Monday, July 23, 2007

European Union grant funds African nuclear security, misses NPT opportunity

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports that the European Union (EU) has provided a nearly 7 million Euro grant “to upgrade physical protection of nuclear materials and facilities in the countries, secure vulnerable radioactive sources, and combat illicit trafficking in nuclear and radioactive materials, with much of this funding to go to African states.”

The EU is to be commended for providing this support, the IAEA for its important work to enhance nuclear security globally, and recipient nations for their willingness to collaborate productively with international efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation or misuse of nuclear materials.

But all parties have missed an important opportunity to declare their renewed support for their obligations under Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons:

Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.
At least half a dozen recipient states have not ratified the Treaty of Pelindaba and a few have not ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Envisioning and working toward a world free of nuclear weapons means that no opportunity should be missed to increase the normative pressure and web of international legal rules that promote nuclear disarmament. Failing to do so reinforces the naïve and artificial separation between nonproliferation and disarmament that threatens the achievement of both.

No comments:

Post a Comment