Colombia Ratifies Protocol on Enhanced Nuclear-Security Measures

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Global Security Newswire Staff
Feb. 20, 2014, 7:12 a.m.

Colom­bia this week rat­i­fied an in­ter­na­tion­al pro­tocol that, once en­acted, would ob­lig­ate the South Amer­ic­an coun­try to take ex­tra steps on nuc­le­ar se­cur­ity.

On Tues­day, Colom­bia turned over to the In­ter­na­tion­al Atom­ic En­ergy Agency rat­i­fic­a­tion doc­u­ments for the Amend­ment to the Con­ven­tion on the Phys­ic­al Pro­tec­tion of Nuc­le­ar Ma­ter­i­als, ac­cord­ing to an agency re­lease.

The 2005 pro­vi­sions on nuc­le­ar se­cur­ity have yet to enter in­to force. With Colom­bia’s rat­i­fic­a­tion, a total of 73 coun­tries have form­al­ized their par­ti­cip­a­tion. However, an­oth­er 26 na­tions must sign on be­fore the pro­tocol’s stric­tures be­come leg­ally bind­ing for those par­ti­cip­at­ing.

“Entry in­to force of the amend­ment is vi­tally im­port­ant for strength­en­ing phys­ic­al pro­tec­tion and nuc­le­ar se­cur­ity throughout the world,” IAEA Dir­ect­or Gen­er­al Yukiya Amano said in provided re­marks. “The amend­ment pro­tects nuc­le­ar ma­ter­i­al in do­mest­ic use, trans­port and stor­age, and pro­tects nuc­le­ar fa­cil­it­ies against acts of ter­ror­ism.”

Amano said he was op­tim­ist­ic the amended con­ven­tion would enter in­to force in “the near fu­ture.”

The United States and some of its al­lies re­portedly are push­ing na­tions par­ti­cip­at­ing in the glob­al Nuc­le­ar Se­cur­ity Sum­mit pro­cess to agree to rat­i­fy the heightened phys­ic­al-pro­tec­tion stand­ards at the third such gath­er­ing, hap­pen­ing next month in the Neth­er­lands. The U.S. Sen­ate, though, has yet to rat­i­fy the amend­ment.

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