IAEA Chief Calls for New Nuclear Security Paradigm

IAEA Director General, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, has called for the development and implementation of a new collective security paradigm in which no country relies on nuclear weapons for its security.

Speaking at the International Conference on the Prevention of Nuclear Catastrophe, held in Luxembourg on 24 May 2007, Dr. ElBaradei warned the audience that the prospects for progress in preventing nuclear catastrophe will remain grim unless the international community begins working on a new security regime.

"The solution, in my view, lies in creating an environment in which nuclear weapons are universally banned, morally abhorred, and their futility unmasked," he said.

Dr. ElBaradei outlined the four steps that should be taken to develop such security paradigm:

  • securing existing nuclear material stockpiles and tightening controls over the transfer and production of nuclear material;
  • strengthening the verification authority and capability of the IAEA;
  • developing a more effective approach for dealing with proliferation threats; and
  • finding a way for disarmament to be taken seriously.

Dr. ElBaradei alerted the audience to the fact that while virtually all nuclear-weapon States are extending and modernizing their nuclear weapon arsenals well into the 21st Century, generating a sense of cynicism among many non-nuclear-weapon States, a security strategy rooted in "Us versus Them" is no longer sustainable.

Dr. ElBaradei also explained that controlling nuclear material could be the Achilles´ Heel of the nuclear non-proliferation regime, and that nuclear material production should be brought under multinational control, so that no one country has the exclusive capability to produce the material for nuclear weapons. He anticipated that the IAEA will present a progress report to Member States on this subject in the next few weeks.

Last update: 11 November 2014