On 17 September 2013, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations of the Kingdom of Lesotho, H.E. Mr. Mohlabi Kenneth Tsekoa, deposited an instrument of accession to the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident and an instrument of accession to the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency with the IAEA Legal Adviser, Ms. Peri Lynn Johnson.
On accepting the instruments of accession by Lesotho, Ms. Johnson commended the Government of Lesotho on the action taken to join both these Conventions stating that Lesotho's has contributed to the universality of the two Conventions.
Foreign Minister Tsekoa, in his comments, stressed the importance of his Government's commitment to the IAEA mandate as well as the close cooperation that exists with the Agency.
With these latest accessions, Lesotho becomes the 117th Contracting Party to the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident and the 111th Contracting Party to the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency.
The Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident and the Convention on Assistance in Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency were both adopted in 1986 following the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident.
The Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident establishes a notification system for nuclear accidents which have the potential for international transboundary release that could be of radiological safety significance for another State. It requires States to report the accident's time, location, radiation releases, and other data essential for assessing the situation. Notification is to be made to affected States directly or through the IAEA, and to the IAEA itself.
The Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency sets out an international framework for co-operation among States Parties and with the IAEA to facilitate prompt assistance and support in the event of nuclear accidents or radiological emergencies. It requires States to notify the IAEA of their available experts, equipment, and other materials for providing assistance. In case of a request, each State Party decides whether it can render the requested assistance as well as its scope and terms. Assistance may be offered without costs taking into account inter alia the needs of developing countries and the particular needs of countries without nuclear facilities. The IAEA serves as the focal point for such cooperation by channelling information, supporting efforts, and providing its available services.
See Treaties Under IAEA Auspices for more information.