In a speech delivered at the fifth annual Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, on 12 October in New Delhi, India, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said that the current situation of global insecurity can only be addressed through "an adjustment of our mindset, and a change in our values" leading to a new global security thinking. "Our society is at a crossroads, and if we hope to achieve progress, it is time for a new beginning," he said.
Dr. ElBaradei called for the development of a security system based on sustained diplomacy, global responses and multinational cooperation in which no country could rely or would need to rely on nuclear weapons for its security. "The proliferation challenges of recent years - and the near-total impasse in international efforts to strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation and arms control regime - have made it clear that the current system is not sustainable: it needs to be strengthened, and it needs to be universal."
On the nuclear front, he added, the international community must enhance further the security of existing stocks of nuclear and radiological material, and tighten controls over sensitive nuclear operations that produce such material. Dr. ElBaradei urged the international community to support the IAEA in its role as the world´s non-proliferation guardian. "The IAEA must receive the support it needs to carry out effective, independent verification of States´ non-proliferation commitments," he stated.
Dr. ElBaradei also called for the need to raise awareness of the fact that non-proliferation and disarmament are two sides of the same coin, warning against double standards in this area. "World leaders must be persuaded to acknowledge the inextricable linkage between non-proliferation and disarmament - and therefore the critical need for accelerated efforts towards a nuclear-weapons-free world," he said.
The Hindustan Times Leadership Summit also featured several important political figures in India, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Ms. Sonia Gandhi. During the summit, Dr. ElBaradei also met with singer, writer and campaigner Sir Bob Geldoff, who later delivered a speech on the use of popular culture to influence global priorities.
The Hindustan Times Leadership Summit is an annual forum seeking to bring together leaders from different walks of life, encouraging interactions and debates, and raising the bar of discussion on critical world issues.
Dr. ElBaradei´s fee for delivering his speech at this year´s summit was entirely devolved to charitable causes.