Conference to Consider and Adopt Proposed Amendments to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material
27 June 2005 | Concerned by the increased threats posed by terrorism, more than 350 delegates from 80 States parties to the CPPNM will gather in a five day Conference beginning on Monday, July 4 that is expected to adopt additional measures, aimed at averting nuclear terrorism, smuggling and sabotage. The Convention is the only legally binding international agreement providing physical protection of nuclear material and ensuring improved security in the post 9/11 world.
"Following the recent adoption of the International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of International Terrorism, the CPPNM amendments will be yet another milestone in international efforts to improve the physical protection of nuclear materials and facilities," said Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the IAEA, in his introductory statement to the June meeting of its Board of Governors.
Since 2001, a group of experts has worked to strengthen the physical protection regime under the current Convention, which was signed in Vienna and in New York on 3 March 1980. It applies to the protection of nuclear material used for peaceful purposes while in international transport and also contains provisions related to offences relating to nuclear material used for peaceful purposes while in domestic use, storage and transport.
Strengthening the current Convention entails a stronger and uniform physical protection regime applicable to both nuclear material and facilities used for peaceful purposes. The amendments will provide for an expanded regime that aims at the protection of nuclear material against theft, smuggling and sabotage and nuclear facilities against sabotage. The regime also provides for expanded cooperation between States regarding rapid measures to locate and recover stolen or smuggled nuclear material, to mitigate any radiological consequences of sabotage and to prevent and combat relevant offences.
A press conference will be held at 13.00 hrs, on July 4, in Room U2 441, at the Austria Center, following the opening of the Conference to consider and adopt proposed amendments to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material in Vienna. The conference is closed to the press except for the plenary sessions, the first one being held from 10.00 - 13.00 hrs, on July 4.
Access to the introductory session of the CPPNM and press conference is by the main entrance to the Austria Centre. Journalists with a valid press pass will be accredited, either on-line or from 08.00, Monday, July 4 at the Austria Centre.