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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Signatories of UN additional nuclear weapons safeguard now number 100

19 July 2005 One hundred countries have now signed an additional protocol in connection with to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), granting United Nations inspectors greater access to ensure that nuclear materials are not being diverted to weapons production, the UN atomic watchdog agency announced today.

The century mark was reached earlier this month when Honduras signed what is officially known as an Additional Protocol to a Safeguards agreement with the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), affording agency inspectors greater rights of access to information about a country’s nuclear programme and to its nuclear sites.

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei referred to additional protocols as absolutely essential for effective verification and invited all States to conclude them.

Additional Protocols grant the IAEA complementary inspection authority to that provided in underlying safeguards agreements, typically concluded pursuant to provisions of the NPT, thus facilitating its task to verify that all nuclear material has been declared to the Agency and is for peaceful nuclear activities.

As well as affording greater rights of access, they grant inspectors added authority to use advanced technologies to track that nuclear materials are not being diverted, and that there are no clandestine, proscribed nuclear activities in a state.

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