Friday, March 6, 2009

Disarmament and Nuclear Developments

Minty argues for nuclear disarmament

The atomic bombing of Japan and South Africa's past nuclear weapons programme have been brought into play as diplomats from the two countries enter the final heat for election as leader of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The governing board of the UN nuclear watchdog is to meet on March 26 and 27 to elect a successor to director-general Mohamed
ElBaradei. South African diplomat Abdul Minty and the leading contender, Japanese diplomat Yukiya Amano, need the votes of two-thirds of the board to secure the post. "As I come from a country that has experience of Hiroshima and Nagasaki," Amano, 61, told the board, "I am deeply convinced that a nuclear catastrophe should not be repeated." Amano held senior positions relating to nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament in the Japanese Foreign Ministry before being posted to Vienna as ambassador to the UN. Minty, 69, is a deputy director-general in the Department of Foreign Affairs and represents South Africa at the board. He is an advocate of disarmament, but this is not part of the agency's mandate. He and Amano emphasised the need to focus on inspections and promoting the peaceful use of the technology. If neither diplomat gets enough support from the 35 countries on the IAEA board, the race could be opened for new candidates.

(The Star)

Unofficial transcript
South Africa
05 March 2009

Counsellor Johan Kellerman of South Africa echoed this perspective, saying, it “is most regrettable and unfortunate that yet once again this Conference has not been able to
reach consensus on allowing this particular NGO to address the Conference themselves.” He called for the CD to set aside time to debate and discuss the issue of broader civil society participation in the work of the Conference, “with a view to resolve it sooner rather than later.”

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