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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pace picks up for signing of UN-managed nuclear inspection protocol

28 November 2005 With Belarus and Malaysia signing a protocol that allows more effective nuclear inspections in their countries, 106 States have signed the important verification tool, with 16 signing this year alone, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the United Nations.

"On the whole, 2005 has been a good year in terms of States concluding comprehensive safeguards agreements and additional protocols," IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said.

"However, it is important that we continue and accelerate this trend." The additional protocol must become the universal standard for verifying nuclear non-proliferation commitments, Dr. ElBaradei recently reaffirmed, noting that the expanded access provided by the additional protocol "had proven its worth".

The Model Additional Protocol was agreed upon in 1997 to strengthen the IAEA safeguards system, based on the wake-up call caused by the discovery of Iraq's pre-1991 nuclear weapons programme.

Once in force, such protocols provide IAEA inspectors with better tools to ensure that States have no undeclared nuclear material or activities that should have been reported to the Agency.

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