Washington, DC - Today marks an important step forward in the Obama Administration’s efforts to secure nuclear material globally. Nicaragua and Uruguay deposited their instruments of ratification of the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials. In doing so, they joined Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Kuwait, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Montenegro, New Zealand, Pakistan, Paraguay, and Serbia, which ratified the amendment just ahead of the Nuclear Security Summit.
Taken together, these countries represent the last of the 102 states needed for this amendment to enter into force, which it will do 30 days from today, becoming legally binding on all ratifying states.
This amendment sets forth obligations for states parties to secure their civilian nuclear material -- in use, storage, or transport -- in a manner consistent with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) guidance, and facilitates the further criminalization and prosecution of nuclear smuggling. Among other steps, it also establishes responsibilities for states parties to notify others of potentially dangerous incidents regarding nuclear material out of regulatory control. The IAEA Director General will hold periodic review conferences called for by the amendment, which will help maintain high-level attention and momentum on nuclear security. We look forward to working with the IAEA to support its new responsibilities to share information provided by states parties, to assist states parties in treaty implementation, and to convene regular meetings of national Points of Contact as required by the treaty.
The United States fully appreciates the extraordinary measures taken by the recent ratifying states and by the IAEA to complete these steps ahead of the Nuclear Security Summit. We will continue to promote the universal ratification and implementation of this cornerstone of the global nuclear security architecture, and we urge all countries who have not yet ratified this treaty to do so as soon as possible.