ‘choke point’ for weapons development being production of weapon-usable nuclear material through uranium enrichment and plutonium separation.

Among measures Mr. ElBaradei proposed is a framework for multilateral management both for enrichment and fuel production and spent fuel reprocessing and waste disposal, to ensure supply of reactor technology and nuclear fuel based on apolitical, objective non-proliferation criteria and at competitive market prices.

The third yardstick concerns the protection of nuclear material. Multiple international and regional initiatives are helping countries to improve the physical protection of such material. “These and other projects are helping to reduce the risks posed by existing nuclear material. But much remains to be done,” he said.

Finally, Mr. ElBaradei stressed the need for credible mechanisms to deal with cases of non-compliance, including Security Council action.

“To be effective, the UN Security Council must be ready at all times to engage, in order to cope with emerging threats to international peace and security,” he said, noting that while referral to the Council has sometimes encouraged compliance, referral of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 1992 and 2003 resulted in little to no action.

But, he added, “the slow progress of nuclear-weapon States towards making good on their commitments to move towards nuclear disarmament - with 27 000 warheads still in existence - is creating an environment of cynicism among the non-nuclear-weapon States.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

ALSO:

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC