The Agency will work towards establishing longer-term relationships with countries to provide assistance and support in their efforts to improve their nuclear security systems to reach the anticipated holistic goal of strengthened nuclear security. Through longer-term goals and work plans, the coordination of resources available to the Agency, as well as in bilateral and multilateral support programmes, will be facilitated. The nuclear security relevant recommendations and guidelines developed by the IAEA will provide the necessary reference points for the States when establishing their own goals for nuclear security in their countries.
Building an effective global nuclear security regime requires a concerted action by all States. Therefore, the IAEA invites all States to join in efforts to strengthen nuclear security at international, regional, and national levels by making the best use of the Agency's nuclear security related services and by contributing financial and in-kind resources. It's essential that issues of nuclear proliferation and the secure and safe use of nuclear technology be dealt with in a comprehensive and synergistic manner in order to achieve maximum success.
The international community has taken important steps to make it much more difficult for any terrorist and/or criminal to use nuclear and radioactive materials to cause death, destruction and panic.
Yet, is enough being done? The consequences of an explosion of one crude nuclear device would be catastrophic, and the consequences of the sabotage of a nuclear facility may forever halt the development of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes and thereby hamper socio-economic development. Although an RDD may not cause mass destruction, the disruption and panic caused by the explosion of such a device and the unavoidable, likely vast contamination of and effect on the environment are likely to have unforeseeable consequences.
The Chernobyl catastrophe 18 years ago awakened the world to the fact that the global nuclear safety regime must be strengthened. The international community has now a window of opportunity to take proactive measures to prevent any catastrophic nuclear malicious event that may halt the future use of nuclear technology for the benefit of mankind. There is no room for complacency.
Tomihiro Taniguchi is IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department for Nuclear Safety and Security. Anita Nilsson is Head of the Department's Office of Nuclear Security. E-mails: T.Taniguchi@iaea.org; A.Nilsson@iaea.org.