IAEA Press Release
IAEA Press Release 2001/10
International Conference on Security of Nuclear Material and Radioactive Sources opens in Stockholm
2001 | The Conference, formally titled, "Security of Material, Measures to Prevent, Intercept and Respond to Illicit Uses of Nuclear Material and Radioactive Sources," is organized by the IAEA and held in co-operation with the World Customs Organization, and hosted by the Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate, the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and the European Police Office.
In a welcome address, Lars-Hjalmar Wide, Director of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Department for global security, said, "The object of international co-operation in this field is our common interest in preventing nuclear proliferation, but also to protect the environment and the health of populations. These are concerns that do not respect any national borders."
Since 1993, there were over 370 confirmed incidents of illicit trafficking. While most of these incidents do not involve material that can me used for making nuclear weapons, they have prompted stepped up efforts to prevent and combat trafficking.
"Looking toward the future, it is clear that broad international co-operation will be needed to upgrade security measures, to improve capabilities for intercepting and responding to illicit trafficking, and to enhance the protection of facilities against terrorism and sabatoge." said IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei in a statement delivered on his behalf at the conference. "The most difficult challenge will be the effective consolidation of all these measures into integrated, efficient national systems, ensuring that the security of nuclear and other radioactive material is woven into the infrastructure of nuclear safety and security."
The IAEA develops basic guidelines that have proven to be of significant importance in the development of national physical protection systems and international agreements. The IAEA has initiated a number of activities, including training, technology transfer and peer review, to support Member States in improving their nuclear material accountancy and physical protection systems at State and facility levels. The Agency also maintains a database of reported incidents.
Rolf Ekeus, Head of the Stockholm Institute for International Peace Research and a keynote speaker, called for the incorporation of IAEA standards and guidelines into national legislation and harmonization between States. "The IAEA should be given a leadership role," he said. "An individual State cannot do it on its own."
About the IAEA
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) serves as the world's foremost intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical co-operation in the peaceful use of nuclear technology. Established as an autonomous organization under the United Nations (UN) in 1957, the IAEA carries out programmes to maximize the useful contribution of nuclear technology to society while verifying its peaceful use.
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