IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency)
Statement by the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the International Organizations in Vienna Ambassador Vladimir Voronkov at the Event to Mark the Entry into Force, on May 8, 2016, of the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM), Vienna, May 6, 2016
Director General Amano,
It is an honor for me to address you today on the occasion of entering into force of the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. Due to the consolidated efforts of many IAEA Member States, and given the unwavering support of the Director General as the Depositary of this Convention, considerable progress has been achieved in recent months in terms of strengthening this key international legal instrument in the sphere of nuclear security. We consider it to be of utmost importance that nearly all the major countries that are developing peaceful nuclear energy and involved in international cooperation in this sphere ratified the Amendment.
Robust physical protection of nuclear material is essential for the international non-proliferation regime. Due to prompt, effective and consistent efforts undertaken at the national level, the humankind so far has managed to avoid terrorist acts involving nuclear and other radioactive materials. One of the IAEA fundamental principles stipulates that the primary responsibility for nuclear security rests entirely with States themselves, and they define at national discretion the optimal parameters of the relevant domestic systems and mechanisms. The existing challenges and threats associated with nuclear security require proactive position and resolute response from every IAEA Member State.
The entry of the Amendment into force considerably expands the sphere of application of the Convention and makes it legally binding for all States that are party to the CPPNM to ensure physical protection of nuclear facilities and materials, used for peaceful purposes, during their operation, storage and transportation within their respective national borders. Russia accepted the Amendment on September 19, 2008, and since then has been successfully implementing it. We assume that the amended and strengthened Convention will become even more effective in fighting nuclear terrorism and illicit trafficking in nuclear materials.
The fact alone that so many countries around the world consolidated their efforts to reinforce the Convention demonstrates the priority given by the international community to physical protection. It is our strong conviction that the level of practical significance of all other nuclear security instruments such as cyber-security, nuclear detection, forensics and etc., largely depends on their input in terms of mastering and improving physical protection. In other words, these instruments cannot be handled in isolation from physical protection. They are supposed to contribute to the overall effort of improving physical protection and preventing nuclear material from falling into the hands of non-State actors.
Russia is determined to the global efforts aimed at strengthening physical protection of nuclear material and the IAEA activities in this area. We provide our support to the Agency on the regular basis, in particular through the IAEA Nuclear Security Fund (NSF). The nuclear security projects and trainings financed from the annual Russian voluntary contribution to the NSF (1 million dollars per year) are mainly focused on different aspects of physical protection.
The amended Convention sets new goals for Member States, primarily at the national level, in providing stronger physical protection of nuclear material. It is essential to ensure smooth transitioning from the old convention to the new regime. The Convention integrity must be preserved and maintained. In parallel with that States Parties should continue working towards the universalization of the commitments ensuing from the amended Convention. We urge all Member States that have not yet done so to ratify the Amendment as soon as possible in order to facilitate the effective and comprehensive implementation of the Convention in its entirety.
We believe that the IAEA which possesses the required expertise and authority will continue to pay attention to strengthening physical protection of nuclear material, while the Nuclear Security Plan for 2018-2021 will incorporate all the necessary elements required for addressing the relevant tasks in the sphere of nuclear security and physical protection.