FM Mirzoyan calls for prohibition of threats against nuclear facilities at International Conference on Nuclear Security

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FM Mirzoyan calls for prohibition of threats against nuclear facilities at International Conference on Nuclear Security

YEREVAN, MAY 20, ARMENPRESS.On May 20, in Vienna Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan took part in the International Conference on Nuclear Security (ICONS 2024) titled “Shaping the Future”.

Representatives from more than 130 countries were participating in the conference.

At the beginning of the conference, all participants held a minute of silence in memory of the Iran’s high-level officials, including the President and the Foreign Minister, who died the day before due to a helicopter crash.

The full remarks of the Minister, issued by the foreign ministry, are presented below.

"Director General Grossi,

Esteemed Co-Presidents,

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to start by expressing our deep condolences to the Government, colleagues, and the friendly people of Iran on the tragic helicopter crash.

I extend my heartfelt appreciation to the Director General and the Secretariat for organizing the fourth International Conference on Nuclear Security and congratulate Australia and Kazakhstan for their able co-presidency of such an important event.

As a committed advocate for non-proliferation, Armenia reaffirms its unwavering commitment to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and other relevant treaties, alongside full compliance with IAEA safeguards agreements and additional protocols.

In the past decade, our global landscape has undergone significant changes marked by rapid transformations and the emergence of unforeseen challenges, including from advancement of technologies. In response, it is imperative that our national nuclear security frameworks remain adaptable and resilient to new and emerging threats. Fostering a broad dialogue, information exchange, and the implementation of best practices are paramount in effectively identifying and mitigating these evolving threats.

International cooperation with various partners with the central role of IAEA has always been instrumental for strengthening our capabilities in the field of nuclear security and safety. As a result of such cooperation, the Armenian nuclear power plant throughout the years has implemented a number of projects for the enhancement of nuclear security at the facility level in line with relevant recommendations of the IAEA.

Such improvements and large-scale modernization and re-equipment of the NPP has generated additional public confidence towards and advocacy in favor of nuclear energy. Guided by national priorities and the key importance of nuclear energy in achieving global Net Zero objectives, as well as driven by the successful uphold of high standards of safety and security in the operation of the NPP, Armenia decided to extend the lifetime of current unit with an ultimate goal of smooth transition to a new capacity by 2036.

Armenia fully implements its international obligations under the UN Security Council Resolution 1540 through its National Action Plan. Major efforts have been undertaken to ensure strong border control to prevent the trafficking of nuclear and radioactive material. In cooperation with other international partners, all border checkpoints of Armenia are being consistently modernized and upgraded.

Excellencies, dear colleagues,

Recalling the relevant IAEA General Conference Resolutions and Decision, Armenia reiterates its principal position that any attack or threat of attack against nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful purposes constitutes a violation of the principles of the United Nations Charter, International law, and the Statute of the Agency. The position of Armenia is principal in this regard, but also driven by past experience in light of undisguised threats against its nuclear power plant.

The inviolability, safety, and security of peaceful nuclear facilities should be unconditionally observed also in times of armed conflicts. In this regard, Armenia recalls the importance of the Seven Indispensable Pillars introduced by the Director General, as a bare minimum for ensuring the safety and security of peaceful nuclear facilities. In light of this, Armenia once again commends the dedicated and tireless efforts of the Director-General and the personnel of the IAEA.

Our aim is to generate international understanding and acceptance that there is a need to revitalize the process of developing an international legally binding treaty prohibiting armed attacks and threats of attacks against nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful purposes.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate our unwavering dedication to the shared objectives of strengthening nuclear security globally, nuclear non-proliferation, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy. May this conference serve as a catalyst for renewed collaboration and innovation, propelling us towards a safer and more secure future.

Thank you.”

The aim of the international conference is to provide a global forum for ministers, policymakers, and experts in the field of nuclear security to discuss the future of nuclear security globally while taking the opportunity to exchange information and best practices and promote international cooperation for strengthening nuclear security.

The work of the conference contributes to raising awareness of a wide range of nuclear security issues, including existing challenges and their trends, reviewing priorities in the field and addressing directions that need urgent attention. The results of the conference will become the basis for drafting the IAEA nuclear security plan for 2026-2029.


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