Ministers at IAEA conference call for stronger nuclear security

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International Atomic Energy Agency. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

Despite substantial progress in strengthening nuclear security in recent years, more needs to be done worldwide to defend against the threat of nuclear terrorism and other malicious acts involving nuclear or radiological material, a Ministerial Declaration at the IAEA's International Conference on Nuclear Security: Enhancing Global Efforts stated Monday.

The Ministerial Declaration, adopted at a plenary session attended by 34 government ministers and other Heads of Delegation, says they "remain concerned about the threat of nuclear and radiological terrorism and of other malicious acts or sabotage related to facilities and activities involving nuclear and other radioactive material."

The Declaration – the first of its kind for nuclear security – notes that all States are responsible for their own nuclear security, but that international cooperation is important in supporting States' efforts to fulfil their responsibilities. It affirms the central role of the IAEA in strengthening nuclear security globally, and leading coordination of international activities in this field.

The Declaration "encourages all States to maintain highly effective nuclear security, including physical protection, for all nuclear and other radioactive material, their transport, use and storage and their associated facilities, as well as protecting sensitive information and maintaining the necessary nuclear security systems and measures to assess and manage their nuclear security effectively…".

The Declaration recognizes the threat to international security posed by theft and smuggling of nuclear material and affirms the responsibility of States to keep all nuclear material secure.

More than 1300 participants in the Conference, which is open to all 159 IAEA Member States, will analyse past and current efforts and consider how future challenges can best be met to ensure effective and sustainable nuclear security worldwide. The Conference ends on Friday.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’49″

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