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


UN atomic watchdog: preventing nuclear terrorism

UN atomic watchdog calls for additional steps to guard against nuclear terrorism

With efforts to prevent nuclear weapons and radioactive materials from falling into terrorist hands a top priority, the United Nations atomic watchdog has called for a series of steps ranging from a reliable flow of funding to better insight into illicit trafficking to ratification of an international treaty to protect nuclear materials.

“As we evolve towards a more mature global nuclear security approach, it is important that we develop a clearer overall picture of remaining security vulnerabilities,” International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei told the opening session of the Agency’s Board of Governors meeting in Vienna yesterday.

“For example, we need to improve our understanding of the patterns that characterize illicit trafficking activity, in order to provide Member States with the information needed to effectively combat such activity,” he added.

Few areas of activity have undergone such major expansion in so short a period as the IAEA’s nuclear security programme in the four years since the terrorist attacks against the United States on 11 September, 2001, he said, citing over 100 Agency nuclear security field missions and the training of 1,500 people from all regions in the prevention of nuclear and radiological terrorism.

He pointed to tangible results such as increased security awareness among national officials, strengthened physical protection at nuclear facilities, recovery and enhanced security for hundreds of high intensity radioactive sources and better cooperation among international law enforcement organizations.

He also cited enhanced detection capabilities at border crossings, more and better trained personnel, improved preparedness for responding to incidents and broader participation in the Agency´s Illicit Trafficking Data Base, which serves as a key mechanism for the analysis of global and regional trends.

He urged all Parties to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material to ratify as soon as possible major changes agreed to in July which make it legally binding for States Parties to protect nuclear facilities and material meant for peaceful domestic uses.

The changes, which also provide for expanded cooperation among States on measures to recover stolen or smuggled nuclear material, mitigate the consequences of sabotage and prevent and combat related offences, will come into effect once they are ratified by two-thirds of the States Parties, and Mr. ElBaradei urged Parties in the meantime to act as if they were in force.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN: Pope's Visit To Iraq "A Symbol Of Hope"

The visit by Pope Francis to the northern Iraqi city of Mosul at the weekend will be a symbol of hope and an opportunity to join forces for peace and unity, the UN cultural agency, UNESCO, said on Thursday, ahead of his touchdown in the capital, Baghdad... More>>

Myanmar: Military Must Stop Murdering And Jailing Protestors – Bachelet

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday said security forces in Myanmar must “halt their vicious crackdown on peaceful protestors,” following another day of deadly violence across the country on Wednesday... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Podcast: A UN Top Official’s Inspiring Journey To Leadership

UN Under-Secretary for Global Communications Melissa Fleming speaks to Agnes Kalibata, the Special Envoy to the 2021 Food Systems Summit, about her journey as a woman leader – from growing up as a Rwandan refugee in Uganda to becoming Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and now a top official at the United Nations... More>>

UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>

2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>