Azerbaijan closely follows the ongoing worldwide trends in nuclear security, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said at the third International Conference on Nuclear Security: Sustaining and Strengthening Efforts (ICONS 2020) organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Trend reports Feb. 10.
The minister noted that Azerbaijan supports existing nuclear security initiatives and pays special attention to the international multilateral mechanisms in this area.
“Sharing international community’s concerns about nuclear security issues, especially regarding proliferation of nuclear weapons, Azerbaijan ratified Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) after regaining its independence and actively supported extension of the Treaty indefinitely in 1995,” Mammadyarov added. “We remain concerned about existing and emerging nuclear security threats and committed to addressing them.”
“International cooperation has always been at the center of our efforts in the field of nuclear security and safety,” said the minister. “We believe that the progress achieved in this area strengthens peace and security and promotes confidence. Azerbaijan has developed a successful cooperation with IAEA on various aspects of nuclear security. We are ready to deepen existing fruitful collaboration.”
Within the IAEA Technical Cooperation Program, in 2015, the Republic of Azerbaijan and IAEA signed a Country Program Framework document for 2015-2020, which establishes a basis for national projects in the area of improvement of the regulatory and legislative infrastructure, capabilities in radiation safety, security of nuclear materials, radioactive waste management, as well as in radiation monitoring and control of border and customs check points, Mammadyarov noted.
“Azerbaijan also welcomes the efforts of the United Nations for strengthening nuclear security,” said the minister. “In this regard, ensuring full implementation of Security Council Resolution 1540 and subsequent resolutions plays an important role in prevention of proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as their means of delivery.”
“Nuclear security is fundamental in the management of nuclear technologies and in applications where nuclear or other radioactive materials can be used or transported,” Mammadyarov added. “In this regard, necessary efforts are being made in Azerbaijan to strengthen the protection and control of such materials.”
“We continue working on legislation on control over radiation security,” said the minister. “Azerbaijan has already adopted normative acts and regulations strictly banning import of nuclear and radiation wastes into the country. With the assistance of the IAEA, the laws and other legislative acts of Azerbaijan concerning registration and control of nuclear and radioactive materials are brought into compliance with international standards.”
Azerbaijan has joined the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) and also ratified the Amendment to this Convention, Mammadyarov noted.
“Azerbaijan attaches great importance to maintaining and further strengthening nuclear security,” added the minister. “Especially, in the face of persistent threat of radical extremism and terrorism in the region and due to our geographic location, we attach the utmost importance to the prevention of use of our territory as a transit route for illicit nuclear trafficking.”
“However, due to the continued occupation of about twenty percent of our territory by Armenia, we are unable to provide proper control along a substantial part of our borders,” Mammadyarov said. “This situation offers favorable conditions for illegal activities, including for nuclear smuggling and nuclear terrorism.”
“In conclusion, I would like to once again stress that Azerbaijan is committed to continue cooperation with international organizations and our partners in strengthening nuclear security in the region and around the world and reducing threats emanating from illicit trafficking in nuclear and radioactive materials and counts on support and cooperation of the IAEA in this matter,” the minister added.
“Reiterating the importance of this Conference in promoting nuclear security worldwide, Azerbaijan supports the Ministerial Declaration of International Conference on Nuclear Security: Sustaining and Strengthening Efforts,” Mammadyarov noted.
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