IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei spoke of the nuclear threat and the urgent need for countries to seize a window of opportunity for strengthening the world´s security, in an address 6 October 2004 to the Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs in Seoul.
"The nuclear genie is out of the box - but it remains, at least at present, at the bidding of its human makers," Dr. ElBaradei said.
Addressing the conference of scientists working for nuclear disarmament, Dr. ElBaradei said it was clear that insecurity bred proliferation. "Nuclear weapons will not go away until a proved collective security framework exists to fill the vacuum."
The Director General outlined recent lessons learnt about nuclear verification. Among them, that verification and diplomacy, used in conjunction can be effective. "The Iraq experience has demonstrated that inspections - while requiring time and patience - can be effective even when the country under inspection is providing less than active cooperation."
A second lesson, Dr. ElBaradei said, was that "we cannot afford not to act in cases of non-compliance." The Director General cited the case of North Korea and the role of the UN Security Council in nuclear cases referred to it. "The Security Council must be able and ready to engage effectively in both preventive diplomacy and enforcement measures, with the tools and methods in place necessary to cope with existing and emerging threats to international peace and security," he said.
Pointing the way forward, Dr. ElBaradei spoke of measures to strengthen the existing non-proliferation regime. Among them:
- urging all States to bring the additional protocol into force;
- tightening and formalizing the controls over the export of nuclear materials and technology;
- working towards multilateral control over the sensitive parts of the nuclear fuel cycle - enrichment, reprocessing, and the management and disposal of spent fuel - while guaranteeing the reliability of supply to legitimate would-be users; and
- ensuring that States cannot withdraw from the global Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) without clear consequences, including prompt review and appropriate action by the Security Council.
"Each of these measures would be in keeping with a collective security framework that aims simultaneously to curb nuclear proliferation and to achieve nuclear disarmament," Dr. ElBaradei said. See the related links for the full speech.