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Homeland Security

Heads of State sign convention on nuclear terrorism

14 September 2005 Responding to the invitation of Secretary-General Kofi Annan to sign, ratify or accede to a range of treaties at the World Summit, heads of State began taking action today on the Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, which first opened for signature this morning.

Thirty-five States were expected to sign the nuclear terrorism treaty, which strengthens the global legal framework to combat the scourge, requires the extradition or prosecution of those implicated and encourages the exchange of information and inter-state cooperation.

First to sign this morning were Russian President Vladimir Putin, United States President George W. Bush, and French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin. As of 4:00 p.m. EDT, 17 States had signed the treaty, out of 19 actions overall for the day.

Today’s signings continue an initiative begun at the Millennium Summit in 2000 that has since become an annual event for treaties, for which the Secretary-General is depositary, during the opening of each General Assembly.

The treaties selected this year, rather than focus on any specific aspect of international law as has been the case in the past, reflect what the Secretary-General calls “the central challenge for the twenty-first century – to fashion a new and broader understanding … of what collective security means.”

The treaty signings will continue into this evening.

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