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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Chad becomes 100th nation to give UN nuclear inspectors greater access

14 May 2010 – Chad has become the 100th nation to agree to give the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) more information about its nuclear activities, which the agency hailed as a milestone in efforts to bolster global nuclear verification efforts.

The so-called Additional Protocol furnishes IAEA inspectors with enhanced access to information and locations of nuclear activity.

“I welcome this latest entry into force and call on all States that have not yet done so to bring into force Additional Protocols without delay,” IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said in a press release issued in Vienna.

The Protocol, he stressed, is of “vital importance,” since it allows the IAEA to determine both whether declared nuclear material is being diverted from peaceful uses and whether countries are in possession of undeclared nuclear material.

More than four decades ago, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) tasked the IAEA with verifying that nuclear material and activities in non-nuclear-weapons States are not used for military purposes.

In 1997, the agency’s Board of Governors adopted additional measures to boost the effectiveness and efficiency of the safeguards system.

Chad’s notification yesterday comes as more than 100 nations are taking part in the five-yearly review conference of the NPT, the cornerstone of the world’s nuclear non-proliferation regime, to discuss how to further full implementation and enhance the universality of the pact.

At the start of the nearly month-long gathering last week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon exhorted countries to take decisive action to build a safer world.

“We have a choice: to leave a legacy of fear and inaction… or to act with vision, courage and leadership,” he told the conference.

“We all know it is possible,” the Secretary-General said of disarmament and non-proliferation, which have been among his top priorities since taking office in 2007.

He characterized the NPT as one of the most important global treaties ever reached. With the nuclear threat still real, “we need this regime as much as ever,” Mr. Ban underscored.

The last NPT review conference in 2005 was a failure, he said, having wrapped up without any substantive agreement having been reached. “This time, we can – and must – do better.”

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