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Paraguay Ratifies Key Nuclear Security Amendment

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Horacio Alberto Nogués Zubizarreta, Ambassador of Paraguay to the IAEA depositing his country’s instrument of ratification of the Amendment to the CPPNM to IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

Paraguay ratified the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) today, bringing to just ten the number of adherences still required for the entry into force of this legal instrument that will help strengthen nuclear security around the world.

“We are now approaching the finishing line,” said IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano. “I hope that after a decade the Amendment can finally come into force in the very near future, making it harder for terrorists to get their hands on nuclear material or to sabotage a nuclear facility.” 

In a meeting today with Mr Amano, the Ambassador of Paraguay to the IAEA, Horacio Alberto Nogués Zubizarreta deposited his country’s instrument of ratification of the Amendment. The IAEA Director General is the depositary of the Convention and also the Amendment.

The CPPNM, the only legally binding international undertaking in the area of physical protection of nuclear material, entered into force in 1987. It focuses on the physical protection of nuclear material used for peaceful purposes during international transport but did not cover the protection of nuclear facilities. In 2005, the Parties to the Convention adopted the Amendment to broaden the scope of the original Convention to cover nuclear facilities and nuclear material in domestic use.

Nearly 2800 incidents involving radioactive material getting out of regulatory control have been reported to the IAEA by Member States since 1995. Only a few of these involve material that could be used to make a nuclear explosive device, but some could be combined with conventional explosives to create a dirty bomb.

Mr Amano urged all parties to the Convention who had not yet done so to adhere to the Amendment. “The Amendment’s entry into force is the single most important step which the world can take to strengthen nuclear security,” he said.

Two-thirds of the States Parties to the CPPNM must adhere to the Amendment for it to enter into force. The CPPNM now has 152 States Parties and the Amendment has 92 Contracting States.

Paraguay has been a Party to the CPPNM since 8 February 1987.

Paraguay’s ratification of the Amendment  follows the adherence of Côte D’Ivoire, on 10 February,  Morocco, on 10 December,  Iceland, on 27 October, and Botswana, which submitted its ratification during the IAEA’s 59th General Conference in September.

Last update: 26 Jul 2017

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