Botswana Ratifies Key Nuclear Security Amendment

| September 15, 2015

Botswana’s ratification today of the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) brings the Amendment a step closer to entry into force.

During the IAEA’s 59th General Conference, Nonofo E. Molefhi, Botswana’s Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology deposited his country’s instrument of ratification of the Amendment. “The Treaty and its Amendment represent a comprehensive and sustainable approach to bolstering regional and international nuclear safety and security,” Mr Molefhi said at the Treaty Event, organized by the IAEA to promote adherence to the most important multilateral treaties for which the Director General of the IAEA is the depositary.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano welcomed the ratification by Botswana and urged all countries which had not yet done so to become party to the Amendment. “Entry into force of the Amendment is the single most important step which the international community can take in strengthening nuclear security globally,” Mr Amano said.

Mr Molefhi also deposited his country’s instrument of acceptance to the Fifth Extension of the Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA). In force since 1990, AFRA facilitates cooperation between its States Parties by promoting and coordinating cooperative research, development and training projects in nuclear science and technology through national institutions.

Kyrgyzstan joins CPPNM

Also at the Treaty Event, the Kyrgyz Republic deposited its instrument of accession to the CPPNM. The Head of Kyrgyzstan’s Delegation to the General Conference, Usen Usupov, said that his country had already begun the process of joining the Amendment as well. “We would like to adhere to the Amendment in the nearest future,” he said.

The CPPNM, the only legally binding international undertaking in the area of physical protection of nuclear material, entered into force in 1987. It focuses on the physical protection of nuclear material used for peaceful purposes during international transport. However, the CPPNM does not cover the physical protection of nuclear material in peaceful domestic use, storage or transport — or the physical protection of nuclear facilities. In 2005, the States Parties to the Convention adopted the Amendment to broaden its scope.

Two-thirds of the States Parties to the CPPNM must adhere to the Amendment for it to enter into force. With the accession to the original treaty by Kyrgyzstan, the CPPNM now has 152 States Parties and the Amendment has 88 Contracting States. Adherence by 14 more States Parties is still needed for the Amendment to take effect.

During this year’s Treaty Event, representatives from Member States were also briefed on various other multilateral treaties for which the Director General is depositary.

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