PRESS-RELEASE 11 April 22, 2005

 

Statement by Alexander Yakovenko, the Spokesman of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Concerning the Adoption by UN General Assembly of an International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism

 

On April 13 the UN General Assembly adopted an International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.

The onvention is the first treaty passed in the UN at Russia's initiative. For the first time an antiterrorist Convention was worked out by the international community for preemption, that is before the commission of terrorist acts involving nuclear material and other radioactive substances. This is the first universal treaty aimed at preventing terrorist acts of mass destruction.

The Russian Federation, which introduced the Draft Nuclear Terrorism Convention in the UN in 1997, is especially pleased with the successful conclusion of the longstanding intense work on the problem, which we pinpointed almost ten years ago. Greatly important to us also is the fact that, despite what had at times seemed insurmountable differences, a consensus approval of the text of the Convention ultimately was arrived at.

The Convention's adoption creates a firm basis for international cooperation in counterterrrorism and in the struggle against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The provisions of the new legal document ensure antiterrorist protection for both the peaceful and military atom, aim at the suppression of acts of terrorism involving self-made nuclear devices, and call for inevitable punishment for persons found guilty of committing acts of nuclear terrorism under the principle of "either extradite, or try." The Convention establishes a mechanism for the return of stolen radioactive materials, nuclear devices or substances.

This treaty will be implemented in close cooperation with the IAEA.

We hope that after its opening for signature on September 14, 2005, on the day Summit 2005 will commence its work, this unique international treaty will quickly gather the 22 ratification instruments it needs to come into force and will add to the list of the antiterrorist conventions already in effect.

The Convention lays down an important element of the strategy for combating new challenges and threats that the Russian Federation has proposed creating under the aegis of the UN. It is an important contribution to the further development of antiterrorist engagement, which, in its turn, will impart a new impulse to the process of the development of a comprehensive convention against international terrorism.

In addition, the fact of its adoption evidences the resolve and ability of the UN member states to adapt the Organization to present-day realities and the requirements of security and to rally in the fight against new challenges and threats.