Self-Assessment Questionnaire

The self-assessment questionnaire has been developed for countries considering adherence to the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism of 2005. It is intended to assist States in analysing their legal capacity to implement the provisions of the Convention on the basis of their existing domestic laws or, if there is a need to update those laws or draft new legislation, in accordance with their respective legal traditions and internal legal processes.

States have their own law-making procedures, based on their respective practices, institutions and legal systems. However, the technical aspects of nuclear security pose unique challenges and it is essential that national laws on nuclear security be uniform and harmonized with existing legal instruments that are in force in States, as well as with international guidance documents.

Ultimately, responsibility for establishing a robust national regime for nuclear security lies entirely with States, which must ensure the security of nuclear and radioactive material in nuclear facilities within their jurisdiction where radioactive sources are handled. Each State should establish a nuclear security regime in accordance with its national and constitutional processes. Furthermore, the application of national legal instruments relating to national security requires the involvement of a wide range of national interest groups, such as government bodies, research institutions and universities, medical centres and the industrial sector.

It is important to adopt an approach that is harmonized and consistent with international practices in order to ensure international cooperation and assistance and the prosecution and extradition of suspects in connection with nuclear security matters and to counter threats to nuclear security, including terrorism.

The questionnaire is divided into sections that briefly describe certain issues or key procedures that have proved useful in analysing national legislation and the capacities of States with respect to nuclear security. This is the basis for the formulation of the questions to be answered by States interested in adhering to the Convention, irrespective of their level of development and the scale of their nuclear programmes and/or nuclear applications.

The questionnaire is intended for information purposes only and is not legally binding but, rather, provides a reference framework that States may use if they so wish. The questionnaire is not a tool for measuring the degree of compliance by States with their nuclear security obligations.