Magazine article Arms Control Today

ElBaradei, IAEA Accept Nobel Peace Prize

Magazine article Arms Control Today

ElBaradei, IAEA Accept Nobel Peace Prize

Article excerpt

In accepting the Nobel Peace Prize Dec. 10, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei sought to place issues of nonproliferation and disarmament within a broader context of relations between developed and developing countries. ElBaradei shared the prize with the agency, represented by Ambassador Yukiya Amano, the chairman of the IAEA Board of Governors.

ElBaradei, an Egyptian diplomat, said that, after the end of the Cold War, many East-West differences had been erased but those between North and South had persisted, spurring weapons proliferation.

"In regions where conflicts have been left to fester for decades, countries look for ways to offset their insecurities or project their 'power,'" ElBaradei said. "In some cases, they may be tempted to seek their own weapons of mass destruction, like others who have preceded them."

Moreover, pointing to the fact that there are still 27,000 nuclear weapons 15 years after the Cold War and that these arsenals were on what he described as hair-trigger alert, ElBaradei said that the presence of these weapons encourages other countries to acquire their own arsenals.

"With the spread of science and technology, as long as some of us choose to rely on nuclear weapons, we continue to risk that these same weapons will become increasingly attractive to others," ElBaradei said.

To reduce nuclear dangers, ElBaradei called on the nuclearweapon states to accelerate disarmament efforts. He also called for greater efforts to secure nuclear and radiological materials and to provide the IAEA with greater inspection authority, information, resources, and political backing. …

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