United Nations, May 7 (IANS) An important amendment safeguarding nuclear facilities was expected to enter into force on Sunday, a UN spokesman said here on Friday.
The UN Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material “makes it legally binding for countries to protect nuclear facilities, as well as nuclear material in domestic use, storage and transport,” Stephane Dujarric said at daily news briefing.
The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, noted that the entry into force of this Amendment after 11 years of preparatory work will reduce the risk of terrorist attacks involving nuclear material.
The Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material was signed at Vienna and at New York on March 3, 1980.
The Convention is the only international legally binding undertaking in the area of physical protection of nuclear material. It establishes measures related to the prevention, detection and punishment of offences relating to nuclear material.
A diplomatic conference in July 2005 was convened to amend the Convention and strengthen its provisions. The amended Convention makes it legally binding for states parties to protect nuclear facilities and material in peaceful domestic use, storage as well as transport.
It also provides for expanded cooperation between and among States regarding rapid measures to locate and recover stolen or smuggled nuclear material, mitigate any radiological consequences of sabotage, and prevent and combat related offences.
The amendments will take effect once they have been ratified by two-thirds of the States Parties of the Convention.