UNODC Executive Director welcomes entry into force of International Convention for Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism


VIENNA, 6 July 2007 (UNODC) - Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), hailed the entry into force on 7 July of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.

The treaty comes into effect 30 days after Bangladesh became the 22nd State to deposit its instrument of ratification with the United Nations Secretary-General.

The new Convention outlaws specific acts of nuclear terrorism. It aims to protect against attacks involving a broad range of possible targets, including nuclear power plants and nuclear reactors, bring perpetrators to justice and promote cooperation among countries.

Mr Costa said UNODC stood ready to help countries become parties to and implement the Convention. "Indeed, we are the only UN body mandated, empowered and equipped to provide on-the-ground counter terrorism assistance on legal issues to Member States," he said.

UNODC assists Member States in ratifying and implementing the thirteen international conventions and protocols related to terrorism. Since January 2003, it has supported some 137 countries. UNODC increasingly provides support for the incorporation of their provisions into national legislation and for strengthening the capacity of national criminal justice systems to implement them.

Under the Convention, alleged offenders must be extradited or prosecuted. The Convention encourages States to cooperate in sharing information and assisting each other in connection with criminal investigations and extradition proceedings. It obliges them to make every effort to adopt appropriate measures to ensure the protection of radioactive material, taking into account relevant recommendations and functions of the International Atomic Energy Agency.