U.N. nuclear chief says more global action needed for nuclear security

July 1, 2013 at 4:48 PM
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VIENNA, July 1 (UPI) -- Countries should strengthen international cooperation to improve global security, the U.N. atomic energy chief said Monday in Vienna.

Speaking at the opening of the International Conference on Nuclear Security, Yukiya Amano said successful past efforts to blunt a terrorist attack involving radioactive member "must not lull us into a false sense of security."

Goals of the conference, the first held at a ministerial level, include reviews of the international community's experience and achievements in strengthening nuclear security, enhancing understanding of current approaches to nuclear security worldwide and identify trends and providing a global forum for ministers, policy-makers and senior officials to formulate views on the future directions and priorities for nuclear security.

Amano told the participants their presence at the conference "sends an important message: that the world is serious about enhancing global efforts to protect nuclear and other radioactive material -- and associated facilities -- from malicious acts."

"The threat of nuclear terrorism is real," Amano said, "and the global nuclear security system needs to be strengthened in order to counter that threat."

Among other things, conference participants recognized the threat to international security posed by theft and smuggling of nuclear material and affirmed the responsibility of countries to keep all nuclear material secure.

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